endangered species

We Hate To Say Goodbye

We Hate to Say Goodbye

It’s that time of the summer, when our campers pack up their trunks, gear, photos and get ready to go home. It’s such a bittersweet time. We sure have enjoyed sharing the ocean and all its inhabitants with you this year.

What was your favorite memory of camp? Who was your favorite animal?

Thank you for joining us this summer and we look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks at school!

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Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the Gong Show!

It’s the Gong Show!

Ok, it’s not the Gong Show, it’s the Wobbegong Show! The Wobbegong Shark Show that is!                 This is one of our favorite sharks! These masters of camouflage are so cool and funny looking- they’re like Muppet sharks- hehehehe!

Wobbegong Shark

 

Wobbegong Fun Facts:

  • The carpet sharks are found on the ocean floor.
  • Wobbegong comes from the aboriginal word for shaggy beard.
  • These carnivores eat octopus, crustaceans and fish.
  • They are ambush predators, who lay in waiting for prey to swim by.
  • The little whiskers are sensory barbs.
  • Wobbegongs are found in the Pacific & Indian Oceans.
  • Like other carpet sharks, wobbegongs have spiracles that pass water over their gills when they are resting on the ocean floor.
  • Wobbegongs are mostly nocturnal.

 

When we think of sharks, we think of the great white and that typical shape. But sharks come in all shapes and sizes. We love their diversity! Do you have a favorite shark? We hope you have enjoyed shark week here at Camp E&E!

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, sharks, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That is One Big Shark

That is One Big Shark

We are meeting the biggest shark and the biggest fish in the ocean on the 3rd day of shark week! These spotty gentle giants are amazing and we’re excited to share more about them with our campers!

Whale shark, Rhincodon typus, at Daedalus in the Egyptian Red Sea.

WHALE SHARK FUN FACTS: 

  • These plankton eaters filter their food from the oceans, unlike most of their other shark relatives.
  • Whale sharks call tropical waters around the world home.
  • They are known to migrate to find good food sources.
  • The largest fish in the world can grow up to 40 ft long.
  • Like the mako shark, the whale shark is ovoviviparous. They incubate eggs inside and give birth to live young. They can give birth to several hundreds of pups.
  • Whale sharks are covered in spots and each shark’s spots have a unique pattern.
  • Scientist use those spot patterns to ID individuals and study their populations.
  • These giants are listed as ENDANGERED by the IUCN.

 

Whale sharks are thought to have been swimming the world’s oceans for around 60 million years. They weren’t discovered by humans til the 1800s! Because they are popular to swim with in the wild, they are more valuable alive than dead (or for meat). In most places they are protected, which is great, because we couldn’t imagine the oceans without them.

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, sharks, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Built for Speed

Built for Speed

We’ll be meeting some excellent species and of course our friend Chompy will stop by! Make sure you check out our Instagram for some fun videos and extra pictures! Today we are meeting one of the fastest sharks in the ocean- the shortfin mako! Let’s learn more about this speed demon!

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SHORTFIN MAKO FUN FACTS:

  • These sleek sharks are found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide.
  • They can grow up to 12 feet and weigh up to 1,200 lbs.
  • Shortfin makos can swim up 45 mph, making them the fastest shark in the oceans.
  • They are also known for their ability to leap out of water.
  • These carnivores primarily eat boney fish- like tuna. They are apex predators and have no natural predators.
  • Makos are migratory and some individuals are known to make year long migrations.
  • They have a special blood vessel system that helps them keep their body temperature higher than the surrounding water- allowing them to hunt in cold waters.
  • Makos give birth to live young, but they are ovoviviparous- the eggs incubate inside the female and the young feed off any unfertilized eggs.

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These fast predators are listed at VULNERABLE by the IUCN. They are fished for their meat and for their fins. When an apex predator such as the mako is removed from its ecosystem it can be disastrous. To learn how you can help sharks like the mako, check out Shark Savers. 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, sharks, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

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Sand dunes fun facts:

  • Dunes are formed from wind and the tides. They are constantly changing and moving.
  • They protect the inland from storms and high winds.
  • Dunes are home to many animals including, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates.
  • They provide good protection for animal nurseries. Babies are well camouflaged and hidden away from the open beach.
  • Just at the edge of the dunes is where female sea turtles lay their eggs.
  • Grasses that grow in the dunes, protect them from erosion. They have very shallow root systems though and walking on the dunes for even a few feet can destroy an entire grass colony.

You can find birds, insects, invertebrates, mammals and birds throughout the dunes. You can also usually spot wildflowers and other plants along with the grass. These are some of the animals you can see on the dunes:

Marsh Rabbit!

Marsh Rabbit!

Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake (found on the south eastern coast of the U.S.)

Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake (found on the south eastern coast of the U.S.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piping plovers are shore birds. They lay their nests near or in the dunes.

Piping plovers are shore birds. They lay their nests near or in the dunes.

 

You can often spot ghost crabs and the holes that lead to their burrows in the dunes!

You can often spot ghost crabs and the holes that lead to their burrows in the dunes!

Purple sandpipers are another bird you'll find!

Purple sandpipers are another bird you’ll find!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knot Birdy

Knot Birdy

It’s another day of watching birds and we’re meeting the Red Knot. Anyone have a guess how they got that name? Let’s find out!

 

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RED KNOT FUN FACTS:

  • These red birds are actually more grey most of the year. They develop that color during mating season.
  • They are found on every continent except Antartica.
  • It is thought that they get their name from the grunting noise they make.
  • Their numbers have fallen in North America due to population declines of one of their favorite prey- horseshoe crabs eggs.
  • These carnivores have special receptors in their beaks that help them detect pressure. These receptors help them find crustaceans buried in the sand.
  • Egrets eat their crustacean prey whole- shell and all. They crush the shells in their gizzard (a muscular part of their stomach), In fact, they have the largest gizzard of any shore bird.
  • They are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.

 

These adorable birds remind us of plovers a bit. It’s important that scientists are following population numbers as we are seeing a decline.  Remember to keep our shores clean of any trash, as plastics and other trash can harm our shore bird friends.

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stars of the Sea

Stars of the Sea

We have met sea stars before, but we wanted to learn more about these amazing echinoderms at camp today!

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SEA STAR FUN FACTS: 

  • There are around 2,000 species of sea stars.
  • Some species live up to 35 years.
  • They have no brains or blood. They use water throughout their vascular system. The water also helps them move their tube feet.
  • Sea stars do have simple eyes that see light and dark.
  • Sea stars have little plates of calcium carbonate to help protect them
  • These carnivores push their stomachs outside their mouths and digest their food before pulling the stomach back in the body.
  • Each arm of the sea star has around 15,000 tube feet. These feet secret a glue like substance to help them attach to rocks.
  • Some sea stars- like the sun star, can have up to 50 arms and weigh 11 lbs.
  • Like their relatives the brittle stars, they can regenerate arms.

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We love sea stars! They come in all sizes and colors- like pink, purple and blue! Do you have a favorite color sea star?

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, sea stars, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Eat that Cucumber

Don’t Eat that Cucumber

Who’s excited to meet today’s echinoderm? It’s a pretty crazy looking one! Let’s meet the sea cucumber!

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SEA CUCUMBER FUN FACTS:

  • Sea cucumbers have tentacles around their mouths. They use those to grab small waste materials or tiny animals in the oceans.
  •  Sea cucumbers can discharge a sticky substance to ward off predators. They can also expel their internal organs to deter a predator. Don’t worry They regenerate those.
  • They have no faces or eyes.
  • Sea cucumbers take in water through their bum to extract oxygen using respiratory trees.
  • They also poop calcium carbonate, a building material for coral.
  • These not too exciting animals are important for breaking down too much organic material in the ocean floor. They are often called nature’s vacuum cleaners.

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While they don’t look like much and really they aren’t much more that a tubular eating & pooping machine, they are one of the oceans’ under appreciated animals.

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet a Hog?

Meet a Hog?

We’re back on the Camp E&E boat today to meet some other fish! We may even done our snorkeling gear tomorrow! Today we’re saying hello to a species that is named after another farm animal- but this time they are named after a hog!

 

Meet the Hogfish

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FUN FACTS:

  • Hogfish have long snouts that they use to root around the ocean floor looking for prey.
  • They often make a grunting noise when looking for food too. This is where they get their famous name- the hogfish.
  • These carnivores are big fans of crustaceans.
  • Hogfish are Sequential hermaphrodites. That means they change their sex during their lifetime. All hogfish start off as female and change to male as they mature.
  • Males have a large black spot on their behind their pectoral fin and are a bright orange or red. Females are grey or brown.
  • They are members of the wrasse family, but are closely related to parrotfish.
  • These popular recreational fish are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. The number of individuals that are fished is controlled to avoid overfishing.

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Penguins!

Penguins!

We are meeting an adorable species of flightless bird today, the chinstrap penguin! Everybody practice their waddle!

 

 

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Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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