Posts Tagged With: chidlren




Hello campers! We’re heading out on a boat ride today to meet one of animals that calls the ocean just offshore from camp home.  Any guess on the elasmobranch we’re going to meet from our title clue? Could cow be in the name?


Meet the Cownose Ray


Fun Facts: 

  • These adorable rays are named after that blunt square- cow shaped nose.
  • They are typically found near the surface of the ocean.
  • Cownose rays give birth to a live pup once a year.
  • These carnivores feed on oysters, clams and other mollusks. They have crushing plates – not teeth- to crush open shells and get to the soft bodies of their prey.
  • They do have mildly venomous barbs, but only use those when threatened. When rays are known to be in local waters, its a good idea to shuffle your feet when walking in the ocean as to not step on one accidentally.
  • These little sea flapper (hehehe) flap their fins to swim. They belong to their own group of rays.
  • These cartilaginous (skeletons made of cartilage) fish, are known for their migrations from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay. They can be seen in schools with up to 10,000 individuals.

These amazing animals are one of our favorites. They are often spotted in aquariums too. Like other rays they have spiracles that pass water over their gills when they rest on the bottom of the ocean.



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

We Spy Rosettes!

We Spy Rosettes!

We headed to local treehouse to spot the next animal as it is the largest predator in the area. We thought it best to stay out of it’s way, but wow is it a gorgeous cat! Are you ready to learn who we saw?


Jaguar Fun Facts: 

  • Jaguars are covered in spots called rosettes. These help them blend in with the rainforest.
  • Jaguar rosettes are different than leopard spots. Jaguars have a spot in the middle!
  • They are the largest cat in the Americas, growing up to 7ft long and up to 200 lbs. Wow!
  • They are solitary and territorial.
  • These large cats are more active than other large cats, like lions. They have recently found to be most active as dusk and dawn (crespuscular).
  • They are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.


We loved watching this stealthy predator prowl the forest floor. They do spend most of their time on the ground, but the are able climbers.


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

Back to Basics- Reptiles & Amphibians

Back to Basics- Reptiles & Amphibians

We are on our last day of learning the basics on the groups! We have much more to learn! Today Professor Carl the Chameleon is catching everyone up on reptiles and amphibians.



Let’s learn some reptile basics first and then more about our amphibian friends.

There are around 7,984 reptile species on earth. Reptiles first appeared on earth around 340 million years ago. The largest group of reptiles is lizards. You can find us on most continents except Antarctica. You can even find some of us in the worlds’ oceans.

What makes a reptile a reptile?

  • We are covered in scales.
  • We lay eggs.
  • We are ectothermic.
  • We have lungs for breathing.
  • We are vertebrates.


Our scales cover our epidermis and they are made of keratin. When we grow we shed our scales. Some of us do this in pieces and some of us, like snakes- shed their whole layer at once.

Turtles, tortoises, crocodiles and most lizards have movable eyelids. Snakes have a fixed clear eye covering that they shed when they grow too.

Most reptiles have poor hearing and none of us can taste.

Snakes and some lizards have a forked tongue that they “smell” with. They pick up scent molecules with their tongue and use an organ in their brain called the Jacobson’s organ to analyze those molecules.

sea turtle

Most reptiles lay their eggs and leave them. They provide no parental care for their young.  There are some reptiles that incubate their eggs inside their body and give birth to live young.  The crocodilian family and a few lizards to protect their eggs and young.





Now let’s talk some about our amphibian friends.

There are around 5,000 species of amphibians. They have been around for 370 million years.  There are three groups of amphibians; newts/salamander, frogs/toads and caecilians.

The word amphibian means dual life. They live a life in the water (usually as young) and then on land (usually as adults).

What makes an amphibian an amphibian?

  • We are ectothermic.
  • We are vertebrates.
  • We breathe through our skin.
  • We go through metamorphosis. We do not look the same as young as we do as adults.

Amphibian young use gills to breathe. Young frogs and toads are called tadpoles and they have tails and no legs.

We have no scales and no hair. Our skin can absorb water and we need water to keep it moist, this helps us breathe. We all have poison glands in our skin!

Adult amphibians have lungs, but we do not have rib cages. We can also absorb oxygen through our skin and through the lining of our mouth.

Most amphibians deposit eggs in water. We can lay anywhere from 2 to 50,000 eggs.



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

Say Hello to Our Stinky Friend

Say Hello to Our Stinky Friend


The Salamander Woods are home to another night time creature- the spotted skunk! You heard it here folks, not all skunks are striped- some are spotty! We’re going to learn more about them this evening as we roast marshmallows at the campfire!

spotted skunk

Spotted Skunk Fun Facts:

  • These skunks are not very big, only about 21 inches long with tail. They only weigh around 1 1/2 pounds!
  • They are part of the mustelid family, which include weasels, otters and badgers.
  • Spotted skunks are considered to be the most active of all the skunks.
  • They live underground or in trees.
  • These little stinkers stomp their feet before spraying a predator. They then do a handstand to get the best shot at shooting their prey with extra stinky spray.
  • They are omnivores.

spotted skunk2

We sure are glad the family of skunks here at camp are friendly. We would hate it if one of our campers was sprayed. Luckily we have a solitary tent for those who make get it! Hahahaha!

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

Blind in the Cave

Blind in the Cave


We are enjoying spelunking with the campers this week! Deep in the cave there is a lake, it is part of the same system of water that makes up Lake Salamander! It is in the cave lake we can find some of the most interesting and alien like animals on the earth! Make sure you have on your head lamps campers!

blind cave fish

Blind Cave Fish Fun Facts:

  • These little fish only get up to 4 1/2 inches long.
  • Blind cave fish have lost their ability to see and some of have even lost their eyeballs. Crazy right!?
  • They use their lateral lines along their bodies to get around. Those lateral lines detect different kinds of pressure.
  • They eat bat droppings.
  • Scientists think the fish lost their eyesight to reduce energy use!


blind cave fish2

These little fish were such a fun find! Woohoo! Camp is just the best!

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

One Large Bat

One Large Bat

We decided to explore some of the islands this week. We do love our oceans, but the islands have some really neat creatures to meet too! Today we are meeting one of the largest flying mammals in the world and we couldn’t be more excited!

flying fox








Date: 5/8

Location: Raja Ampat Islands

Large Flying Fox Fun Facts:

  • Large flying fox live in large colonies.
  • They are able to hang upside down just as smaller bats do.
  • Large flying foxes have long tongues to help them eat nectar and fruit.


  • Large flying foxes are pollinators and seed disperses. Their poop contains seeds that they disperse and they get pollen on their fur when they eat nectar. They spread the pollen from plant to plant.
  • They feed in the upside down position.

flying fox2

flying fox3








These large bats are so cool to see! We spotted a whole tree full just roosting and came back at night to watch them head out to find food! They fly silently, but they are a noisy bunch when they are eating! Edmond can be a loud eater too!

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

Tiny Marsupial

Tiny Marsupial

Well it doesn’t get much cuter than today’s animal! These tiny marsupials look like rodents, but they are not!

sandhill dunnart2







Date : 4/5

Location: Great Victorian Desert

Sandhill Dunnart Fun Facts:

  • They are one of the largest members of the Dunnart family.
  • Sandhill dunnart have stiff black hairs on the underside of the tail.
  • These little marsupials are carnivores!
  • Their tails are longer then their bodies.


  • They live in burrows under the spinifex hummocks shrubs.
  • Sandhill dunnarts store fat in their tails.

sandhill dunnart

These little marsupials are threatened unfortunately. There are efforts in Australian zoos to increase their numbers! Woohoo!

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



Save the Frogs Day is coming up in a few weeks and we wanted to start the celebration off with a week devoted to those fabulous amphibians. We’ll be featuring three frogs, a frog craft and a very cool interview with a frog conservation scientist! Today’s adventure takes us to the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. to meet one amazing burrowing frog! Grab your backpack and sunglasses and let’s go!

e e desert


spadefoot frog   Range/Habitat: Southwestern U.S- Northern Mexico/ desert-scrub

   Diet: Carnivore: insects

   Length: 2 ¼-3 ½”

   Conservation Status: common


Fun Facts:

  •   Couch’s Spadefrogs are yellowish-green in coloration.
  •    They have large, bulbous eyes.
  •    Couch’s spadefrogs have spade shaped ridges on their hind feet for digging.
  •    Couch’s spadefrogs dig deep burrows; up to 3 ft deep.
  •   They shed their skin to make water tight cocoons during the dry season.
  •      A couch’s spadefrog’s cocoon will break down during the rainy season.

Wow! These amazing frogs have so many cool adaptations. They dig deep burrows and they form their own cocoons! It must be exhausting to be a spadefrog!

 spadefoot frog2

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

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