Posts Tagged With: nature blog

Don’t Eat that Cucumber

Don’t Eat that Cucumber

Who’s excited to meet today’s echinoderm? It’s a pretty crazy looking one! Let’s meet the sea cucumber!

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SEA CUCUMBER FUN FACTS:

  • Sea cucumbers have tentacles around their mouths. They use those to grab small waste materials or tiny animals in the oceans.
  •  Sea cucumbers can discharge a sticky substance to ward off predators. They can also expel their internal organs to deter a predator. Don’t worry They regenerate those.
  • They have no faces or eyes.
  • Sea cucumbers take in water through their bum to extract oxygen using respiratory trees.
  • They also poop calcium carbonate, a building material for coral.
  • These not too exciting animals are important for breaking down too much organic material in the ocean floor. They are often called nature’s vacuum cleaners.

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While they don’t look like much and really they aren’t much more that a tubular eating & pooping machine, they are one of the oceans’ under appreciated animals.

 

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There’s an Octopus in Your Coconut

There’s an Octopus in Your Coconut

We’re meeting a neat little octopus today during Cephalopod Week! These little invertebrates are called the Coconut Octopus- can you guess why?

 

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COCONUT FUN FACTS: 

  • These octopus are not very big- usually around 6 inches long.
  • They are known to find coconuts and shells and use them to hide in.
  • They are also 1 of 2 species of octopus known to walk (yes- walk on the ocean floor) with 2 arms (bipedal). This happens when the octopus uses their other arms to carry their preferred hiding mechanism.
  • Scientists also consider their use of shells and coconuts tool use. They are using them to protect themselves.
  •  These carnivores eat clams, shrimp and crabs.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We love these amazing animals. Octopus are known for their intelligence and to learn that some of them are tool users is even cooler.

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Know Your Cephalopods

KNOW YOUR CEPHALOPODS

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It’s Cephalopod Week here at Camp E&E and all over! We’ll be learning more about our mollusk friends, don’t worry we’ll get back to our Echinoderm friends soon.

CEPHALOPOD FUN FACTS:  

  • Cephalopods are marine mollusks. This means they are related snails and nudibranchs (distantly).
  • Cephalopods include octopus, cuttlefish, nautilus and squid.
  • All cephalopods have a head with eyes, a mantle that holds their organs and beak like mouth. Cephalopods are invertebrates- meaning they have no bones.
  • Cephalopod limbs are attached to their heads.
  • Octopus have 8 arms – yep they are called arms. Their arms are covered in suckers.
  • Cuttlefish and squid have 8 arms and 2 tentacles.
  • Nautilus have many tentacles and have no suckers. They unlike other cephalopods, have an outer shell.
  • Cephalopods only live a year or two, except nautilus who live around 15 years.
  • Cephalopods can change the color and texture of their skin to camouflage with their environment.
  • Cephalopods have been around for about 500 million years.
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Know Your Echinoderms

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Echinoderm Fun Facts: 

  • Echinoderms include sea stars, brittle and basket stars, sea urchins and sand dollars and sea cucumbers. 
  • They have been around for around 500 million years.
  • Their name comes from Greek and means urchin and skin. They all have spines- some larger and sharper than others.
  • Most Echinoderms have radial symmetry- body parts are arranged around a central point. 
  • Echinoderms do not have blood- they use water to circulate throughout their body. Water also helps them move their tube feet which they use for locomotion. 
  • Some Echinoderms can regenerate their body parts. Sea stars are known for regrowing arms. 

We’ll meet some neat Echinoderms this summer at camp? Do you have a favorite? We love sea stars and sand dollars in particular. 

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Meet a Hog?

Meet a Hog?

We’re back on the Camp E&E boat today to meet some other fish! We may even done our snorkeling gear tomorrow! Today we’re saying hello to a species that is named after another farm animal- but this time they are named after a hog!

 

Meet the Hogfish

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FUN FACTS:

  • Hogfish have long snouts that they use to root around the ocean floor looking for prey.
  • They often make a grunting noise when looking for food too. This is where they get their famous name- the hogfish.
  • These carnivores are big fans of crustaceans.
  • Hogfish are Sequential hermaphrodites. That means they change their sex during their lifetime. All hogfish start off as female and change to male as they mature.
  • Males have a large black spot on their behind their pectoral fin and are a bright orange or red. Females are grey or brown.
  • They are members of the wrasse family, but are closely related to parrotfish.
  • These popular recreational fish are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. The number of individuals that are fished is controlled to avoid overfishing.

 

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Hello Sea Snail

Hello Sea Snails

After our boat ride – we met a little creature buried in the sand right at the waves line of the beach. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you are looking.  These snails have great shells and again have cow in their name! Do we see a theme here at camp so far? Hehehehe!

Meet the Atlantic Deer Cowrie

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FUN FACTS:

  • These cowries are one of the largest species of cowries and grow up to 7 1/2 inches.
  • These herbivores eat algae.
  • Cowries constantly clean their shells keeping them shiny.
  • Keeping their shells so shiny and smooth keeps barnacles and sponges from attaching.
  • Cowries are marine gastropods, or snails.
  • They have no operculum- a trap door or covering.
  • They have few predators, but some octopus can drill through the shell!

 

We love looking for shells on the shore. The rule is campers may take shells that have no animals in them. We’ll be learning more about shells at camp later! What’s your favorite shell to find on the beach?

 

 

 

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CAMP E&E IS BACK

 

CAMP E&E

 

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Hello and welcome to Camp E&E this summer! We are so excited to head to the beach for our first part of camp! We’ll meet so many cool animals, talk about ways to keep the beach clean and tell great tales! We have missed all of our readers and friends- so we are especially excited for this years camp! 

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So campers- it’s time to pack your bags and get your cabin assignment. Camp E&E is kicking off summer!

Packing list:
Sheets
Flashlight
Bug spray
Hiking shoes
Water shoes
Swimsuits or trunks
Mud SPF 50 sunscreen
Your favorite stuffed animal to sleep with
Sleeping bag
Refillable water bottles
Swim goggles
Binoculars
Nature journal

 

 

 

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

Ox

Ox

We are meeting an animal that spends most of their life in the cold- the musk ox. These large mammal are so cool with their thick coats and horns! Let’s learn more about them.

 

 

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Frozen Frogs

Frozen Frogs

Today we are meeting first animal that has some crazy wild winter adaptations! Come meet the wood frog!

 

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

Wonderful Winter Adaptations

Wonderful Winter Adaptations

We are spending this month meeting animals have some of the coolest winter adaptations around. People often wonder what animals do to survive extreme cold. Some animals hibernate and some just reduce their activities. Some animals are built to live in the cold all year round. There are some animals that even “freeze” themselves.

Get your best winter gear on and grab a cup of hot cocoa- with extra marshmallows- and get ready to learn about winter animals with us starting tomorrow! We’re meeting an amphibian first!

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

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