We hanging out on the dock today, ready to meet some otters! Come join us campers as we say to some super cute residents of Lake Salamander!
North American River Otter Fun Facts:
- These members of the weasel family can grow up to 31 inches long and weigh up to 30 lbs.
- Otters love burrows. They live in burrows near the body of water they call home. Often the burrow allows them to directly enter the water too.
- Otters are predators and carnivores. They eat fish, amphibians and shellfish.
- They are known for their playful behavior. They love to slide and interact with each other.
- Even though they play with each other, otters prefer to live in their burrow alone or with offspring while they are young.
- They have long powerful tails that make up about 40% of their body length. Those tails help propel them through the water.
- Otters are known to be very vocal.
- They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.
We love the otters that call this area home! They often visit us while we are out canoeing on the lake. They are quiet chatty and so much fun!
Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, marsupial, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: animals, education, education blog, mammals, nature, nature blog, otters, science, summer camp, wildlife
Meet Ellie’s Cousin
We are going to meet a small, rodent look a-like today. But, guess what? It’s not a rodent, it’s one of Ellie’s closest living relatives! Are you ready to go on today’s adventure?
Cape Rock Hyrax Fun Facts:
- Cape Hyrax can grow up to 12 inches and weigh up to 13 pounds.
- Their teeth, toes and skull are structured like elephants.
- These little herbivores even have two elongated teeth like the tusks of an elephant.
- They live in family groups of 20-80 individuals.
- Hyrax have little glands on their backs they use to mark their territory.
- They do have elongated noses too. Males have longer noses than females.
- Hyrax have little suction cup like pads on their feet to help climb.
- These little prey animals can spot a predators over 900 feet away.
- They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN>
These funny little critters of course is one of our favorites! We bet you would have never guessed they shared an ancestor with elephants.
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, childeren, conservation, education, envrionment, nature, nature blogs, science, wildlife
We are off to the southern part of the country for a day trip to locate one small mammal. They are named after elephants, but we can assure you they are not elephants. Grab your gear and let’s head off on today’s adventure to meet the cape elephant shrew.
Cape Elephant Shrew Fun Facts:
- Shrews are distantly related to moles. They are not rodents.
- They are also called the Cape Elephant Sengi.
- The cape elephant shrew weighs around 50 grams.
- These insectivores eats insects of all kinds.
- They get their names from their long noses like look like and elephant’s trunk.
- Their scientific name includes the word- Elephantulus.
- They prefer dry, rocky and arid habitats.
- They are listed as LEAST CONCERN by the IUCN.
What a joy it was to spot this tiny little animal. It’s not easy and it took some patience waiting in an area where they are known to hunt for insects. Sometime we forget that habitats all around the world have some amazing little animals. These forgotten creatures are important too.
Categories: adventure, africa, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, children, conservation, education, education blog, envrionment, nature, nature blog, science, wildlife
Off to South Africa
Did you guess where are our next adventure will be? If you guessed South Africa- you are correct! Yay! We are off to meet some of the iconic animals of this beautiful country, but first let’s learn more about South Africa today!
South Africa Fun Facts:
- Table Mountain in Cape Town in one of the oldest mountains in the world.
- The waters off the coast of South Africa can be quiet dangerous. It is believed that 2,000 shipwreck are in the waters there.
- South Africa is the 2nd largest producer of fruits in the nation.
- The largest land mammal, the elephant calls South Africa home, as does the smallest mammal in the world- the least dwarf shrew.
- Around 900 species of birds call South Africa home.
- South Africa is home to Kruger National Park. The park is a huge! It is nearly 500,000 acres.
- Kruger is home to cheetah, elephants, springbok, rhinos, zebra, giraffe and many other species.
- Kruger was established in 1898.
Kruger is where we will be setting up our base camp for most of this trip! We are so excited to see of the animals of this amazing spot- especially Ellie’s relatives.
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, endangered species, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, children, conservation, education, education blog, endangered species, envrionment, nature blog, nature blogs, science, wildlife
We spent the last few days snorkeling in and around the reefs around these magically islands. We met so many spectacular animals and we are sharing one with you today!
Spotted Moray Eel:
- Spotted morays can grow up to 6 ft long and weigh up to 5 1/2 lbs.
- These carnivores eat fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
- Spotted morays have two sets of jaws. The first set is in the front of their mouths. The second set is in the esophagus. The second set of jaws grabs the prey and pushes it down the throat.
- They have poor eyesight. They use their excellent sense of smell to locate prey.
- They are nocturnal.
- Typically spotted morays are nocturnal.
- They are listed as Threatened by the ICUN.
We had a blast snorkeling and it was even more special to meet the shy and elusive eels. They love to hide among the coral and in crevices in the rocks!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, conservatoin, education, education blog, educational, envrionment, fish, nature, nature blogs, oceans, science, wildlife
Our annual printable Valentines are here! Download, cut out, glue to a blank card and give! Don’t forget the glitter! Hehehe!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, crafts, education, elephants, horses, nature, octopus, Today's Post, Valentines
Tags: animal, animals, cards, crafts, elephants, horses, octopus, valentines
End of the Year!
Well it’s the end of the year and we had such a fabulous time traveling all around the world to meet so many amazing animals that we share this big planet with! Thank you to everyone who joined us! We are taking next week off to get ready for Summer Camp on June 5th! We’ll be heading back to Lake Salamander and then off to beach camp in July! Woohoo- bring on the fun in the sun!
Here are some of our year book pictures from the university with some inspirational quotes!
Make new friends wherever you go!
Tip the scales in your favor- reduce, reuse and recycle!
Live by this bear principle- honey is better shared.
Think twice before calling someone a bird brain- we are quiet smart!
Learn something new everyday!
If it comes from the horses mouth- you know it punny!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife
Tags: animal, children, conservation, education, environment, nature, science, wildlife
WORLD ELEPHANT DAY!
It’s World Elephant Day and Ellie is sharing just a few of the reasons elephants are so awesome! She’ll also be sharing some reasons why they need your help!
We lose an elephant to poachers every 15 minutes. That’s 96 elephants every day!
These magnificent creatures are killed for their tusks! Tusks that are used to make trinkets, carvings and jewelry. We must all work to stop this! There are ways you can help!
Educate others! Donate to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Get involved- make your voice heard! Check out 96 elephants to learn more about wildlife crime and how you can help stop it! Together we can protect elephants!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, endangered species, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, children, conservation, education, elephants, endangered species, environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife
Ellie and Edmond Feet!
We thought it would be fun to talk about our feet first on this fine feet week! We think our feet are pretty cool and we hope you’ll learn something about them too!
- We elephants essentially walk on our tip toes! This helps us walk quietly! We’d be good ninjas! Hahahahaha!
- We have toenails. They are not attached to any specific digit. These are worn down when we walk. In zoos, elephants get regular pedicures to keep those toenails healthy! Spa day anyone?
- Yes! We elephants have 5 digits in our feet! They are hidden in the skin and fatty tissue that makes up our feet.
- Generally the circumference of our feet is 4 1/2 feet. Our footprint can be round to oval shaped.
- You can tell the age and height of an elephant by their footprint!
- Animals can be classified by the shape of their feet. We elephants are considered near-ungulates because we have toenails. Our closing living relative- the rock hyrax has a very similar kind of foot. It is much smaller though!
- The bottom of our feet is full of grooves and ridges that help us stay stable and walk in all kinds of habitats. The bottom is also covered in tough fatty tissue that acts as a shock absorber and helps us sneak up on hyenas! (Ok, we don’t actually do that!)
- We elephants use low frequency rumbles that travel through the ground to “hear” with our feet! We can feel those vibrations as far as 20 miles away! This is how we know where all the good watering hole dance parties are- just kidding!
- Horse feet grow until we around 6 years old!
- My hooves are made to absorb shock and weight (which increases when I’m galloping).
- Hooves are flexible and expand when I run or stand.
- The exterior of the my hooves is covered in keratin! The same thing that makes up a rhino’s horn!
- The size of a horse’s foot is relative to the size of the horse! Clydesdale have bigger feet than me for sure!
- The bottom part of my foot is called the frog! I know- it is a silly name!
- My hooves need to be trimmed to stay healthy. Wild horses do this naturally when running!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, elephants, Environment, horses, nature, science, wildlife
Tags: adventure, animals, children, conservation, education, environment, nature, science, wildlife