mammals

Hello Dingo!

Hello Dingo!

We met one of Australia’s most iconic animals- the dingo! These canines are really neat and we so enjoyed watching the ones we spotted!

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Date: 4/18

Location: Great Victorian Desert

Dingo Fun Facts:

  • Dingoes are descendants of the Asian dingo. They are thought to have been introduced to Australia 3,000-4,000 years ago.
  • They can be solitary or found in packs.
  • Dingoes are the largest predator in Australia.
  • Dingoes in the desert are reddish-brown in color and are smaller than their cousin.

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  • Dingoes have excellent vision and can turn their heads about 180 degrees.
  • They have flexible wrist that gives them the ability to climb.
  • Dingoes do not bark, but they yodel/howl.

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Dingoes are quiet intelligent and often they are not loved by livestock farmers. They are predators you know! We think they are just the coolest!

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

Hello Little Lemur!

Hello Little Lemur!

We are meeting our last animal on Madagascar! It’s a lemur of course! We are so excited! We are heading to the desert of Australia for the month of April! Woot! Woot! Let’s meet this special animal first!

mouse lemur

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Date: 3/30

Location: Madagascar

Grey Mouse Lemur Fun Facts:

  • Grey mouse lemurs are the largest members of the mouse lemur family. It is still one of the smallest primates in the world.
  • They are arboreal and nocturnal.
  • They forage for food alone, but sleep in groups in trees during the night.

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  • Those long tails help the mouse lemur navigate their treetop homes.
  • They store fat in their tails during the dry season, when food may not be as plentiful.
  • Grey mouse lemurs enter a daily state of torpor during the dry season. Their body temperatures drop and metabolism slow down to conserve energy.

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We enjoyed watching these tiny lemurs forage during the night! Good thing we have night goggles! We have enjoyed our time on this magical island! We will have to come back!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civet Civet

Civet Civet!

We spent the last nights of our adventure here in Madagascar looking for some really neat nocturnal animals! (And for those who asked- we are working on a glossary.)  We found the first of our discoveries on the forest floor looking for eats. This strange animal is so cool! We could hardly contain our excitement when we spotted it!

malagasy civet

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Date: 3/29

Location: Madagascar forest

Malagasy Civet Fun Facts:

  • Malagasy civets are shy animals.
  • They can be territorial. They scent mark their territories.
  • Malagasy civets are very vocal. They make a series of noises including grunts.
  • They spend their days asleep in trees and crevices.

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  • They are related to mongooses and fossa.
  • Malagasy civets are the second largest natural predator on Madagascar- the fossa is the largest.

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We love these unusual little animals. They remind of us a raccoon and a fox put together! What do you think?

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ghostly Sounds!

Ghostly Sounds!

Today, we met another super awesome lemur today! They aren’t as crazy looking as the aye-aye we met last week, but they are just as cool.

indri

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Date: 3/21

Location: Madagascar

Indri Fun Facts:

  • Indri are the largest lemur on earth.
  • They are arboreal and diurnal.
  • The native Malagasy name for them is babakoto.
  • Indri leap in a upright position from tree to tree.

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  • Indri mate for life and live in small family groups.
  • Indri are known for their loud songs that can be sung several times a day! These songs/calls are as haunting as they are beautiful!
  • Indri are considered sacred among the native people of Madagascar.

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We so enjoyed watching these amazing lemurs. Those calls are so loud! Unfortunately, Indri are critically endangered mostly due to habitat loss. It is crucial that we all work together to use our resources wisely! Let’s all recycle as much as possible!

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, Environment, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello Little Tenrec!

Hello Little Tenrec!

We spent our last day of the week in search of a very small mammal that looks like a hedgehog, but it’s not. The tenrec is found only in Madagascar and while they are similar they are not hedgehog relatives.

common tenrec

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Date: 3/16

Location: Madasgascar

Common Tenrec Fun Facts:

  • They are also known as the tailess tenrec. They are the largest tenrec species.
  • Common tenrecs do have a tail- up to 1 1/2 cm in length.
  • Tenrecs are related is not related to hedgehogs. It is thought that is related to elephants, aardvarks and manatees.
  • Tenrecs roll in a ball and have spines similar to hedgehogs, but they do not have the same strong muscle structure of a hedgehog.

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  • Tenrecs roll in sand to help them keep clean.
  • They can have up 32 babies at at time. All of the babies are born without spines.

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We love hedgehogs and their non cousin the tenrec! Can you believe that they might be related to Ellie? Who doesn’t love those cute little feet and funny ears!

 

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

Aye-Aye Captain!

Aye-Aye Captain!

We slept all day after looking for frogs the night before! Our next adventure was at night too. We went looking for a shy and elusive primate that doesn’t look like a primate at all!

aye aye

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Date: 3/14

Location:  Madagascar

Aye-Aye Fun Facts:

  • Aye-aye’s are the largest nocturnal primate in the world.
  • They are members of the prosimian family, which includes lemurs.
  • They have one long stick like finger they use to grab grubs out of trees. They also use it to tap on trees and listen for bug tunnels!
  • Aye-aye’s are arboreal and rarely if never come to the ground.

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  • Aye-aye’s have long bushy tails to help them navigate their tree homes. In fact they have the longest tail of any prosimian!
  • They sleep during the day in nests of twigs. They rotate nests.
  • Aye-aye’s are solitary. They mark their territory with scent glands in their faces, necks and bums.

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These wild and weird animals are alien looking! When scientists first discovered them they thought they were rodents! Nope- they are primates- related to apes, monkeys and lemurs. Who knew? The world’s rainforests are full such amazing creatures!

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

Is That a Cat?

Is That a Cat?

We were so excited to meet today’s animal. We have seen this animal in zoos, but spotting this carnivore on Madagascar was a joy! We were jumping for joy- quietly of course!

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Date: 3/8

Location: Madagascar

Fossa Fun Facts:

  • Fossas are solitary.
  • Fossas are related to mongooses and civets.
  • They are the largest predator on the island of Madagascar.
  • Fossas are excellent climbers and spent a great deal of time in the trees.

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  • Fossas use scent glands to mark their territory.
  • They have retractable claws.
  • Fossas have lost much of their forest home.

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It was great treat to spot this elusive and shy creature. They are gorgeous, stealthy and agile! Woohoo! We love fossas!

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

The Infamous Badger

The Infamous Badger

We have spent our day looking for an infamous inhabitant of the Serengeti- the honey badger! These tenacious creatures are the stuff of legends. We learned so much about them!

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Date: 2/22

Location: Serengeti

Honey Badger Fun Facts:

  • Another name for the honey badger is the ratel.
  • They have loose thick skin that helps protect them from predators. Even porcupine quills can not penetrate it.
  • Honey badgers live in burrows. They can dig a hiding burrow in a matter of minutes.
  • Honey badgers are intelligent and are known to use tools.

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  • They are tenacious and will attack animals much larger than themselves, including lions.
  • Honey badgers have a gland at the base of their tale that releases a foul smelling liquid. It is used to mark their territory and to ward off predators.
  • They partner with honeyguide birds to locate a hive. The birds enjoy the spoils after the honey badger destroys the hive.

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We love these nasty, tough critters. They are one of the most fascinating animals we have seen. We sure wouldn’t pick a fight with one!

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

A is for Aardvark

A is for Aardvark

We had a lovely weekend exploring the area on our own. We headed out Sunday night with our ranger to see if we could find one super awesome and odd looking animal- the aardvark. We were so excited to find one snuffling around for eats!

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Date: 2/20

Location: Serengeti

Aardvark Fun Facts:

  • Aardvarks are burrowers. They live in large burrows during the day and forage for food at night.
  • They have large claws for digging in to ant and termite mounds. Those claws also help protect them.
  • Aardvarks have long tongues they use to eat their favorite meal. They close their nostrils to avoid dust and getting the insects in their snouts.

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  • Aardvarks have a keen sense of hearing with those large ears.
  • They have tough skin with little fur that helps protect them from insect bites.
  • Aardvarks can eat up 50,000 insects a day.
  • Aardvarks have webbed feet.

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Aardvarks are funny looking creatures with their large ears, long thick tails, snouts & claws. They are the most fun if you ask us! We can’t help but giggle when we see one! Do you love them as much as we do?

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

Hello Antelope!

Hello Antelope!

So nice to start off the week off enjoying the herds of animals on the plains! We took particular interest in the common eland. These large antelopes are graceful!

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Date: 2/13

Location: Serengeti

Common Eland Fun Facts:

  • The common eland is the second largest antelope in the world. The giant eland is the biggest.
  • Eland is Dutch for Elk.

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  • A male’s horns are thicker and shorter. They use their horns to compete for females during mating season.
  • Females use their horns for defense.
  • While they are not the fastest antelope, they can run long distances at slower speeds. They can also jump up to 8 ft.
  • Common elands are crepuscular.
  • They make a clicking sound when walking or running. This is unusual for antelopes.

 

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We loved watching these large and graceful animals. Often when you think of antelopes, you think of Thompson Gazelles. But these gentle giants and their tapping toes are super neat!

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

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