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Raccoon + Butterfly= Fish

Raccoon + Butterfly= Fish

We met another great animal during our snorkel trips- this time a wonderful reef fish- the raccoon butterflyfish! Meet them with us!

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Raccoon Butterflyfish Fun Facts: 

  • These Butterflyfish average 8 inches long.
  • They are nocturnal.
  • These carnivores each small invertebrates and nudibranch.
  • They have large eyes.
  • They prefer shallow reefs.
  • They have a false eyespot to fool predators.

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These little fish are fun! They are popular in aquariums too. We love their bright coloration!

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

Birding Fun

Birding Fun!

We slept in after our big snorkeling trip yesterday! We hoped a plane to the island of O‘ahu for a few days in the late morning. We were on a mission to find one of Hawaii’s native birds in the wetlands! We were super lucky to spot some! Come learn about them with us!

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Hawaiian Gallinule Fun Facts: 

  • Hawaiian Gallinule are also known as the Hawaiian moorhen.
  • They can grow up to 12 inches long and weigh up 3/4 lbs.
  • They are omnivores. They eat grass, algae and insects.
  • These wetland birds do not have webbed feet. They are excellent swimmers though.
  • They molt once a year in the summer. The molt takes 25 days or so.
  • Hawaiian gallinule are known to be very secretive.
  • Nesting parents are very territorial. They both help incubate the eggs and protect the young chicks.
  • They are listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

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It was neat to see these shy water loving birds. We love their funny long legs and feet!

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

Red Crest

Red Crest

We have northern cardinals at the HQs! They are such colorful songbirds! It turns out there are cardinals here in the Pantanal. These birds don’t have a full body of red, but they are gorgeous! Let’s learn more about them.

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Red-crested cardinal fun facts:

  • Red-crested cardinals have red heads, white chests and black wings and bodies.
  • These little birds grow up to 7 1/2 inches and weigh up to 1 1/2 oz.
  • They are omnivores. They eat fruit, seeds and insects.
  • A pair of cardinals is very territorial, especially during breeding season.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We loved meeting this little bird who looks like one of our favorite backyard species! We had no idea there were other kinds of cardinals out there!

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

Piranha Relative

Piranha Relative

We decided to take a boat ride today to find some fish today! These funny round relatives of the piranha do not have the reputation of their cousins, but they’re no less cool!

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Pacu Fun Facts: 

  • Pacu are a fresh water fish.
  • They are herbivores and feed on aquatic plants.
  • They are famous for their square teeth that resemble human teeth.
  • Pacu can grow up to 3 1/2 feet and weigh up to 88 lbs.
  • Some of them have red on their bellies and some of them do not.

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These fish are popular in the aquarium trade. Unfortunately they can be dumped in local rivers where they are not native. They can interrupt a local ecosystem though.

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

What did you say birdie?

What did you say birdie?

We were exploiting the area and all of the sudden heard a loud funny call! We dissolved it was a bird called the great kiskadee! And yes, they get their name from the funny call they make!

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Great Kiskadee Fun Facts: 

  • These little birds grow up to 10 inches long  and weigh about 2 oz.
  • They are members of the flycatcher family.
  • These common birds sit and wait for their insect prey to come by, when they fly out to catch it! They are also known to eat some small vertebrates and fruit.
  • They are territorial and will even attack raptors.
  • Male and females build the nest. Females incubate the eggs.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These gregarious little birds are spotted all around here! We have never met a member of the flycatcher family. Who else pictures a bird with a fly swatter in the wing? Hehehehe!

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

That is Not a Pig!

That is Not a Pig!

We went in search a small ungulant today! What is an ungulant you ask? Ungulant are animals that have hooves- like Edmond! We were looking to meet a collared peccary. These mammals look like pigs, but they are only distantly related. Let’s learn more about them.

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Collared Peccary Fun Facts: 

  • Collared peccarys grow up to 5 ft long and weigh up to 60 lbs.
  • These herbivores eat plants, fruits, nuts and small invertebrates.
  • They live in small family groups.
  • Collared peccarys have sharp tusks that face downward. They use these to protect themselves from predators.
  • They also give off a strong musky odor when threatened.
  • These diurnal animals spend their nights in burrows.
  • They are also called the javelina.

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These funny looking animals are so cute! Have you ever heard of them? It’s fun to learn about all new animals!

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

That is a Falcon!

That is a Falcon!

We met one gorgeous bird today! This big member of the falcon family is known to hang with vultures and look more like a hawk!

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Southern Crested Caracara Fun Facts: 

  • Crested caracaras can grow up to 22 inches and weigh up to 3 lbs.
  • Their wing span is almost 50 inches.
  • These carnivores eat incsects, small reptiles and fish. They are also known to push vultures away from carion.
  • They have long thin legs.
  • They are mostly solitary.
  • It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These gorgeous birds have a northern cousin that lives in Mexico and in Arizona and Texas. We love these raptors!

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

Otter Otter

Otter Otter

We set out to meet one of the rarer animals of the Pantanal today! We located a few having a snack. These amazing members of the mustelid family are soooo cool!

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Giant Otter Fun Facts: 

  • These large carnivores can get up to 6 ft long and weigh up to 75 lbs.
  • They have powerful tails and webbed feet for a life in the water.
  • These territorial giants live in small family groups.
  • Giant otters can eat up to 9lbs of fish a day.
  • They live in dens in the banks of the rivers they call home.
  • Giant otters are very vocal and use a variety of squeaks and screams. They are considered to be the most vocal otter species on earth.
  • They are often called the river wolf.
  • They are diurnal.
  • Giant river otters are listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

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We enjoyed seeing these amazing animals. They are now protected from the poaching that led to their decline. They are becoming important for tourism in the areas they call home.

 

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

We Are Fanimaly- Anteater/Sloth

We Are Fanimaly- Anteater/Sloth

We are starting up a feature from the past this week! We’ll be post a segment we call     We Are Fanimaly once a month. This feature will spotlight animals that are related. Some of these you may know and some of them may surprise you! This month’s features our giant anteater from last week. 

 

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Anteaters and sloths are relatives! Can you believe it? Our Giant Armadillo from a few days ago also belongs in their Fanimaly! They look nothing alike! Hehehehe!

  • Their superorder is Xenartha.
  • These animals only live in the Americas.
  • They have been around for about 59 million years.
  • Remember the Glyploton- the giant armadillo? Well there were giant ground sloths too!
  • The name Xenarthra means “strange joints”.
  • The name was chosen because anteaters, sloths and armadillos have vertebral joints unlike any other mammals on earth.
  • Anteaters and sloths are more closely related to each other than their armadillo cousins.
  • The animals in the Xenartha surperorder are either insectivores (anteaters & armadillos) or herbivores (sloth).
  • There are 6 sloth species and four anteater species.
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, mammals, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello Armadillos

Hello Armadillos

Aaaah the armadillo, an animal many in the southern United States associate with road kill. But there are 20 species of armadillos in the world, each one neat in their own respects. We went looking for the biggest armadillo of the them all- the giant armadillo! This species is not to be confused with the extinct Glyptodon – a car sized relative of the armadillo that lived during the Pleistocene epoch! Our giant armadillo friend is not that big- but they are cool!

 

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Giant Armadillo Fun Facts: 

  • The giant armadillo has 11-13 bands.
  • They can grow up to 39 inches long and weigh up to 72 lbs. There have been a few found that weigh 180 lbs.
  • They have the most teeth of any mammal- 80 to 100 per armadillo!
  • These solitary nocturnal animals live in burrows.
  • Giant armadillos are insectivores. They eat termites, ants, worms and spiders. They can consume the entire population of one termite mound.
  • They have the proportional claw of any mammal. This is their 3rd curved claw.
  • Giant armadillos can not roll up completely in to a ball.
  • Due to hunting, giant armadillos are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

 

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These giant armadillos are so amazing! Little is known about them in the wild. No scientists have ever seen a juvinelle giant armadillo in the wild!

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

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