Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Fiercest Animals in the Animal Kingdom

Warrior Cats 
The fiercest animals in the Animal Kingdom
‘Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red,’ echoes the prophecy that shadows the second series of Warrior books. The New Prophecy expands on the tales of the four warring clans of wild cats that live deep within the forest, ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and RiverClan, and forces them to work together against the dark prediction in a quest to find a new home. Honour, bravery and loyalty are all abundant as the cats fight for survival in an unsettling world.
However, despite our noble heroes showing an admirable range of qualities as they work together to survive, one of the greatest talents that they have is the ability to hold their own. Creatures in the animal kingdom have a variety of weapons in their arsenal as they fight to survive; horns, claws, poison, projectiles, agility and brute strength, Mother Nature can be a tough old cookie. Which exactly are the most ferocious that nature has to offer?
The best place to start is by looking at the Clans’ fellow felines. Some of the largest -carnivores on land are simply big cats. The undisputed king of the jungle is of course the lion. Male lions are the biggest of the big cats and can grow to a whopping 10 feet long! However, despite this, male lions rarely enter into the hunt and lazily, leave much of the work to the slightly smaller females. The Komodo dragon, native to the islands of Indonesia, can also grow to the same size as an adult male lion. In addition to their tremendous size, their sharp, ragged teeth tear open the skin of their opponents and their saliva is filled with over 50 kinds of toxic bacteria meaning if you don’t die from the wound, you’ll die from infection. Yuck.
The Nile crocodile is another fierce foe, and boy do they bite! The jaw strength has been measured at an awesome 5000psi. To put that into context, an adult lion’s jaw strength is 600psi and a human’s average bite strength is just 120. And talking of jaws, the ocean is another place where lots of deadly creatures reside. One of the most familiar faces of the deep sea is the great white shark. With superior senses (they could smell a drop of blood in an Olympic-sized swimming pool) and almost unparalleled size and strength; it’s no wonder that we humans fear them so much. However, with only an estimated 4.2 fatal shark attacks occurring each year, you are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be eaten by Jaws!
Of course there are the more weird and wonderful ways to combat.  The (difficult to pronounce) Nasutitermitinae termite for example almost literally has a gun on the front of its face! The fontanellar gun, as it’s called, is a gland used to fire sticky and poisonous glue into the faces of its opponents, meaning that close quarter combat is something they don’t need to enter into.

The New Prophecy, created by a group of writers under the pseudonym Erin Hunter, welcomes readers into the inner workings of each warrior clan, and invites us to journey with them as they have to work together to reach a common goal. What the warrior cats lack in size, strength and weird weaponry, they certainly make up for in courage and heart. Sometimes that can be enough to help you survive, even against impossible odds.

Erin Hunter: Warrior Cats (6 Book Box Set)
Alex Reid
Real Life Warrior
My favourite animal is a… Lion, because it’s powerful but uses its skill to defeat its adversaries and rule the animal kingdom.
The real life warriors that I admire are… Alexander the Great and King Arthur, if he existed, which I believe he did. I always wanted to pull the sword from the stone.

Alex Reid