Posts Tagged With: envrionment

Back to Basics- Adaptations

Back to Basics- Adaptations

We’re talking about adaptations today! All animals have adaptations to survive in their environment.

Adaptations are mutations or genetic changes that help the organism survive.

Adaptations can be physical, like a giraffe’s neck has grown longer to reach the leaves no other animal can.

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Adaptations can be behavioral. Simang’s mate for life and each pair have their own song they sing to find their mate while they are foraging for food in the trees.

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Exaptations are adaptations that developed for one reason and then was used for another. It is believed that dinosaurs developed feathers to keep themselves warm. Those feathers were later used to help their ancestors fly.

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Vestigial adaptations are adaptations that are still remain but are useless. Whales still have leg bones on their skeleton. Those won’t help now :)!

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Coadaptation is when species adapt together. Certain plants have adapted to appeal to hummingbirds. Those hummingbirds have adapted long beaks to reach that pollen. These adaptations help both organisms, the hummingbird gets food and it helps pollinate those plants!

Adaptations can be simple or crazy! All of our adaptations make us great! What is your favorite animal adaptation?

 

 

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

Back to Basics- Producers/Consumers

Back to Basics- Producers/Consumers

We learned all the vocabulary for what animals are called by what they eat! Today we are talking a bit more about the food web with producers and consumers!

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Plants/Producers: Plants produce their own food. They convert energy from the sun, carbon dioxide and water from the soil to make glucose/sugar. This is called photosynthesis.

Animals/Consumers: Animals get their energy/food from other sources since they can not produce it themselves. They consumer either plants, other animals or both to live.

Consumers are broken down in to three categories:

Primary: animals that are herbivores.

Secondary: animals that are omnivores and carnivores.

Tertiary: animals are often called apex predators. They are at the top of the of the food chain. They are either carnivores or omnivores.

Fungus/Bacteria/Decomposers: Decomposers break down decaying organic (plant/animal) material and return it to the soil! Some insects do this also.

 

As you can begin to imagine, the food web is a delicate balance! If you remove one animal/plant from a the ecosystem then you can put the whole system out of whack and endanger certain animals. If a apex predator disappears, then a primary consumer can overpopulate and their resources can reach capacity!

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At one time the southern sea otter was hunted to very low numbers. These carnivores eat urchins and keep their populations in check. The urchins eat kelp. When there are no sea otters to eat the urchins, the urchins begin to eat the kelp forest at alarming rates. Without the kelp forest, many other fish and invertebrates would lose their habitat. As the otters populations have grown after being protected, the balance of the kelp forest has been restored!

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, vocabulary, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Amphibians

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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

Last Day of Camp

Last Day of Camp

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Well pals it is the last day of Camp Ellie & Edmond. It’s always sad to say goodbye to summer and our pals. We will be taking the next three weeks off to move our site and work on a few improvements!

Then we’ll be back for a whole new year at the University of Ellie & Edmond! We will be getting back to basics for a month and then a we have an exciting year.

We are introducing Where Will The Next E&E Adventure Be? Each month we will be going to a new place. On the first day you will get a chance to guess where we are and there will be a prize for the person who guesses it correctly first! We know we are excited for all that is coming!

Let’s end this amazing summer with the Camp E&E song:

On the shores of Lake Salamander, among the old live oak…

We enjoy Camp Ellie and Edmond and the frogs that croak.

We salute you Camp E & E and all your animal friends…

All our days are each a gem.

While we sit next to the campfire, telling stories of old…

We laugh and sing and watch the stars of gold.

We love you Camp E &E and all our memories of our days…

We hold Camp E & E close to our hearts and we’ll never stray!

 

We will see all our campers during the school year!

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

Pelican! Pelican!

Pelican! Pelican!

We are meeting one last animal at Camp E&E! The summer has flown by hasn’t it? We can hardly believe it! We could spend hours and hours watching the brown pelican take diving in the ocean scooping up eats! Let’s mee them today!

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Brown Pelcian Fun Facts: 

  • The Brown Pelican is the smallest of all pelican species.
  • They are plunge divers. They fly above the surface of the water and then drop or plunge into the sea to catch their prey.
  • Brown pelicans have a greenish skin on their face that is brighter during mating season.
  • Brown pelicans like to nest in trees, shrubs and mangroves.
  • Both parents incubate eggs. They usually have 2-3 chicks. One chick can eat up to 150 lbs of food by the time they are 10 months old! That’s a bunch of fish for little guys
  • Their pouch can hold up to 3 gallons and the stomach can hold around 1 gallon.
  • Brown pelicans are the state bird of Louisiana.

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We love pelicans! Love them! They are one of the coolest birds around! Do you love them as much as us? Stick around for the last craft day of camp tomorrow!

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

Catching Oysters with an Oystercatcher

Catching Oysters with an Oystercatcher

It’s the last week of Camp E&E by the Sea! Can you believe it? This week we’re hanging by the beach to meet shore birds. First up is the American Oystercatcher! This neat bird is easy to spot with its bright orange beak. So let’s head out to spot some campers!

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American Oystercatcher Fun Facts: 

  • These brightly colored birds call salt marshes and shores their home.
  • They feed on shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters and sea stars.
  • American oystercatchers tend to spend more time on the ground than flying.
  • They often grab the shellfish inside the shell before it can close. They severe the muscle and swallow the meat whole.
  • They nest in higher areas away from the high tide line.

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We could sit on the beach and watch shore birds all day! These funny birds with their long legs are one of our favorites. What’s your favorite shorebird?

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Know Your Sharks

Know Your Sharks

Today we have four coloring sheets for you in our continued series- know your sharks! So head on over to the craft cabin and grab something to color with and get to know your sharks!

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Pocket Sharks have two pouches or pockets, one on each side of their body in front of their fins. Scientists are unsure of their purpose.

 

 

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Bamboo Sharks are mostly nocturnal and only grow up to 37 inches long. 

 

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Zebra sharks lose their stripes as they grow. Adults are actually covered in spots!

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These large sharks (up to 14 ft) often rest on the ocean floor. They pump water over their gills using spiracles to pull in water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finding the Sandbar

Finding the Sandbar

We are heading out on the S.S E&E to meet a shark today! Often when you are at the beach, you’ll see where more sand has accumulated and even sticks out of the water- this is called sandbar! Well today we are meeting the sandbar shark! They are found around bays, estuaries and sandy bottoms.

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Sandbar Shark Fun Facts: 

  • These streamline sharks can grow up to 8 feet long.
  • Sandbar sharks have large dorsal fins.
  • These carnivores eat mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
  • Sandbar sharks are also called brown sharks.
  • They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
  • Sandbar sharks give birth to live young!

 

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These relatives of the bull shark are not aggressive like their cousins. Like other sharks, they are threatened by humans- due to shark finning, pollution and over fishing.

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

Eel Bookmarks

Eel Bookmark!

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The Crafty Crab has come up with a great craft for us today! Woohoo!

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Materials: 

  • Cardstock
  • Crayons, markers or colored pencils
  • scissors
  • eel pattern

Instructions: 

  • Print out pattern on card stock
  • Color to your hearts desire
  • Cut out eels

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Today’s craft is an easy one- but these little guys sure are cute! Pattern below!

 

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Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, crafts, education, Environment, fish, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s a Garden of Eels!

It’s a Garden of Eels!

We have one more animal to meet and another day of diving! We are so excited to meet these little fish who bury themselves in the sand.

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Spotted Garden Eel Fun Facts:

  • They are around 40 cm long- about the size of two pencils.
  • Spotted garden eels have gills and tiny pectoral fins.
  • They dig a burrow where most of there body is protected.
  • You will find them living in small to large colonies.
  • They grab tiny plankton as it drifts by.
  • Spotted garden eels rarely leave their burrow.
  • Spotted garden eels have excellent eye sight.

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Whew! We are so tired after 3 days of diving with our campers! We know you guys must be tired too! Tomorrow we head back to base camp and it will be time for crafts! Woohoo!

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

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