Just Some Interesting Animal Facts!

After a trip to the spring Scholastic book fair at our local elementary school, we came home (as usual) with some goodies. 51vgO-vMKwL._SY323_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were in the mood for some nature lessons about the wild and  Sink Your Claws Into PREDATORS  fit the bill.  I wanted to make sure what we learned would really sink in 🙂 So, I followed up our reading with a short quiz.  My kid really gets a kick out of these little tests I put together for review and we both appreciate the three featured claws that are included in the book!

Below is a list of some of the facts shared in this title that maybe your kids will enjoy too!

Just Some Interesting Animal Facts!

  1. Great Horned Owls don’t have any teeth.
  2. Honey Badgers have been named “The World’s Most Fearless Creature” by The Guinness Book of World Records.
  3. American Black Bears can go without food, water, or exercise for 100 days in a row.
  4. The Bengal Tiger is an endangered species with only 2,500 left in the wild.
  5. The claws of a Grey Wolf are not used for slashing prey but for grip and speed during a chase as they sink into the ground like soccer cleats.
  6. Wolverines have a thick, greasy coat that repels water and frost and even their paws are like crampons (metal spikes mountain climbers attach their boots for traction.)
  7. The venom of a Red-Clawed Scorpion doesn’t hurt more than a bee sting.
  8. A Peregrine Falcon hunts other birds and bats while in midair and has been clocked going as fast as 200 miles per hour.
  9. Unlike most felines, Jaguars don’t mind water and will often take a dip while hunting.
  10. Female pride members (Lionesses) stick together for life.
  11. Tasmanian Devils let out a big sneeze as their pre-fight ritual to intimidate the competition.
  12. An African Clawed Frog has no tongue.
  13. “Ghost Cats of the Himalayas” is a nickname for Snow Leopards.
  14. Once a Grizzly bear grows up, they prefer to go it alone, staying solo rather than joining up with other bears.
  15. Legend says that just a whiff of a Fossa (a strange-looking creature found in Madagascar) is a smell that kills chickens.
  16. Bald eagles mate for life and will continue working with the same partner over many years, constructing some of the largest nests in the world together.
  17. Even if the prey of a Komodo Dragon gets away, it will eventually collapse due to the bacteria from this lizard’s poisonous saliva.
  18. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world and can go from sitting to sprinting at 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds and can cover 20 feet in a single running step.
  19. The American Alligators have powerful jaws lined with about 80 teeth that once worn down fall out regularly but they’re constantly replaced (they’ll go through at least 3,000 in their lifetime.)
  20. Polar Bears are the biggest Apex predators on land.
Bonus fact question:  What’s a PLUMICORN?  Click here to find out and see great photography of the related creature!
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Never make a promise you can’t keep?

So every week the kids at school get to choose library books to bring home with them.   Yesterday, we finally had a moment to devote our storytime routine to these new selections.

tadpoleThey are always different and great but one particular book stood out to me, simply because it opened from top to bottom and not left to right.

It tells about a love between a tadpole and a caterpillar, in which a promise is made for them to never change.  But alas, the tadpole will change and begins doing so, daily.  He sprouts legs, arms and then ultimately loses its tail.

The caterpillar is repeatedly disappointed, as well as, brokenhearted.  She chooses to abandon the one who has deceived her by failing to keep his promise to never change.  During this farewell she disappears into her cocoon.

Once she has reemerged (now a beautiful butterfly of course) she realizes that she wants to give her tadpole another chance because she misses him so and was perhaps hasty in her decision to have ever let him go.

When she flies over to the nearest frog to ask if they’ve seen her tadpole, she’s swallowed up whole!  This frog (formerly her beloved tadpole) was completely unaware of her own lovely metamorphosis.  Both of these creatures had become unrecognizable to each other and now only the frog remains, left to sit and wonder just longing for her return.

frogHis love is gone forever and he will never know why.

Although I expected each of them to change accordingly (despite their foolish promises) I was not expecting the frog to devour the butterfly, at all.  But I suppose that’s just your typical day in the life of an insect eater, I guess.

My child on the other hand was more than amused, not yet able to grasp the fact that in addition to the nature lesson being told, there was a profound message in there about life, love and loss.

Every now and again we find ourselves touched by the poignancy inside of a children’s book, such as The Tadpole’s promise.

It’s a pretty special book, in my book.

 

 

Thunder, Lightning.

It’s not just the little ones that want to run under the covers during a thunderstorm. It’s pretty scary for everybody, even when you’re indoors.

Trying your best to calm a child through one isn’t always easy and even more difficult once you lost power (it happens.)

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Photo Image Source: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/16700/why-is-the-cumulonimbus-cloud-formation-so-dangerous

We’re always talking about the weather, but it was time to go beyond the temperature and what to carry with us when its raining. Mainly because I wasn’t able to explain this intimidating force of nature to myself, much less a child. I think we all know at the very least, that it’s dangerous to be outside at the time.

I knew thunder was loud and frightening, but does it always follow that flash of lightning? Thankfully, the Weather Wiz Kids had us covered, like an umbrella. You’ll find the answer to the question under Thunderstorms along with the causes, patterns and helpful safety tips. We also learned a new math game we can play during the next storm to find out how far away it is from us.

Also, try saying cumulonimbus clouds really fast? Soft Schools has more facts about them. Ever heard of Upward Lightning? Find it in this list of 10 Natural Phenomena You Have To See To Believe.

When the lights finally came back on, we sang about electricity leaping toward the ground / lightening is the flash of light / thunder is the sound:

 

 

Blue-footed birds

I love nature programs and the awesome activity of wild life that’s captured on camera.

18156210_774152976086203_4368990075005697863_oWhile surfing through Netflix titles, I stumbled upon a BBC documentary about Galápagos.  Episode one is entitled Born of Fire.  Funny, I was in the mood for comedy so this was truly an unexpected turn.

I love nature programs and the awesome activity of wild life that’s captured on camera. I remember watching PBS on television while growing up and the inevitable fate of prey due to their status on the food chain.  However, this was not the familiar scene with the king of the jungle chasing wildebeest as they do.  Instead, it’s a hawk flying back to its nest with an iguana to feed its young, or an injured bird falling victim to (of all things) a crab on land and everything amidst volcanic life. Though I must say, it’s hard to tell the difference between reptile and rock out here, too.

color-galapagos-tortoise-animals-first (1)
Free Printable above found on Education.com

With a life that’s become centered on early learning fun, it was clear there was more than enough here for a science and nature theme. Subsequently, I came across a home school curriculum on the Guest Hollow website that led to coloring pages and more. Some silly sidebar, I suppose Teenage Mutant Ninja Tortoises would not have been as catchy?

The Mother Nature Website lists 14 unique species found on the Galápagos Islands linking to the mating dance of Blue-footed Boobies. You’ll find many more images of these beautiful birds on National Geographic and Pinterest, but what’s the story behind their name?

Photo found on Tumbler that made me smile.

You’re very welcome.

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and food happens here.