Showing posts with label Animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animals. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Common Suriname Toad


We just learned about the Red Eyed Tree Frog.

Another type of frog is the Common Suriname Toad, also called the star fingered toad.
Just like some of the other toads we've learned about, this is not a "True Toad", it is a frog with a toad name.

This is a flat grey toad that lives mostly in the water.
One really interesting thing about this toad is that they don't lay eggs in the water like a lot of frogs.
The mother carries the eggs around inside the skin on her back, in little pockets like a honeycomb.
The eggs hatch and the tadpoles stay inside the mother's back until they grow into tiny little toads, and climb out of their mother's back.




(from: wikipedia - common suriname toad)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Green Tree Python

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Red-eyed tree frog


We just learned about the Goliath Frog.

Another frog is the Red-eyed tree frog.

This type of frog is a very colorful frog, with a mostly green body, red eyes, yellow and blue stripes on it's body and orange or red toes.

Just like other tree frogs, this frog has sticky feet they use to climb trees and jump from tree to tree.

They use their red eyes to scare away animals that might eat them.
When the other animal comes close they open their red eyes up wide, and sometimes it scares away the other animal.


(from: wikipedia - agalychnis callidryas)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Corn Snake

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Goliath Frog


We just learned about the smallest frog in the world, the Paedophryne Amauensis.

The largest frog in the world is the Goliath Frog.

This frog can grow to be over a foot long and weigh over seven pounds!


(from: wikipedia - goliath frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Blue Krait

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paedophryne Amauensis


We just learned about the Mountain Chicken Frog.

Another frog is the Paedophryne Amauensis.

It is the smallest frog in the world, and is less than half an inch long!
Unlike a lot of other frogs, this tiny frog does not start out as a tadpole, the eggs hatch into tiny little baby frogs.

The first part of the name paedophryne means child-frog, and there are a few other types of tiny little frogs in the same family as the Amauensis, but this is the tiniest one.
Their croak is a high pitched chirp, almost like an insect, which is why no one found them for a long time!


(from: wikipedia - paedophryne amauensis)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Coral Snake

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mountain Chicken Frog


We just learned about the Purple Frog.

Another type of frog is the Mountain Chicken Frog.

This frog is called the mountain chicken because it lives in the mountains and is so large it was hunted a lot for food.
Some people think it tastes like chicken, or it is big enough to eat like a chicken.

It is one of the largest frog in the world and can grow to be 8 inches long.
This frog eats a lot, and will eat anything from crickets and millipedes to snakes, bats and even other smaller frogs!
Because it was hunted for food a lot, there are not a lot of these frogs left, so it is now illegal to hunt them.


(from: wikipedia - leptodactylus fallax)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Blunthead Tree Snake

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Purple Frog


We just learned about the Darwin's Frog.

Another frog is the Purple Frog.

This frog stayed hidden for a long time and nobody ever knew about it, because it kept itself buried in the mud, and only came out during big monsoon rainstorms.
It has a funny sounding croak that almost sounds like a chicken clucking.


(from: wikipedia - purple frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Southern Hognose Snake

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Darwin's Frog


We just learned about the Common Midwife Toad.

Another type of frog is Darwin's Frog that lives in South America.
It is called Darwin's frog because it was discovered by Charles Darwin in 1841.

The white and brown on the frog makes it look like a dead leaf laying on the ground when they are sitting still trying to hide.

One very interesting thing about this type of frog is that the male frogs carries the eggs inside their mouth until they are ready to hatch.


(from: wikipedia - darwin's frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Green Vine Snake

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Common Midwife Toad


We just learned about the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog.

Another type of frog is the Common Midwife Toad.

Even though it is called a Toad, it is not part of the "Bufonidae" family, so it is a frog.

This frog lives in Europe, grows to about 2 inches. It can be brown, grey or green with has dark spots on it, and warts on it's smooth skin.

One of the most interesting things about this frog is that the eggs are carried by the male frog.
After the female frog lays the eggs, the male frog picks them up and sticks them to his back legs and carries them around until they are hatched.
He can carry around 150 eggs, for 3 to 8 weeks!
He keeps them wet by lying in damp places, or going for a swim if they are drying out.


(from: wikipedia - common midwife toad)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Striped House Snake

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Strawberry Poison-Dart Frog


We just learned about the Edible Frog.

Another type of frog is the Strawberry Poison-Dart Frog.

This type of frog is poisonous, and it gets the poison on its skin from eating certain types of ants and mites.

One way that animals show that they are poisonous is to have bright colors.
This type of frog has many different types of colors, called "morphs".
There is the "La Gruta" morph which means "The grotto" or "The cave" which is green and yellow with black spots.
Another funny one is called the "Blue Jeans" morph, because it looks like the red frog is wearing blue jeans.


(from: wikipedia - strawberry poison-dart frog)

La Gruta Morph:

(from: wikipedia - strawberry poison-dart frog)

Blue Jeans Morph:

(from: wikipedia - strawberry poison-dart frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Massasauga

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Edible Frog


We just learned about the Panamanian Golden Frog.

Another type of frog is the Edible Frog.

This type of frog is trapped and then served as frog legs for food in places like France.


(from: wikipedia - edible frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Schnauzer

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Panamanian Golden Frog


We just learned about the European Fire Bellied Toad.

Another type of frog is the Panamanian Golden Frog.

This frog is part of the true toad family.
Remember that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.
And some frogs are called toads, and some toads are called frogs.

The people in Panama love this golden frog, and put pictures of it all over the place.
There are even stories saying that when this frog dies it will turn to gold and bring good luck.
This frog even has it's own holiday, "National Golden Frog Day" on August 14th.

The skin of this frog is poisonous, and was used long ago to make poisonous arrows.

When this frog wants to talk to other frogs, it will wave its arms around.
Scientists think this is because the frogs live close to noisy rivers and couldn't really hear each other croaking well, especially because they don't really have normal ears and can't hear well.


(from: wikipedia - panamanian golden frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Pekingese

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

European Fire-Bellied Toad


We just learned about the difference between Frogs and Toads.

One type of frog is the European Fire-Bellied Toad.

Even though these are called toads, they are not part of the family of "True Toads" called Bufonidae.

These toads have a green back with black spots, and an orange or red belly with black stripes.
Their eyes have heart shaped pupils and webbed feet.

A full grown toad can be about 2 inches long.
To protect themselves, their skin makes a poison that might give you a rash if you pick one up, and would make you feel sick if you ate it.

Some frogs like this one shed their skin.
They puff themselves up big, cough to loosen the skin, then tear the old skin off and eat it!


(from: wikipedia - european fire-bellied toad)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Fox Terrier

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Frogs and Toads


We've learned a whole lot about snakes, now let's learn about frogs!

Frogs and toads are all part of the same group of animals in nature, called the "Anura" order.
Anura comes from an old Greek word meaning "without tail".

There is a smaller group of animals that is part of the Anura order, called the "Bufonidae" family, or sometimes called the "True toad" family.
But even in that family, some of those animals are still named frogs, like the harlequin frog which is a true toad!

So all toads are frogs (Anura), but not all frogs are toads (Anura Bufonidae).

A lot of times people think of frogs as the ones that go into water or are wet all the time, and toads as the ones with warts that are dry and live on land.

That's not always true either!
The European fire-bellied toad isn't a true toad even though it's called a toad, and it lives in the water.
And the Panamanian golden frog which is a true toad even though it's called a frog has smooth skin and lives in the water.

There are about 4,800 types of Anura, and only a few hundred of them are true toads.
So really most of them are frogs, even if we call them toads.

True toads don't have any teeth, and they have glands to spit poison from their skin, and they sometimes are warty but not always.
To really tell if it is a toad, you have to know about its skeleton, skin, mouth, glands and a lot of other things that you can't tell without a lot of research!


(from: wikipedia - frog)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Boston Terrier

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snake - Venom


We just learned about the Snake Fangs.

Another part of the snake is the venom.

The saliva or spit in our mouth is what snakes use in their mouth for venom.

There are different types of venom that can do different things to the body.

Neurotoxins attack the nervous system, and can cause hallucinations (seeing things that aren't real), muscle spasms (muscles move without control), muscle paralysis (can't move), and numbness (can't feel anything).

Cytotoxins attack the cells in the body, and can eat away at skin, fat, muscles, blood or bodily organs.

When the snake bites their prey, they squirt the venom into the prey's body.
The blood in the prey's body then carries that venom all over the body and the snake can eat their prey.


(from: wikipedia - snake venom)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Jack Russell Terrier

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Snake - Fangs


We just learned about the Snake Skull.

Another interesting thing about snakes is their fangs.

Some snakes have fangs that point straight down or almost a little forward, so they can poke people with their fangs.
Other snakes have fangs in the front of their mouth, but they curve backwards, so they can only bite something if they can get it into their mouth, but they will be able to hang on and not lose their bite.
There are even snakes with fangs in the very back of their mouth, so they really aren't able to bite much, but if they have managed to really get a deep bite on their prey they can use their venom.

The snakes fangs are all hollow, and fill up with venom that they get from inside their mouth, just like the saliva or spit that is in a human's mouth.


(from: wikipedia - snake)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Yorkshire Terrier

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Snake - Skull


We just learned about the snake skeleton.

Part of the snake's skeleton is the skull.

Sometimes when a snake has to eat a really big meal, it has to open up it's mouth very large.
Some people say that the snake has to unhinge or unhook it's jaw.
This is not really true, because the snake's jaw is already split open at the bottom middle, even before eating anything.

So when they have to eat something big, their bottom jaw spreads out to the left and the right to get big enough for their meal.

(from: wikipedia - snake skeleton)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Keeshond

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Snake - Skeleton


We just learned about the Snake - Molting.

Another part of snake biology is the skeleton.

Snakes only have a skull, backbone and ribs, and a few small bones left over from when snakes used to be lizards and had legs.
They can have 200 to 400 vertebrae in their backbone, depending on the type of snake.


(from: wikipedia - snake skeleton)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Samoyed

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Snake - Molting


We just learned about Snake Scales.

Another part of snake biology is when snakes shed their skin, called molting, sloughing or ecdysis.

Snake skin cane get dirty, worn out, and even covered with bugs like mites or ticks.
So to keep their skin fresh they will peel off the outside layer and have fresh skin and scales underneath.

Usually when a snake is getting ready to shed its skin, it goes and hides somewhere safe.
Then the new layer of skin underneath the old layer gets gooey and slippery.
The snake finds a rough or sharp thing to catch the dry outer skin on, then they keep slithering along.
Just like pulling a sock off, the snake pulls its old skin off and then goes on its way with a nice clean fresh skin.

Younger snakes can shed their skin 4 times a year, and an older snake may only shed their skin 1 or 2 times a year.


(from: wikipedia - snake scale)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: American Eskimo Dog

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snake - Scales


We just learned about the Snake's Internal Orgas.

Another thing that makes snakes different is their scales.

Snakes scales are used to help them slither along the ground, or even to climb trees.
The scales help them feel vibrations on the ground, meaning that an animal is near.
They help them stay warm and hold in the water so they can live in hot places, and they help the snake hide.

Even though snake scales have some color, they are mostly see through, and the color comes from the skin underneath their scales.
Their scales have many different shapes depending on where the scales are on their body, like their head, belly, back or tail.


(from: wikipedia - snake scale)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Whippet

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Snake - Internal Organs


We just learned about the Snakes - forked tongue.

The parts inside a snake body called the internal orgas all work a lot like a human's, but in a snake they are spread out along it's body.
Because snakes eat big meals and their body stretches out, their organs have to be able to move around or get squished when they are trying to eat something really big.



(from: wikipedia - snake)

1 – esophagus, 2 – trachea, 3, 4 & 5 – lungs, 6 – heart, 7 – liver, 8 – stomach, 13 – intestine


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Greyhound