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

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Snakes - Forked Tongue


Let's learn more about Snake Biology.

Snakes have a forked tongue.

When they stick their wet tongue out, it gets covered with smelly stuff from the air and the ground.
They bring their tongue back in their mouth, and a part of their body called the Jacobson's organ, the vomeronasal organ or just VNO tells the snake what smells are on the tongue.

Because their tongue is forked, they can tell which smells were from the left, and which were from the right.

So in a way, they smell with their tongue, but their tongue really just gets covered in smells and brings those smells back to a sort of inside nose in their head.


(from: wikipedia - vomeronasal organ)


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Snake Biology


We just learned about 39 different types of snakes!.

Let's learn a little bit about how a snake's body works.

Snakes have many of the same body parts like we do, like hearts, lungs, vertebrae, but they are smaller, stretched out, or in different places.

One thing we have that snakes don't have is ears outside their body!
Long ago people used to do something called snake charming, where they would play a flute and a snake would rise up out of a basket like it was in a trance.
The trick really was the way the flute was being moved, because the snake couldn't really hear the flute!


(from: wikipedia - snake)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Anaconda


We just learned about the Timor Python.

Another type of snake is the anaconda.

This is the heaviest snake in the world, usually growing to around 150 pounds.
The largest anaconda ever found was over 200 pounds!

Their eyes and nose are on the top of their head, so when they are hiding in the water they only need a little bit of their body in the air to breathe.


(from: wikipedia - anaconda)


These snakes are not venomous, they are constrictors so they kill their prey by squeezing them.
They are so large that they can eat tapirs, deer, capybaras, caimans, jaguars, and even other anacondas.


(from: wikipedia - green anaconda)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flat Coated Retriever

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Timor Python


We just learned about the Mandarin Ratsnake.

Another type of snake is the Timor Python.

These snakes are constrictors, and they are not venomous.
They can grow to be 7 feet long, but they are thinner than most pythons.
They live in trees, and mostly hunt at night in the trees.

Even though they are called the Timor Python, none of these snakes live on the island of Timor in Indonesia.
When they lay their eggs, they will stay curled up around them until the eggs hatch.
Sometimes to warm up their bodies they can twitch and contract and that helps keep the eggs warm.


(from: wikipedia - python timoriensis)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Curly Coated Retriever

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mandarin Ratsnake


We just learned about the Vietnamese Long Nosed Snake.

Another type of snake is the mandarin ratsnake.
This snake is not venomous, and has colorful black and yellow marks on it's body.

It is one of the most popular snakes to be kept as a pet.
In the wild it is a sneaky snake, and likes to live in the homes of mice or rats to hide out.
Even though it is cold blooded, it likes cooler temperatures and is mostly outside in the evening.


(from: wikipedia - mandarin rat snake)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Labrador Retriever

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Vietnamese Long-nosed snake


We just learned about the Gray Banded Kingsnake.

Another type of snake is the Vietnamese Long-nosed snake, also known as the rhinoceros ratsnake.

This type of snake is not venomous, it mostly lives in the trees in rainforests, and is awake at night.

They have a very long nose, which is where they got there nickname of rhinoceros snake.

When they are born, they are brownish grey, and when they grow up they turn green.

(from: wikipedia - viet)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gray Banded Kingsnake


We just learned about the King Brown Snake.

Another snake is the Gray Banded Kingsnake.

This snake is not venomous, and has orange and gray stripes.
It is a very calm snake, and very shy.
Even though it has orange stripes, it can be very hard to find in the wild!

Because this snake is calm, not venomous and very nice looking, many people keep these snakes as pets.


(from: wikipedia - gray-banded kingsnake)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Powderpuff Chinese Crested Dog

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

King Brown Snake


We just learned about the Madagascar Tree Boa.

Another snake is the King Brown Snake, also known as the mulga snake, pilbara cobra, or psuedechis australis.

These venomous snakes live in Australia and can grow to be 9 feet long.
When they bite, they use a lot of venom, sometimes 10 times more than other snakes.


(from: wikipedia - psuedechis australis)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Hairless Chinese Crested Dog

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Madagascar Tree Boa


We just learned about the Black Headed Python.

Another snake is the Madagascar Tree Boa.
This is another snake that does not have venom, but attacks its prey by squishing it.

When these snakes are born they are bright red, but then turn green when they get older.
Some people think the young snakes are red so they can be protected by looking like flowers in the trees.

This snake is nocturnal, meaning it stays awake at night and hunts for food.
Even though they are called a tree boa, they usually just live on the ground.


(from: wikipedia - sanzinia madagascariensis)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Portuguese Water Dog

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Black Headed Python


We just learned about the Reticulated Python.

Another type of snake is the black headed python.

This snake lives mostly in Australia, and can grow to be 11 feet long.

They have brown and black stripes, and a black head.
These snakes are not venomous, and they almost never bite so a lot of people have them as pets.


(from: wikipedia - aspidites melanocephalus)


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reticulated Python


We just learned about the Bushmaster.

Another snake is the Reticulated Python.

At over 21 feet long they are the longest snake and longest reptile in the world.

They are the third heaviest snake in the world, at over 165 lbs.

These snakes live in southeast Asia, and are very good swimmers.
They have even gone from island to island swimming in the ocean.

(from: wikipedia - reticulated python)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bushmaster


We just learned about the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Another type of snake is the Bushmaster.

This type of snake lives in Central and South America, and can grow to be up to 15 feet long.
It is venomous, and is the longest snake in the west part of the world.

It's tail has a spike on it, which it shakes when it is in danger, but it does not make a rattle sound.
Because of this it has the nickname of the "mute rattlesnake".

(from: wikipedia - lachesis (genus))


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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


We just learned about the Indochinese spitting cobra.

Another type of snake is the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

This snake has a rattle on it's tail just like some of the other rattlesnakes we've learned about.
It usually grows to about 4 feet long, and it's scales make a diamond shaped pattern.

It is venomous, and they will attack people if it is not left alone.
It is the second most deadly snake in the United States.

These snakes are important predators of mice, rabbits and birds that would harm crops and homes if they were not around. They are also prey for larger predators like coyotes, foxes, hawks and owls.

These snakes sometimes hibernate in colder weather, and can go for two years without any food.
They live in the southwestern part of the US and in Mexico.


(from: wikipedia - western diamondback rattlesnake)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Pomeranian

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Indochinese Spitting Cobra


We just learned about the Gaboon Viper.

Another type of snake is the Indochinese Spitting Cobra.

Just like all other cobras, this snake will raise it's head up, and also has a hood that flares out.
It can be black, white, brown or multiple colors like white with black spots.

It is a spitting cobra, meaning it can actually spray its venom out of it's fangs at enemies over six feet away!
The venom will not hurt if it is on human skin, but if it gets in someone's eyes they may be permanently blinded.

These snakes can bite too, not just spray their venom, and their bite can be deadly if the person does not get to the hospital soon enough.
They are a very dangerous snake, but they only live in a small part of the world, near Thailand.


(from: wikipedia - indochinese spitting cobra)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dalmation

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gaboon Viper


We just learned about the Savu Python.

Another type of snake is the Gaboon Viper.

This snake is part of the viper family, which are snakes that have long fangs and use venom.

The Gaboon viper is the world's heaviest viper, has the longest fangs of any viper, and also uses the most venom per bite of any viper.
They can be over 40 pounds, and over 6 feet long!

These snakes live in Africa, and even though they are very big and dangerous, they almost never attack people.
Their venom is enough to kill a person if they do not get to a hospital quickly, but some of these vipers have even been stepped on and still have not bitten the person.

They are checkered with black triangles and white hourglass shapes.

(from: wikipedia - gaboon viper)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Rough Collie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Savu Python


We just learned about the Fox Snake.

Another type of snake is the Savu Python also known as the Liasis Mackloti Savuensis.

These snakes come from the Island of Sawu in Indonesia, and are not venomous.

When they are young, they start out as a bright orange color, and when they are grown up they are a speckled dark brown with white eyes.


(from: wikipedia - liasis mackloti savuensis)


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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fox Snake


We just learned about the King Cobra.

Another type of snake is the Eastern Fox Snake.

This snake is not venomous, lives mostly on the ground, and hunts mostly small mice that it squeezes with constriction and then eats.
In the winter time since it lives in cold areas it will sometimes live in dens with other snakes to stay warm, even if they are not the same type of snake.

This snake looks a lot like the Massasauga rattlesnake and sometimes for self defense it will shake its tail like a rattler to make people scared that it is dangerous.

Unfortunately a lot of people have killed the Fox Snake thinking it was a dangerous Massasauga, so there are not many of them left.

The Fox Snake gets its name because when it is picked up it lefts off a musky smell that smells kind of like the red fox.
(from: wikipedia - fox snake)


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