turtles

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 67

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 67

We’re going to the coast of Central America to find one cool sea reptile! So let’s grab our beach towels and our quiet voices because we do not want to disturb these majestic creatures as they come ashore!
e & e coast

MEET THE OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLE!

olive ridley sea turtle   Range/Habitat: Tropical oceans/ Atlantic-Indian-Pacific oceans

   Diet: Carnivores: fish, crustaceans, squid

   Length/Weight: 20-30”/ up to 100 lbs

   Conservation Status: vulnerable

 

Fun Facts:

  •        Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are one of the smallest members of the sea turtle family.
  •        They have a smooth, olive colored carapace.
  •        Olive Ridley Sea turtles nest all over the world.
  •        Olive Ridley sea turtles are closely related to the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle.
  •      You can tell the difference between a male and female, by looking at the tail.  The males’ tail sticks out.

We looooove sea turtles and the Olive Ridley’s are no exception. Like all other sea turtles they vulnerable and there are easy ways to help! One big tip: Pick Up Trash! Sea turtles mistake ocean trash for food and eat it. Let’s all pledge to pick up our trash!

olive ridley sea turtle2   olive ridley sea turtle3

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 59

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 59

We’re going exploring in the US today for an aquatic reptile with a bite! Let’s grab our wellies and your night vision goggles and let’s go exploring near a pond and see if we can find today’s animal!

EE NIGHT MARSH

MEET THE COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE!

common snapping turtle   Range/Habitat: South Canada-USA-Mexico/ ponds, lakes & streams

   Diet: Omnivore: fish, frogs, aquatic plants

   Length/Weight: 10-20”/9.5-35 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Common Snapping Turtles carapaces (top shell) vary in color, from brown to green.
  • They have long tails.
  • Common snapping turtles are nocturnal.
  • Common snapping turtles spend most of their lives in water.
  • They have webbed feet.
  • Common snapping turtles hibernate in cold weather.
  • Female common snapping turtles lay a clutch of eggs and the sex of the babies is determined by the temperature of the nest.

Common snapping turtles are such amazing creatures. Those snapping beaks are definitely built for eating! We’ll stay away those!

common snapping turtle2  common snapping turtle3

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 54

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #54

It’s that wondrous day of the week, where we go on an adventure to meet a reptile and today we are off to the marshes of North America to find one colorful turtle! Apparently they like painting! Hahahaha!

e & e wetlands

MEET THE PAINTED TURTLE!

painted turtle   Range/Habitat: North America/lakes, rivers, ponds

   Diet: Omnivores: bugs, plants

   Length: 6-10”

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Painted turtles are freshwater turtles.
  • They have a flat, smooth carapace (top shell).
  • Painted turtles have yellow stripes on their necks and orange coloration on their bottom shells.
  • Painted turtles bask in the sun in groups.
  • They sleep on the bottom of the river at night.
  • In colder climates Painted turtles hibernate during the winter.

Painted turtles are so gorgeous. They are great additions to any watery habitat! We love to count turtles piled on logs and rocks in the summertime! How about you?

painted turtle2     painted turtle3

 

 

 

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

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 51

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #51

Who’s ready to go to the Mediterranean with us today to meet a handsome and sturdy reptile? We knew you guys would be up for another fantastic adventure, so let’s do this!

MEET THE HERMANN’S TORTOISE!

   Range/Habitat: Southeast Europe-Mediterranean Islands/ grasslands

   Diet: Omnivore: flowers, fruit, leaves, slugs

   Length: 6-8”

   Conservation Status: near threatened

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Hermann’s Tortoise coloration varies by the area that they live in.
  • They have a domed carapace (top shell).
  • Hermann’s tortoises hide in dense vegetation.
  • The male Hermann’s tortoises are smaller than the females.
  • Hermann’s tortoises hibernate in colder areas of their range.

Hermann’s tortoises are so cute! We are such huge tortoise and turtle fans! They come with their own built in shell! What’s your favorite thing about them?

Categories: adventure, Animals, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 48

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #48

We’re going on a short road trip today to meet one cute but stinky reptile! These turtles inhabit our local area and we’ve even met a few on twitter! So let’s get on our hiking shoes and go looking for these great reptiles!

MEET THE STINKPOT!

   Range/Habitat: Southeastern United States/ wetlands, ponds

   Diet: Omnivore: plants, insects, mollusks

   Length: 3 ¼-5”

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Stinkpots are also known as the Common Musk Turtle.
  • They expel a foul musk odor as a defense mechanism.
  • Stinkpots spend most of the lives in water.
  • They are often covered in algae.
  • Stinkpot males have longer tails than females.
  • They have barbells on their chin that help them find food.
  • Stinkpots use their tongues to breathe underwater.

Stinkpots are such cute little turtles! So many animals use the defense of emitting a stinky smell, so it must work! The best part of these little turtles is their fun name- Stinkpots! Try saying it without smiling!

  

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, reptiles, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 46

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #46

We’re jetting off to New Guinea to find one odd looking reptile! Grab your wellies and a snack because we’re taking a walk in some freshwater rivers! Let’s do this!

MEET THE PIG NOSED RIVER TURTLE!

   Range/Habitat: S New Guinea-North Australia/rivers-lakes

   Diet: Omnivore: fruits, fish, snails

   Length: 28-30”

   Conservation Status: vulnerable

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Pig nosed river turtles have a pig like snout. This helps them breathe when they are submerged in water.
  • Pig nosed river turtles are also known the Fly River turtles.
  • They have flipper like limbs that resemble a sea turtle more than a freshwater turtle.
  • Pig nosed river turtles have a soft, leathery skin on top of their carapace (top shell).
  • They are unlike any other freshwater turtle alive today.
  • Pig nosed river turtles are territorial.

We think these crazy looking turtles are so cool! They look like a pig, a sea turtle and a freshwater turtle all meshed in to one animal! If you could make a mixed up animal what you would make?

 

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

TENNESSEE AQUARIUM ROAD TRIP!

Field Trip to the Tennessee Aquarium!

Recently we took a road trip to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee and man did we have a great time! The Tennessee Aquarium has not one but TWO buildings to explore! The first one is dedicated to fresh water habitats and the second building houses some of your favorite ocean dwelling animals! That’s right everyone, you can spend your day visiting animals from all over the world and that is exactly what we did!

We started out hanging out in the plaza, getting the lay of the land and deciding on where we should start.

Out front of the Aquarium!

We decided to head into the Freshwater building first! There, they not only have great animal exhibits, but they have Ranger Rick’s backyard safari!

We headed down to check this area out  and catch a live animal encounter! We stayed to meet some cool birds, including the Galah.

 

 

Our next stop was to check out some sea horses and their relatives! They are just so cute!

Pipefish

 

Piprfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sea dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then boarded the escalator that takes you to the top of the building, where you make your journey through cool freshwater habitats! Isn’t it neat that you start from the top and make your way down to the bottom!

A really biiig tree!

This is where we met some adorable river otters!

Otters have a good time!

These guys are so playful and graceful; we could have stayed there for hours! But alas, we had to keep going, there was much more to see! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then as we kept exploring we stumbled upon some amazing amphibians! Check out these frogs and newts!

Poison Dart Frog!

Newt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re even bigger than this guy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was a big exhibit with all kinds of reptiles, fish and birds! They all live in one habitat, because that’s how it would be in the wild. Well, the American Alligator was separated from the other animals, but that’s understandable.

Alligator tail!

Turtle party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turtle and ducks getting along!

 

Off we went to find turtles and tortoises! Two of our favorites in this exhibit were the Indian Star Tortoise

Indian Star Tortoise

and the Long neck turtle.

Long neck turtle!

Wow, turtles and tortoises come in so many shapes and sizes! The big exhibit in this building was shut down while we there, because the aquarium was prepping for their new exhibit River Giants! That’s ok, because it just gives us a reason to go back :)! We just love all the conservation messages that the aquarium has all around too!

We need to protect our rivers!

 

We took a lunch break to refuel before heading over to the second building! We chomped on some apples and hay by the Tennessee River. As we were sitting there we watched a wild Great Blue Heron have some lunch too! He scooped up a fish from the river and swallowed it whole! YUM!

Heron! Look closely and you’ll see the fish in his throat!

Having lunch by the river!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, we were ready for our second adventure for the day! We found a lovely habitat that took us to basin of the Amazon!

Tropical!

 

We first found some very spotty fresh water sting rays! Did you know that there are rays living in rivers? Pretty cool!

Stingrays!

Then we found a pair of Hyacinth Macaws! These beautiful big blue birds were so much fun to watch! We stood there for a good 15 minutes or so watching their antics!

upside down!

 

It’s the pair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our favorite shot of the day! Bonk!

 

So pretty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These gorgeous birds are the largest flighted parrot on the planet!

We then stumbled into the butterfly habitat! Edmond was excited because he just loooves butterflies! We had a hard time getting pictures of these insects as they fly away so very fast. But it was so fun to find them.

Do you see the butterfly?

As we headed out of the warm, humid habitat that the butterflies live in, we began to get colder. Yep, we were getting close to the penguin habiat! The aquarium has gentoo and macaroni penguins and they are so cute! They were getting ready for breading season and gathering rocks to make nests. The penguins are very picky about the rocks they choose and work very hard to make the nests! Be careful though, penguins have been known to steal other penguin’s rocks!

Penguins!

He’s getting a rock to build a nest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally went off in search of sharks!

Thanks goodness we found a shark cage!

And we were in luck, because they have them at the aquarium! Too bad we couldn’t get a photo of them, but they have to keep swimming in order to breathe.

So it was off to meet some cephalopods! We chilled out and watched the octopus for a while! He was very active and just fascinating!

Octopus!

 

Look at those suckers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ooooo…

 

We wanted to cuddle with the cuttlefish we saw, but they weren’t up for it. Oh well, maybe next time.

Hello cuttlefish!

As we made our way out, we stopped for a photo op!

It feels like we’re in the ocean!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last stop of the day was at the IMAX theater where we saw a movie about coral reefs!

Lobby of the IMAX theater! We have but one world to share!

Coral reefs are one of the most amazing habitats on the planet! It made us want to go snorkeling immediately!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had an amazing time at the Tennessee Aquarium! If you’re ever in Chattanooga, you have to go there! They do a great job with their exhibits, their animals and their conservation message!

On our way home! We had a great day!

 

Categories: adventure, amphibians, Animals, Children, education, Environment, fish, Local, nature, oceans, octopus, penguins, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WORLD OCEANS DAY!!

HAPPY WORLD’S OCEANS DAY!!

We’re celebrating the world’s oceans and their inhabitants today! The oceans of the world are magnificent in many ways! We land dwelling creatures have a hard time wrapping our heads around the oceans’ size and depth! Today we’re going to celebrate this watery habitat by sharing some fun facts and photos! We’ll also be sharing ways for you to help keep our oceans clean and healthy! And please share with us what you love about the ocean and its animals!

  • It’s estimated that 50-80% of life on earth live in the ocean.
  • The oceans have 99% of living space on the planet!
  • Humans have only explored 5-10% of the world’s oceans.
  • The oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface!
  • The deepest point in the ocean is the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean!
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on earth!
  • The oceans absorb CO2 to help keep our air clean.
  • The ocean absorbs heat from the atmosphere and distributes that warmth around the planet!

Wow! The ocean is sooo large and strange! Can you believe humans have only explored 10% of them? We have so much to learn! Let’s check out some photos of the some of the wild and wonderful creatures that call the ocean their home!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is vital that we keep the world’s oceans clean and healthy not just for the animals that call it home, but for the land dwelling animals too! Want to know some easy ways to help? Well, we have those for you right here!

  • Pick up your trash! Trash can float into the ocean and it is often mistaken for food by many animals!
  • Pick up your pet’s waste. Poop is not good for anyone J!
  • Participate in a local beach or river clean-up! Remember that all rivers eventually make their ways to the oceans and so can the trash in them.
  • Use cloth or reusable bags when shopping. Plastic bags are a big killer of ocean life. Sea turtles especially mistake them for their favorite food- jellies.
  •  Eat Sustainable Seafood. We are eating many species in to extinction. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program! They even have a smart phone app that helps you pick out the best seafood to eat!
  • When you fish, make sure you throw away extra line and hooks. The hooks can become embedded in all kinds of creatures and the line can be swallowed or wrap around an animal.
  • Cut up your soda six pack rings.
  • RECYCLE!
  • Join an organization that works to protect the world’s oceans, like the Ocean Conservancy!
  • Visit your local aquarium and learn about some amazing animals! Also learn what your aquarium is doing for conservation! 
Categories: Animals, Children, education, Environment, fish, mammals, nature, oceans, octopus, penguins, science, turtles, wildlife, Worlds Oceans Day | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 37

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 37

We’re staying in the North American woods today to find a little reptile who lives in ponds! Grab your bug spray and your waders because we’re off to find this great reptile!

MEET THE WOOD TURTLE!

   Range/Habitat: Southeast Canada-Northern United States/ponds, woods,

streams

   Diet: Omnivore: worms, slugs, leaves, insects

   Length: 5 ½-7 ½”

   Conservation Status: endangered

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Wood turtles are diurnal (active during the day).
  • They are excellent climbers.
  • Wood turtles have pyramid shaped scutes.
  • Wood turtles have perfect coloration to camouflage in their habitat.
  • They hibernate in rivers in winter.
  • Wood turtles are intelligent and have excellent homing skills (finding their way back to their habitat).
  • They can live up to 40 years.

Wood turtles are really amazing turtles. Scientists have even tested these turtles in mazes and they do as well as rats! Pretty cool! They are endangered though, primarily due to habitat loss and taking the turtles from the wild. Turtles can make great pets, but it is very important that if you get a turtle, you get them from reputable breeder and not the wild!

 

  

 

 

Categories: Animals, backyard, Children, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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