Maned Wolf: Definitely a Werewolf

The Maned Wolf is a very unique animal found in South America. It looks as if a person actually turned into a werewolf! It resembles a fox with its reddish hair, pointy ears, and black stripe on its neck. But, it also resembles a wolf with its standing at 3 feet tall and a weight of 55 pounds with long legs. What if I told you that this animal wasn’t related to either one! The Maned Wolf or C. brachyurus is a mammal that is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon.

The Maned wolf is still considered a Canine and is the largest in South America. They can typically be found in the grasslands and forests of Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Although they can be found in numerous countries they are not thriving well. Their population has been on a steady decline due to hunting and their habitats being destroyed. They are near threatened animals and many countries like Peru and Brazil have no hunting laws.

The Maned Wolf does not live for very long, with the median age being 6.5 years. This is also another reason it is easy for their populations to decline. Individuals do not have as much time as other mammals to reproduce and double their population. You may wonder why their lifespan is so low? This is not due to hunting or predators. In fact, they face very few threats from predators. The only major predators they face are the large cats of South America (Jaguars and sometimes Pumas). The reason for their lifespan is purely due to their biology and genetics.

The reason for the Maned wolf’s long legs is to help them hunt. Living in environments where the grass is tall and not controlled, it can be hard to see far distances. Thus, their long legs give them the ability to see from above the grass and hunt their prey. Their prey includes things like small animals (rabbits), insects, and rodents.

What is an Acid and a Base

growing up, you constantly hear the term acid and base used to describe liquids such as your water or even a fictional mixture you see on TV. But, what actually is an Acid and a Base? When asking this question it is important to first ask what definition of Acid and Base are you asking for? There are three major definitions of these:

  1. Arrhenius Definition- an acid generates H+ ions while a base generates OH- ions in solution (acids increase [H+] while bases increase [OH-])
  2. Brønsted-Lowry Definition– an acid is a proton donor while a base is a proton acceptor
  3. Lewis Definition– an acid is an electron acceptor while a base is an electron acceptor.

All of these definitions are correct in their own way and you may see different theories used in different situations. The major difference between these definitions is the result of transfer in a solution. Arrhenius acids and bases look purely at the products (H+ and OH-). Brønsted-Lowry looks at the proton exchange while Lewis looks at the electron exchange.

But, how and why are these important? There are many reasons you may be interested in the products of an acid and base or if the acid or base donates or accepts a proton or electron. For example, you may be interested in water reactivity and how it will interact with an acid or base. Another example is the interest in the confirmation and formation of new compounds. Knowing what parts of a compound is an acid or base can tell you what will happen to its structure in specific environments. This can lead to the characteristics of the compound to change and thus change its purpose.

The one tool you always hear in the complement of acids and bases is the pH scale. The pH scale is a way to measure acidity by using the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. This scale is typically from 0 to 14 but, the scale can go beyond the normal range. This, however, is extremely rare and means you have a very dangerous material in your possession.

The pH scale is measured using the equation pH=-log([H+]). This means that as you increase the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution (increase acids), you will see a decrease in the pH scale. Since this scale is measured by log base 10 it is also important to realize that going from a pH of 8 to 4 does not mean you halved the pH and increase the acidity by 2 times. Every increase in a whole number on the pH scale corresponds with a 1×10^10 increase. This means that the change from 8 to 4 would actually be 10,000 times more acidic.

Overall, the general characteristics of Acids and Bases are as follows:

  • Acids:
    • Good conductors
    • pH value less than 7
    • Sour in taste
  • Bases:
    • Bad conductors
    • pH value greater than 7
    • Bitter in taste

CO2 Emissions Making Oceans Acid!!

When hearing about climate change the first thing that comes to making are the temperatures rising and how humans are causing it. However, there are parts of climate change that aren’t visible and people rarely talk about. One of these topics is ocean acidification via Carbon Dioxide emission.

When organic materials are used for fuel such as oil, one of the byproducts is carbon dioxide. Even when you breathe oxygen, your body is releasing byproducts into the air. Even though you can’t see it, those products travel through the air interacting with other compounds and creating more stable products. When carbon dioxide interacts with water and carbonate ions it creates bicarbonate ions and hydrogen ions. This is significant because pH is determined by the concentration of hydrogen ions within a solution. In this case, you can think of the ocean as a giant beaker of water in a lab and human carbon emission are you breathing into the tube. If you were to try this out in real life, the pH of the beaker would become more acidic.

For more than a hundred years humans have been expelling carbon dioxide into the air in large amounts and the acidification effect can actually be seen. The pH of oceans is dropping which proves fatal for marine life. Due to how fast their environment is changing they can not evolve fast enough and will eventually die off. leading to a chain reaction that will ultimately affect the human race.