Animal of the day – 11/30/2016 – The Gannet

A Cape Gannet stares straight at the camera and through another gannet, Malgas Island, West Coast National Park, South Africa

The animal of the day is the Gannet. (Did you know: The Gannet is the largest sea bird in the Atlantic, and 2nd largest in the world [to the albatross]. They are known for their impressive diving and underwater swimming abilities.

The have some cool adaptations that help them swim underwater. First of all, they have no external nostrils (WHAT?!), their nostrils are INSIDE their mouths! So when they dive, they just have to keep their trap shut.

Second, and this is weird, they have air sacs in their face and chests that act like bubble wrap protecting them as they slam into the water at high speeds!

Cape gannet {Morus capensis} close-up profile of head. Lamberts bay, S Africa

Hold up yo, but where are your nostrils at?!

The gannet’s supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to “gannet” becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively, similar to “glutton”.

Animal of the day – 11/18/2016 – The Quenk aka the Collared Peccary

collared_peccary_mother_and_pigletThe animal of the day is the Quenk aka the Collared Peccary. (Did you know: Looks like a pig right? They look similar, but pigs are from the “Old World” and quenk are “New World” animals.

There are many other differences most having to do with differences in physical anatomy [a big difference is how their digestive systems are setup]. Found in the Caribbean and in South America, it is much smaller than wild pigs in the America’s.

800px-collared_peccary444 Their odor is strong enough to be picked up by humans, which also earns the quenk the nickname of “skunk pig”.

Animal of the day – 08/04/2016 – The Sea Lion

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The animal of the day is the Sea Lion. (Did you know: Not to be confused with seals, Sea Lions are much more mobile on land as their flippers can rotate much more than seals can.

They can move so well on land as a matter of fact, that they can out run a human [you]! And in the water they will straight up embarrass Michael Phelps as they can swim up to 25mph.

The life expectancy of sea lions shows one of the biggest divides between males and females with females living almost twice as long as males. Males live to be about 18, but females can live on to be 30 plus years!

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Females live longer because they get to cuddle with the cutest pups ever!

Book of the Moment: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

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The Books of the Moment is The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne.

Ok! First of all, this book is amazing. It’s important to note that while it is a bundle of pages with words on it, it’s a SCRIPT, not a book. 2nd, it’s not 100% written by J.K. and you can pick up on that with some of the dialog.  If you can accept those caveats you are in for an amazing continuation of the legend of Harry Potter.

Best ‘thing’ I’ve read ALL summer! Go get this book, your wand and some chocolate frogs and let the magic wash over you! Welcome back to the world Harry & crew, you were missed!

Book of the Moment: Ms. Peregrines home for peculiar children

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Book of the moment: Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children

This is probably the best book I’ve read in one sitting since JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & Sorcerer’s Stone.

The story is engulfing. The characters are thought out and amazing. the setting is amazing, and the world created is marvelous. I tried to just read a chapter at a time, but ended up reading the whole book. (oh, and there’s pictures…alot of pictures, and the pictures make the book alive)

Animal of the day – 03/25/2016 – The Cone Snail

The deadly geographic cone snail

The animal of the day is the Cone Snail. (Did you know: Oh my goodness, beauty betrays the beast. These wonderfully colored sea snails are predators (other snails eat vegetation, these guys hunt for meat!)

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Because all cone snails are venomous and capable of “stinging” humans, live ones should be handled with great care or preferably not at all.

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These snails use something similar to a needle to inject their poison into small fishes, but the larger versions can inject enough poison to kill a human (that would be you, unless you’re an alien reading this post. If so I hope ur Superman!)

Turtle vs rabbit vs snail. I’m gonna go with the snail! (assuming this race was underwater)

Animal of the day – 12/08/2015 – The Green Iguana

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The animal of the day is the Green Iguana. (Did you know: Iguana’s are the largest lizards in the Americas! But fear not, these guys are herbivores; they are not interested in biting or attacking you silly humans unless you pull it’s tail or are generally being annoying. [Note: That tail is actually used in self defense, it will ‘punch’ it’s attacked with it’s still tail!]

Iguana’s have a third eye!! It doesn’t capture images, but instead can detect changes in light and is used to detect the shadow of predators from above! Hawks especially prey heavily on iguanas.

It's called the Parietal Eye

It’s called the Parietal Eye

Although they are stable and safe on trees, they may occasionally fall down. Iguanas can survive fall from the height of 40 to 50 feet without injuries.

Iguana’s are also great swimmers. They are freqeuntly found near water and can spend 28 minutes under the water without returning to the surface to breathe air.

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