africa

SUPER SURPRISE THURSDAY # 51

SUPER SURPRISE THURSDAY #51

It’s time to meet our Super Surprise Thursday animal and to do so we must go to North Africa! We’re on the lookout for a small member of the canine family. Are you ready for today’s adventure?

 

MEET THE RUPPELL’S FOX!

   Range/Habitat: North Africa- West Asia/ scrub-desert

   Diet: Omnivore: reptiles, insects, grasses

   Length/Weight: 16-20”/ 2 ¼-6 ½ lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  • Ruppell’s Foxes are also called the Sand Fox.
  • They are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk).
  • Ruppell’s Foxes change their dens every few days.
  • They scent mark their territories.
  • Ruppell’s foxes have large ears and white tipped tails.
  • They are one of the smallest members of the fox family.

Ruppell’s foxes are so cute with their large ears and slender bodies. We see red fox near our house and they are so fast. Do you love foxes?

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAMMAL MONDAY # 51

MAMMAL MONDAY #51

We’re going to West Africa today to meet a member of the cattle family who lives in marshes! That’s right everyone, these guys can swim! So let’s grab our wellies and head out into the marshland to meet…

MEET THE SITATUNGA!

   Range/Habitat: West-Central Africa/ wetlands-swamps

   Diet: Herbivore: aquatic plants

   Length/Weight: 4-5 ½ ft/ 110-280 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Sitatungas are also called the Marshbuck.
  • They have hooves that are made for walking on muddy ground.
  • Sitatungas are excellent swimmers.
  • Male Sitatungas have long pointed horns.
  • They are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk).
  • Female Sitatungas live in small herds.

Sitatungas are really handsome! It is so cool that spend so much of their time in marshes. They have such neat feet that are built for living in a squishy habitat! Would you ever want to live in a marsh?

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wetlands, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 50

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #50

We’re going to Africa today to meet a large and ferocious reptile! These big guys inhabit watery spots and are definitely not an animal to mess with! Let’s load up on the E & E safari truck and head out!

 

MEET THE NILE CROCODILE!

    Range/Habitat: Africa/ rivers, lakes, wetlands

    Diet: Carnivore: fish, antelope, zebra

    Length: 11-16 ft/500-1,000 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Nile Crocodiles are the largest crocodile species in Africa.
  • They are dark olive in coloration.
  • Nile crocodiles have long jaws. Their teeth are exposed when their mouth is closed.
  • The males are very territorial.
  • Nile crocodiles are ambush predators.
  • They cannot chew their prey and must swallow chunks whole.
  • Nile crocodile females lay their eggs in a nest. They use the same nest throughout their lifetime.

Nile crocodiles are very fierce! Their ancestors have been on the planet for millions of years. Despite their bad dispositions we really like these predators and give them loads of respect!

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REALLY SCARY REPTILIAN TUESDAY!

HALLOWEEN WEEK!

REALLY SCARY REPTILIAN TUESDAY!

We’re staying in the grasslands of Africa on this Really Scary Reptilian Tuesday to meet one of the most deadly snakes in the world. We’ll be looking for this reptile from the safari truck so everyone stays safe! Are you ready?

 

MEET THE BLACK MAMBA!

   Range/Habitat: East-South Africa/ forests-grasslands

   Diet: Carnivore: birds, small mammals

   Length: 8 ¼-11 ft

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Black Mambas are very fast, they can reach speeds of 12 ½ mph.
  • Black mambas are extremely venomous.
  • They are a brown/gray color. They get their name from the color of the inside of their mouths.
  • Black mambas are very territorial.
  • They are diurnal (active during the day).
  • Black mambas can be fatal to humans.

Black mambas are very dangerous and should be watched from a distance for sure! These fast snakes are definitely best left alone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, entertainment, nature, reptiles, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FEATHERY FRIDAY # 48

FEATHERY FRIDAY #48

It’s Feathery Friday and we’re going to Africa to meet an inhabitant of the marshes! These colorful birds love wading through the mud to find a tasty meal. So let’s put on our waders and go meet…

MEET THE GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE!

   Range/Habitat: Africa-Southeast Asia-Australia/ wetlands, marshes

   Diet: Omnivore: invertebrates, seeds, grasses

   Length/Weight: 9-11”/ 3 ¼-7 oz

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Greater Painted-Snipes have white eye patches and colorful tan-cream feathers.
  • They use their long beaks to find prey in the mud.
  • Greater Painted-Snipes have long legs for wading.
  • They are not graceful or good fliers.
  • Greater Painted-Snipes are shy and are often hard to spot.
  • Male Greater Painted-Snipes incubate the eggs and raise the chicks.

These fun little birds are built to live in their marshy habitats. How cool is it that the dads do all the work raising the chicks? Way to go dads!

  

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, wetlands, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAMMAL MONDAY #48

MAMMAL MONDAY #48!

Grab your safari hats and night vision goggles and let’s head off to Africa today to meet a relative of the hyena! These bug loving mammals may look like their relatives, but they are very different! Are you ready? Let’s go!

MEET THE AARDWOLF!

   Range/Habitat: Eastern South Africa/ desert-scrub

   Diet: Insectivore: termites, insects

   Length/Weight: 26”/ 20 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Aardwolves have longer front legs than back legs.
  • They have 3 stripes on each side.
  • Aardwolves have a crest of fur down their backs. They puff the fur up when they are threatened to look bigger.
  • Aardwolves are nocturnal (active at night) and solitary.
  • They have sticky tongues that they use to eat insects!
  • Aardwolves can eat up to 200,000 termites a night!

Aardwolves are really cool. Unlike their hyena cousins who eat carrion or kill their prey, these guys eat bugs and lots of them! If you could pick, which would you be a carnivore or an insectivore?

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

INTERNATIONAL RHINO DAY!

INTERNATIONAL RHINO DAY!

We’re celebrating our friends the rhinoceros today! These magnificent animals are one of our very favorites, with their large bodies, hairy ears and fabulous horns!

We’re going to give you some fun rhino facts, a coloring sheet and some great resources to help our friends!

RHINO FUN FACTS:

  • There are 5 species of rhinos, the Black Rhino, the White Rhino (the African species), the Northern India Rhino, the Sumatran Rhino and the Javan Rhino (the Asian species).
  • Rhinoceros is Greek for nose and horn!
  • All rhinos have poor eyesight.
  • White rhinos have a large broad mouth for grazing grass.
  • Black rhinos have a narrow prehensile lip to help them grasp leaves.
  • Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up your hair and fingernails.
  • Rhinos’ ears can move and rotate independently of each other. This adaptation helps the rhino hear.
  • Rhinos are herbivores.
  • Rhinos are related to horses, tapirs and zebras! Woohoo!
  • The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest rhino weighing around 1,700 lbs and the White rhino is the largest weighing around 5,000 lbs.
  • A group of rhinos is called a crash!
  • All rhinos are endangered. Many organizations, like World Wildlife Fund and Saving Rhinos are working very hard to save and protect these amazing animals. Check them out and see how you can help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a cute rhino for you to color! As always, remember to share your pictures when you color them!

 

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, rhinos, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

MAMMAL MONDAY # 45

MAMMAL MONDAY #45!

We’re off to the rainforests of Central Africa to meet one cute rodent! That’s right folks, we said cute rodent! Grab your gear and let’s head out!

MEET THE GAMBIAN SUN SQUIRREL!

   Range/Habitat: Central Africa/ rainforest, grasslands

   Diet: Omnivore: eggs, insects, seeds

   Length/Weight: 6-8”/ 9-13 oz

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Gambian Sun Squirrels have olive-brown-yellow banded fur.
  • They have 14 rings down their tail.
  • Gambian Sun Squirrels bask in the sun (that’s where they get their name).
  • Gambian sun squirrels are primarily arboreal (spend most of their time in the trees.
  • They reline their nests with new leaves each night.

Gambian sun squirrels are adorable. We love that they spend their time basking in the sun to keep warm! We wonder if they use sunscreen.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUPER SURPRISE THURSDAY # 44

SUPER SURPRISE THURSDAY  #44

We’re jetting to Central Africa today to meet one gorgeous feathery friend. These very social birds can be found in large flocks and are named after a mammal. Grab your binoculars and let’s head out on the savanna!

MEET THE SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD!

   Range/Habitat: Central-Eastern Africa/ savannas, grasslands

   Diet: Frugivore: fruits, seeds

   Length/Weight: 12-16”/ 1 5/8- 2 5/8 oz

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Speckled Mousebirds are considered living fossils and are related to long line of ancient birds.
  • They get the name mousebird from their long tails and furry like feathers.
  • Speckled Mousebirds have a crest of feathers on their head.
  • Speckled Mousebirds are very social and live in family flocks of 4-20 individuals.
  • They sleep in a cluster at night to keep warm.
  • Male and female speckled mousebirds take care of chicks, as do older offspring.
  • They are very flexible and acrobatic and can be seen eating upside down!

Wow, these funny looking birds sure are fun! They are so social! You can see them puff up their feathers and get a little sun bath too to warm themselves during the day! Now that is our kind of bird!

 

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE DAY # 4

ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE DAY #4 

Our last day of meeting animal smarties takes us to the rainforests of Africa to find a very special bird. This bird is known to be very smart and great at imitating human speech.  Wonder if they can do a good elephant or horse impression?

MEET THE AFRICAN GREY PARROT!

   Range/Habitat: West-Central Africa/lowland rainforest and farmland

   Diet: Herbivore: fruit, nuts, leaves

   Length/Weight: 13”/14 oz

   Conservation Status: Common- Near Threatened

Fun Facts:

  • African Grey Parrots are highly social birds that live in flocks.
  • There are two subspecies (types) of African grey parrots: the Congo, who is larger and has a bright red tail and the Timneh, who is smaller and darker and has a maroon tail.
  • When flying in large flocks African greys call to each other and communicate by flashing their bright red tails.
  • They have a long life span. They can live up to 60+ years.
  • They are highly intelligent and have been compared to human toddlers.
  • African greys are highly vocal and are amazing at mimicking sounds and language!
  • Alex is an African Grey Parrot that worked with Dr Irene Pepperberg and was known to do things such as sort colors, shapes and count! We’re going to write a separate post about Alex- he was a very special bird!

African grey parrots are very special birds! They’re very smart and social, a great combination! If you could teach a parrot to say one thing, what would it be? Ellie would teach him to trumpet like her! Alex the African Grey was a very famous parrot who could things we never thought parrots could do! Check out this short video! Unfortunately, Alex passed away, but the Alex Foundation continues research to show how smart parrots really are!

  

Categories: africa, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, rainforests, science, wildlife | Leave a comment

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