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Everything You Need to Know about Whales

Known to be royalty at sea, whales have certain qualities that make them truly unique creatures. Understanding them is a task that one must undertake in order to realize their significance in the world’s ecosystem.Not to be confused with fish, whales are actually mammals like humans and as a result, they are warm-blooded and they feed their young with milk from their mammary glands. For survival, whales inhale air through an opening at the top of their heads known as a blowhole. The location of the blowhole allows the whale to stay submerged while breathing. They release excess water and this forms a spout that can be used to determine the species of whale. Whales have thick bodies that are insulated by a layer of fat known as the blubber. Like other mammals and vertebrates, they have a spinal column and a heart consisting of four chambers. Their necks provide […]

American Naval Fighting Ships

The American Navy is the largest in the world, having a huge resource of fighting ships. In fact, the battle fleet of the U.S. Navy is so huge that its fleet tonnage exceeds the next 13 largest fleets of the world, combined. It all began during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. With the establishment of a naval base that could challenge the British Navy, Colonists began to be debated the merits of a naval fleet in a meeting of the Continental Congress. “Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive,” said George Washington, and thus came about the Continental Navy. Naval power played a significant role in the American Civil War, though it saw very little action during the World War I. In the 21st Century, the U.S. Navy has a sizable global presence and it actively supports America’s defense and foreign policy. Within the U.S. […]

Coral Reef Information and Resources

Coral reefs are one of the more varied ecosystems, providing a home for a quarter of the ocean’s creatures. The majority of the world’s reefs are found in tropical waters, specifically in the Pacific Ocean. People and animals rely on ocean reefs for food, and some areas depend on the reefs for tourism and protection of the shoreline.Although coral seem like hard rocks, it is actually a living creature. All coral reefs begin with a small polyp. The polyps are fragile organisms, and each one excretes an exoskeleton for protection from predators. This cup shaped exoskeleton attaches to other polyps around it and these skeletal polyps form a coral colony. This coral colony extends to form what people know as coral reefs. As the polyps continue to excrete new exoskeletons, they move upward and outward, living on the surface of the old, dead skeletal system created previously.There are three types […]

Finding Family from Ship’s Passenger Lists

Have you ever wondered where you came from? Unless you’re descended from a country’s own native people, your family must have immigrated to your country generations ago. As time passes, many people have forgotten where their families originally lived and it can be difficult to find out. One of the best ways to figure out where your family came from is by using the passenger lists from ships that docked in your country. Here are links provided by the Action Car, Ship, Boat and Yacht Donation Service Corporation that will help you to find passenger lists and pages with information about searching for this information.1836 Passenger List: Provides passenger lists from ships that entered into Baltimore ports in 1836.Boston Passenger Lists: An archive of passenger lists from ships that entered Boston ports in the 1800s.Steamline Passenger Lists: Detailed passenger lists from ships that traveled in the 1800s and 1900s.Great Lakes […]

Beaufort Wind Scale: A Closer Look

The Beaufort Wind Scale is a scale that is used by seamen and coastal observers to estimate wind speed. The scale was created by British Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort in the year 1805, and it was derived from his observations of sea conditions. It was especially important during the 19th century, because no sophisticated wind speed-measuring equipment was available at that time. Despite the introduction of new technologies, it is still being used by seafarers today, and it also applied to measure wind speed on land.Initially, the Beaufort Wind Scale has 13 classes, which were numbered 0 to 12, to provide descriptions for various wind conditions. It was only in 1955 that the scale was extended to include five more classes, numbers 13 to 17. The present scale also includes descriptions of the effects of wind forces on land. The modern Beaufort Wind Scale consists of six columns, which […]