Did You Know ?

The world is an amazing place and here, as you scroll down, are just a few interesting facts that Litrasaurus has added with more to follow. Some are about people and things that lived in other times and other lands, some about creatures and plants that exist today, or have become extinct. I hope you enjoy reading about them !

SCROLL DOWN to see them all.

  • Unicorns

    Unicorns were described in accounts of natural history (not Myths) by Greek writers who were convinced of the reality of these creatures. The Greek Ctesias said that India produces such a one-horned horse. A merchant from Alexandria called Casmas Indicopleusles who in the 6th Century voyaged t... Click here to read more

  • The Lady and the Unicorn

    There is in Paris, France, a museum called La Musée de Moyenne Âge (The Musem of Middle Ages). It is home to an amazing set of tapestries entitled "La Dame a la Licorne" – the lady of the unicorn. There are six tapestries in total in the set, and they all feature a unicorn on the left of t... Click here to read more

  • Libraries

    Most libraries are run by local councils and are generally free to use.  Not only can you borrow books to take home, inside libraries there often places where you can sit quietly and read. They also may have computers you can use and many offer free wi-fi. Some country areas, where there is no... Click here to read more

  • Magpies

    The Latin name for them is Pica Pica, and they are very intelligent. There are particular portions of their brains that, when scaled for their relative size, are as large as the brains of chimpanzees and humans! Apparently this is one of the few species able to recognise itself in a mirror. They ... Click here to read more

  • Doves and Pigeons

    Doves and pigeons are very distant relations of the now extinct Dodos . Doves are usually smaller than pigeons but similar otherwise.They belong to a family of birds called Columbidae . They can be trained to carry messages and these pigeons are called “carrier” or “homing” pigeons. They were of ... Click here to read more

  • The Yeti

    Yeti – sometimes referred to as the “Abominable Snowman” or Bigfoot in North America. These creatures according to alleged sightings appear to be either ape-like or bear-like two footed bipeds, but larger than the average human being in height. The sightings have been in mountainous regions and p... Click here to read more

  • Plants in Medicine

    Plants are of enormous importance both in healthcare (and indeed cooking). A huge percentage of all prescriptions contain plant ingredients one in four contain plant extracts or a synthetic (manufactured) version of their properties. Chinese medicines alone use over 5,000 plant species! The Madag... Click here to read more

  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

    The Great Omar, as it was known, was a priceless copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a book of poems, it had been translated from Persian by Edward Fitzgerald. This particular copy had been commissioned especially and was encrusted with fifteen hundred precious and semi- precious stones. The fr... Click here to read more

  • Bats

    They are the only mammals that can sustain flight, their wings give them their power to push forward in propulsion. A single brown bat can catch appx. 1200 mosquito sized creatures an hour! In Texas it has been estimated that in Bracken Cave the Free Tailed Bats there can eat in the range of 200 ... Click here to read more

  • Fireflies and Glow Worms

    The light that these creatures emit can be yellow, green or pale red. It is not infrared or ultraviolet frequencies and the non-flying females glow more than the males. Some of these insects are predatory and others feed on nectar. In the Philipines thousands of fireflies can be seen all the year... Click here to read more

  • Dolphins

    Didi Dolphin (Litrasaurus’ friend) is a bottle-nosed dolphin. Many of you may have been lucky enough to see dolphins either at sea in the wild or in Aquariums. Dolphins are mammals and whilst they do spend much of their time under water they do need to swim to the surface for air. They can swim u... Click here to read more

  • Jellyfish

    Jellyfish are fascinating creatures. They are umbrella or bell-shaped shaped and made up of at least 95% water and they have no brain, no backbone (creatures with no backbone are called Invertebrates) and they have no blood. To move they take in water and squirt it out behind them which pushes th... Click here to read more

  • Orthoceras

    Orthoceras did exist. Orthoceras were sea creatures that lived millions of years ago (around 470-360 million years ago) when most of the earth’s surface was covered in water. The name means “straight horn” due to the spear- like shape of their shells. They belonged to a group of creatures called ... Click here to read more

  • Spiders

    Spiders or Arachnids existed millions of years ago. They are now all over the world except in Antarctica. There are many types, about one thousand have been identified from fossils the oldest from the Silurian age about 400 million years ago! There are over 40,000 different sorts – an amazing num... Click here to read more

  • Grasshoppers

    Grasshoppers and crickets are very similar but the crickets tend to have longer antennae. They are very good at jumping and they rub their back legs to “talk”, they also make a chirruping sound, you may have heard them. this sound is created by the rubbing of wings or legs (they have corrugated b... Click here to read more

  • Thesaurus

    There is a wonderful book called Roget’s Thesaurus which can do the job of the cloud of that name who was one of Litrasaurus special friends. That clever man (Roget) managed to arrange all sorts of words into an order so that you may find lots of different words with similar meaning. It is not qu... Click here to read more

  • Dinosaurs

    Most dinosaurs lived about 200 million years ago in what was called the Jurassic period. The world was a very different place and the land masses were joined together in a very different way to how they are now. It was believed that an asteroid may have hit the planet and, probably as a result of... Click here to read more

  • Dodos

    Dodos are actually a distant relative of doves and pigeons but were larger and flightless.  They were first recorded in Mauritius, which is in the Indian Ocean, by Dutch sailors in 1598, however, the last sighting of one was in 1662. Having no predators (previously there were no humans on the ... Click here to read more

  • Ancient Trees

    Pine cone bearing trees are amongst the most ancient species of trees that still exist to-day. One of the species is the Araucaria which – is from the same family of trees that we call “the monkey puzzle tree”, perhaps because they are so hard for monkeys to climb on account of their spiky leaves... Click here to read more

  • Octopus

    These are fascinating creatures having two eyes and four pairs of "legs" or "arms" known as tentacles. They have no skeleton which means that they can squeeze through very small spaces. They live in a variety of places in the oceans including coral reefs. They can emit "ink" to cloudy the waters ... Click here to read more

  • Mammoth

    Now sadly extinct, these species (of the genus Mammuthus proboscideans) were alive in the Pliocene era approximately 4.8 million years ago up to around 4,000 years ago in Europe, Asia and America. They are, though, most associated with the northern parts of Siberia, not least because that is wher... Click here to read more

  • Androids

    An Android is a robot with the appearance of a human. They are sometimes referred to as automatons or mechanical dolls. Robots in general (not necessarily in the form of humans) have many uses. In the armed forces they are used to aid in detonating bombs thereby saving human risk and in the milit... Click here to read more

  • King Midas

    There are many stories and legends about King Midas, where and when he lived. The common thread of the stories tell of his great wealth. One of the main story lines is that as a reward for entertaining Dionysius he was granted a gift of his choice. He asked that he would like whtever he touched w... Click here to read more

  • Stalactites

    They are what are called speleotherms and they are mineral deposits that can form in caves and hang from their limestone ceilings shaped much like icicles, as they are elongated in appearance. Stalagmites on the other hand are mineral deposits in much the same form that rise up from the floor of ... Click here to read more

  • Chamois

    These are beautiful agile creatures a type of goat- antelope, they live in mountainous regions, they have short straight-ish horns which hook backwards at the rear. They have rich coloured brown fur in Summer which turns much lighter in winter. They eat all sorts of vegetation, in summer grass an... Click here to read more

  • Siberia

    In Northern Asia Siberia has been part of Russia since the seventeenth century, it covers a vast area and stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of Mongolia and China. The climate varies dramatically and average annual temperatures are only 0.5 degrees centigrade and in the northern parts... Click here to read more

  • Chameleon

    A special class of lizard of which there are about 160 different species of varying colours, many have the wonderful ability to change their colour to blend in with their surroundings. They have protruding eyes which give them a large range of vision and they have very long tongues with which to ... Click here to read more

  • Titanic

    This was an enormous ship which sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. On the night of Saturday 14th April 1912, with over two thousand people on board, it hit an iceberg and two and a half hours later sank in the early hours of Sunday morning. The crew had spotted the iceberg bu... Click here to read more

  • Coral Reefs

    These are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate deposits which are secreted by corals. Corals belong to the same group as sea anemones. The reefs only occupy about 0.1% of the world ocean surface and yet they are a vital habitat to over 25% of all marine species- many fish, molluscs a... Click here to read more

  • Scribe

    A scribe was one of a select group of people who were able to read and write. Many would have been monks who would write books and manuscripts by hand or translate sacred texts , other scribes would be essential to kings and noblemen, the judiciary and businesses to keep records. They were very i... Click here to read more

  • Leonardo Da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci lived from 1452 to 1519 and he was an incredibly talented man. A painter of great note, a sculptor an architect, musician, botanist, anatomist, engineer and geologist. He had an amazingly curious mind and was said to have a “feverishly inventive imagination”. He was famous... Click here to read more

  • Canine Partners

    This is an amazing charity that trains assistance dogs for poeple with physical disabilities including injured servicemen and women, providing greater quality of life and independence. The dogs are carefully matched to the needs of the disabled and about 1.2 million people use a wheelchair. They ... Click here to read more

  • Bluebells

    Bluebells are also called Hyacinthoids non- scripta and are particularly associated with ancient woodland. It is a protected species under UK Law, and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild bluebells, this legislation was strengthened in 1... Click here to read more

  • Mermaids

    A mermaid is a "supposedly" legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. They appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide and were mentioned as long ago as 1000 years BC. A Merman is the male equivalent. Many will be familiar with the Hans Christi... Click here to read more