Posts Tagged With: oceans

Halloween Week- Vampires

Halloween Week- Vampires

We are continuing the Halloween fun with some vampires of the ocean! That’s right- vampire squid!

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Vampire Squid Fun Facts: 

  • Vampire squid are black to red color.
  • They have skin that connects its eight arms.
  • Each arm has spines on it.
  • They eat marine animal debris that falls to the ocean floor.
  • Adults have two small fins on their mantle (head).
  • They are covered in light producing organs called photophores.
  • They are unable to change their skin color and texture like other squid.

Vampire squid are so amazing and weird! They call the dark deep ocean their home and it sure is a weird place!

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

Back to Basics- Habitats 2

Back to Basics- Habitats 2

Yesterday we talked about land habitats, today we are covering water habitats. We are hitting up some of the basics, but there are more water habitats on the earth- understandable since 75% of the planet is covered in water.

Fresh water habitats are those without salt! Let’s talk about those:

Wetlands: an area where aquatic plants thrive. They can include marshes, bogs or swamps. Wetlands can be fresh water, salt water or brackish water (a mix of fresh and salt). They can have some dry seasons or stay wet all year round. Many animals call this their home including alligators, birds and mollusks.

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Lakes/ponds: are usually closed bodies of water. They can be large or small. They can be natural or man made. They are mostly fresh water, with the exception of a few salt water lakes. Lakes are home to many different fish, some of whom only call one lake their home. 

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Rivers/streams: rivers and streams are fresh water habitats where the water continuously moves. The longest river in the world is the Amazon. Rivers and streams lead to the ocean. Animals that call rivers and streams home, must adapt to not going down stream. Some animals leave their ocean home to have offspring in the fresh water environment and some do the opposite- like salmon. 

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Brackish waters: where fresh water and salt water mix. You will find this habitat at the mouth of a river, estuaries and mangroves. Brackish mangroves are important habitats for many animals who have their offspring their in the roots of the trees. These nurseries keep little fish save from larger predators.

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Ocean Habitats:

Deep oceans: deep oceans are dark places. The sunlight can not penetrate these depths. The animals that call this harsh environment home must adapt to living where there is no plant life. Such alien creatures as the frilled shark, the anglerfish and giant spider crabs call this home.

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Open oceans: the open ocean is the area where sun penetrates the water. This massive habitat is the often called the marine desert. There are little nutrients here. Animals that call the open ocean their home must be fast and efficient swimmers, like mako sharks, tuna and dolphins.

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Coral reefs: these amazing habitats are the most diverse in all of the oceans. Many animals call it home, including the coral that build the reef. Coral reefs are similar to the rainforest. Animals that call the reef home include, clownfish, anemones and sponges.

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Intertidal zone: the intertidal zone is on the shore, in between the low tides and the high tides. We often think of places with tide pools when it comes to intertidal zones. The animals that live here, like muscles must be able to survive life outside of water. It is a harsh environment to call home. 

These are just a few of the water habitats that are on our planet. The ocean especially has some harsh environments and yet life still exists. Sooooooo cool!

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

Back to Basics- Fish

Back to Basics- Fish

Time to brush up on your fish knowledge with professor Sylvia the Seahorse!

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Number of fish species- 24,000 and growing! Scientists discover new species all the time! We fish were the first vertebrate animals on the earth! We occupy the world’s oceans and fresh water bodies of water; including lakes, rivers and ponds.

Fish traits:

  • Fish have gills that we use to extract oxygen from water and expel carbon dioxide. They serve the same function as a mammal’s lungs.
  • Fish have scales. Our scales are different, some are smooth and some are rough. Sharks’ scales are called dermal denticles. Some fish like hagfish have no scales.
  • Fish have fins for swimming. Fins are shaped for the type of swimming a fish does- some are built for speed and some are small (like mine).
  • We fish are vertebrates, we all have back bones.
  • Most fish are exothermic, cold blooded.

Fish are classified in three groups; jawless fish (hagfish and lamprey- they also have no scales), cartilaginous (sharks and rays) and bony.

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Some fish lay eggs, some incubate their eggs in a womb and some incubate their young in wombs similar to mammals.

We fish can detect chemicals and vibrations. We often have keen eyesight and a great sense of smell.

Fish do have ears! Not big goofy ones like some mammals, but internal ones.

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We also have an extra “organ” to help us “hear” and detect vibrations. This is called the lateral-line. This line of cells runs the length of our bodies and helps us detect motion. Schooling fish who swim in synchronized groups use their lateral line to swim in these formations.

Sharks and rays have yet another “organ” that helps them detect electrical fields. It’s called the ampullae of Lorenzini, gel filled cells that help our cartilaginous cousins detect even the faintest of electrical fields. This is something no other animal can do!

We also have a swim bladder that keeps us buoyant in the water. Fresh water fish have a bigger swim bladder than salt water fish. Bony fish swim bladders are filled with a gas that is less dense than water. In cartilaginous fish, their swim bladder is a large oil rich liver that is less dense than water! 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, 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

Wear Your Bonnet

Wear Your Bonnet

Can you imagine a shark wearing a bonnet? That would be funny looking- not to mention hard to swim with- hahaha! Today we are meeting a relative of the hammerhead- the bonnethead shark!!

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Bonnethead Shark Fun Facts: 

  • Bonnetheads are smaller sharks- they can grow up to 59 inches- about the length of a refrigerator.
  • They call estuaries, bays and sandy bottoms their home.
  • Their heads are more rounded than that of the larger hammerhead species.
  • Like all other sharks they are carnivores.
  • Bonnethead sharks live in small groups.
  • They can live up to 15 years.

 

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These smaller hammerheads are so cool. A recent study by scientists may suggest that they eat sea grass, which would make them omnivores! Wow! That would be super cool!

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

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

Rocking with the Guitar

HRocking with the Guitar

It’s SHARK WEEK here at Camp E&E by the Sea! We love our cartilaginous friends and we are so excited for our campers to meet a few sharks and one of their relatives in the ray family. These creatures have been calling the world’s oceans home for over 400 million years. Today we’re going to meet a member of the ray family- the shovelnose guitarfish.

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Shovelnose Guitarfish Fun Facts: 

  • Shovelnose guitarfish are members of the ray family.
  • They look like you combined a ray and shark all in one.
  • They range in color from olive to grey to tan.
  • Females are larger than males.
  • These bottom dwellers eat mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
  • Shovelnose guitarfish are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
  • They have a row of spines along their back near the tail.

 

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These amazing fish are so neat! Can you guess why they are called guitarfish? They are shaped like a guitar, but they have no strings attached! Hahaha!!

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

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

Meeting a SeaEdmond

Meeting a SeaEdmond

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Our week of diving is continuing at camp and we are meeting a seahorse- or a SeaEdmond as we like to call them! Everyone ready? Grab those flippers and let’s goooooo!

Lined Seahorse Fun Facts:

  • These tiny crustacean eaters are fish!
  • Lined seahorses camouflage in with their surroundings and ambush their prey.
  • Their eyes can rotate around and move independently of each other.
  • Males are larger and have longer tails than females.
  • They mate for life.
  • Like other seahorses, the males incubate the eggs in a pouch. They give birth to the baby seahorses. They are about the size of a flat thumbtack.
  • These little guys are not strong swimmers and attach to sea grass or other substrate to protect themselves.

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lined seahorse

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

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