Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shrimp - The Most Common Food Allergens

Shrimp - The Most Common Food Allergens

Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans Shrimp -  The Most Common Food Allergensclassified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the sea bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards.

Shrimp are an important food source for larger animals from fish to whales. They have a high resistance to toxins in polluted areas, and may contribute to high toxin levels in their predators. Together with prawns, shrimp are widely caught and farmed for human consumption.

Etymology: The term shrimp originated around the 14th century with the Middle English shrimpe, akin to the Middle Low German schrempen, and meaning to contract or wrinkle; and the Old Norse skorpna, meaning to shrivel up.

Life cycle of a shrimp

Shrimp mature and breed only in a marine habitat. The females lay 50,000 to 1 million eggs, which hatch after some 24 hours into tiny nauplii. These nauplii feed on yolk reserves within their body and then undergo a metamorphosis into zoeae.

This second larval stage feeds in the wild on algae and after a few days metamorphoses again into the third stage to become myses. At this stage the myses already begin to appear like tiny versions of fully-developed adults and feed on algae and zooplankton.

After another three to four days they metamorphose a final time into postlarvae: young shrimp having all the characteristics of adults. The whole process takes about 12 days from hatching. In the wild, the postlarvae then migrate into estuaries, which are rich in nutrients and low in salinity. There they grow and eventually migrate back into open waters when they mature.

Adult shrimp are benthic animals living primarily on the sea floor.

Shrimp as food

As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, Iodine and protein but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of cholesterol, from 122 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.

Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp mean that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides.

Shrimp and other shellfish are among the most common food allergens. They are not kosher and thus are forbidden in Jewish cuisine.via

Other picture of shrimp:


Shrimp as food:

Hass Avocado Shrimp Cocktail Steamed Shrimp with Garlic Oil

Monday, November 3, 2008

Axolotl – The Water Monster

Axolotl – The Water Monster

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is the Axolotl – The Water Monsterbest-known of the Mexican neotenic mole salamanders belonging to the Tiger Salamander complex. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled. The species originates from the lake underlying Mexico City and are also called ajolote (which is also the common name for Mexican Mole Lizards).

Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate most body parts, ease of breeding, and large embryos. They are commonly kept as pets in the United States, Great Britain (under the spelling axlotl), Australia, Japan and other countries.

Axolotls should not be confused with waterdogs, the larval stage of the closely related Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum and Ambystoma mavortium), which is widespread in much of North America which also occasionally become neotenic, nor with mudpuppies (Necturus spp.), fully-aquatic salamanders which are unrelated to the axolotl but which bear a superficial resemblance.

As of 2008, axolotls are near extinction, due to urbanization in Mexico City, and polluted waters. Nonnative fish have also recently been introduced to the waters. These new fish have been eating the axolotls' babies, as well as its primary source of food. The axolotl is currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual Red List of threatened species.


A sexually-mature adult axolotl, at age 18-24 months, ranges in length from 15–45 centimetres (5.9–18 in), although a size close to 23 centimetres (9.1 in) is most common and greater than 30 centimetres (12 in) is rare. Axolotls possess features typical of salamander larvae, including external gills and a caudal fin extending from behind the head to the vent.

Their heads are wide, and their eyes are lidless. Their limbs are underdeveloped and possess long, thin digits. Males are identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae, while females are noticeable for their wider bodies full of eggs. Three pairs of external gill stalks (rami) originate behind their heads and are used to move oxygenated water.

The external gill rami are lined with filaments (fimbriae) to increase surface area for gas exchange. Four gill slits lined with gill rakers are hidden underneath the external gills. Axolotls have barely visible vestigial teeth which would have developed during metamorphosis. The primary method of feeding is by suction, during which their rakers interlock to close the gill slits. External gills are used for respiration, although buccal pumping (gulping air from the surface) may also be used in order to provide oxygen to their lungs.

Axolotls have four different colours, two naturally occurring colours and two mutants. The two naturally occurring colours are wildtype (Varying shades of brown usually with spots) and melanoid (black). The two mutant colours are leucistic (pale pink with black eyes) and albino (golden, tan or pale pink with pink eyes).via

Other pictures of Axolotl.

Axolotl – The Water MonsterAxolotl – The Water Monster
Axolotl – The Water MonsterAxolotl – The Water Monster

Video of Axolotl.