In 1831, Squire George Osbaldeston rode 200 miles in eight hours, 39 minutes. Osbaldeston used 20 horses. His speed/distance record still stands.
On December 29, 1945, the record for the slowest time for a winning horse was set by Never Mind II. During a 2-mile steeplechase, Never Mind II refused the 4th jump and his rider gave up and returned to the paddock. Then the rider was told that all the other horses had fallen or been disqualified. Immediately he "raced" Never Mind II back to the field and finished in 11 minutes 28 seconds.
The Tetrarch, called by many Englishmen the fastest horse of all time, was so swift that he couldn't control his legs. His hind hooves cut and bruised the fetlocks and shins of his front legs. At the end of his two-year-old season in 1913, during which he was undefeated, The Tetrarch had to retire because his legs were so badly damaged.
Jockey Levi Barlingume, rode until 1932 when, at age 80, he fell and broke his leg at Stafford, Kans., thus ending the longest recorded career of any jockey.
The owners of the speedstar, Alsab, made one of the finest deals in history. The horse they bought for $700 earned $350,015 during its career.
History's greatest breeder was Darius of Persia (522-485 B.C.), who had more than 50,000 brood mares. Darius's horses were half the size of today's.
Although there have probably been dinosaur discoveries dating back thousands of years -- there are, for instance, references to "dragon bones" found in ancient China -- the first documented dinosaur discovery took place in 1676 when a jawbone and teeth were unearthed in Oxford, England. In 1824, famed paleontologist William Buckland (1784-1856) finally named this first dinosaur Megalosaurus. Megalosaurus was a large meat-eater that stood up to 30 feet tall and weighed about 1 ton.
In 1877, a paleontologist named Othniel Charles Marsh (1831- 1899) discovered a new species of dinosaur with he named Apatosaurus, meaning "deceptive lizard." Two years later, he discovered what he believed to be another species of dinosaur. He named this one Brontosaurus, meaning "thunder lizard." When later paleontologists examined the two fossils, however, they determined that both skeletons belonged to the same animal class, one being an adult and one being a juvenile.
Stegosaurus means "covered lizard" in Greek. This dinosaur had a double row of protective plates covering its back and tail. In addition to acting as a protective covering, these plates may have operated as a sort of cooling device -- wind flowing between the plates would have helped lower the body temperature of a Stegosaurus on hot days.
The Argentinosaurus, an herbivorous sauropod and quite possibly the largest animal ever to walk the earth, is believed to have reached lengths of up to 150 feet and weighed as much as 110 tons. Only fragmentary remains have been discovered, but using their knowledge of related dinosaurs, scientists have been able to estimate the size of these specimens of Argentinosaurus.
The Brachiosaurus, a herbivore, used its giraffe-like neck to graze in the tops of trees. It is believed to have reached heights of up to 42 feet, lengths of 82 feet, and weights in excess of 90 tons. Once considered the largest known dinosaur, it has since been surpassed by the likes of Argintinosaurus and Sauroposeidon.
Dinosaurs are believed to have become extinct about 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period. We know of their existence today because of fossilized remains. It is impossible to know for sure what caused this sudden mass extinction, but the prevailing theory is that a massive meteor struck the earth about that time causing drastic climate changes and thus the extinction.
There are close to 4,000 known species of frogs, including toads. They range in size from less than half an inch to nearly a foot long and come in a rainbow of colors and patterns.
Adult frogs are carnivorous and will eat just about anything smaller than themselves, including insects, worms and even other frogs.
The earliest known frog (Vieraella herbsti) appeared during the late Jurassic period, about 190 million years ago. The specimens that have been found in Arizona shows that the skeletal shape and body plan of the frog has remained almost unchanged.
The biggest frog is the appropriately named Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) of Cameroon. They reach nearly a foot and weigh as much as 7 lbs. The smallest frog is the Gold frog (Psyllophryne Didactyla) of Brazil. They grow to only 3/8 inch.
Equally small is the Eleutherodactylus iberia discovered only in 1996 in Monte Iberia, Cuba. (It doesn't even have a common name yet.) Other small frogs are poison frogs. They measure less than 1/2 inch.
Recently scientists have noticed a marked decline in the numbers of frogs and other amphibians around the world. Some species are believed to have become extinct within the past fifty years. Causes for the decline include ozone depletion, pollution, habitat loss, introduction of new predators, disease and even a fungus.
In 1832, U.K. representative B.H. Hodson, while living in Nepal, claimed to have seen the Abominable Snowman attack his servants. Hodson described the creature as a "wild man ... covered in long, dark hair, and had no tail". This is generally considered the first report of the Abominable Snowman made by a Westerner.
The National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils are named after The Jersey Devil, a legendary creature who has reportedly been sighted by numerous New Jersey residents for almost three centuries, but whose description has changed dramatically over the years. Originally described as a demonic child with hooves, bat wings, a forked tail, and the head of a horse, the creature has since been described as a flying lion, a green alien-like monster, and a faceless hairy creature.
In the summer of 1816, while visiting the poet Lord Byron at his villa near Lake Geneva in Switzerland, Mary Shelley created the character of the Frankenstein monster. During this visit, stormy weather forced the party to spend most of their time indoors. To pass the time, some of Byron's other guests read from a volume of ghost stories. One evening, Byron issued a challenge -- that each of his guests should write a ghost story of their own. Mary's story, which was inspired by a dream, eventually became her most famous literary work -- the novel Frankenstein.
Famed Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa once told of a legendary humanoid creature that supposedly lived in South America. Producer William Alland overheard the story, and it became the inspiration for The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954). The Creature is considered by many critics to be Universal's last great classic monster, and it spawned several sequels including Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).
The Dracula legend is generally believed to have evolved from the life of Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, a Prince of Wallachia (in Romania) who lived from 1431 to 1476. Best known for the cruelty of his reign, he was greatly disliked, but he served as a sort of buffer between Europe and the Ottoman invaders, and this made him key to the European defense. He fulfilled this purpose well, killing so many Turks that the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II laid siege on Vlad's castle himself.
In Greek mythology, the story of Lycaon serves as one of the earliest examples of the werewolf legend. According to one version of the story, Lycaon was transformed into a wolf as punishment for eating human flesh. According to another version, he served up his own son Nyctimus, offered the dish of human flesh to Zeus on the altar of mount Lycaeus, and was immediately turned into a wolf by the disgusted god. This gave rise to the legend that a man was turned into a wolf at each annual sacrifice to Zeus Lycaeus, but if he refrained from eating human flesh for ten years he would regain his human form.
Did you notice there was not a section on dogs? I'm cutting back on my obsession!!! And if you believe that ..... get some professional help!!! LOL!