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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Firefly Squid

We just learned about the Cirroteuthis.

Another type of cephalopod is the Firefly Squid also known as watasenia scintillans.
They are usually about 3 inches long, and live in the Pacific Ocean.

This type of squid is bioluminescent.
That means parts of its body light up, kind of like a firefly.

There are tiny little dots all over the squid's body with organs called photophores.
The squid uses these photophores to light up, which makes small fish swim toward them, and they eat them up!

It also uses its body lights to make its top bright and bottom dark so it can hide from other predators.

When it is looking around for another firefly squid it will light up it's whole body as a signal.

(from: wikipedia - firefly squid)

Firefly squid / Shine blue beach in Toyama Bay - SuiTube5

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Goliath Frog

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


We just learned about the Grimpoteuthis - Dumbo Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is Cirroteuthis.

This is an octopus that has webbing in between its arms holding them together.
It almost looks like an octopus wearing a dress!

It can grow to be almost five feet long, and is usually white or purple.
Just like the dumbo octopus, this octopus has fins on its head that it can flap.

They live in the deep sea in cold water, like the Arctic ocean or the south pacific near Antarctica.
Scientists have not been able to find a lot of these, because they live over 6,000 feet deep in the ocean, where there is almost no light.

(from: wikipedia - cirroteuthis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Paedophryne Amauensis

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Grimpoteuthis - Dumbo Octopus

We just learned about the Blue Ringed Octopus.

Another cephalopod is the Grimpoteuthis, also known as the "Dumbo Octopus".

This octopus has fins on the side of it's head that look almost like ears, and it flaps these fins almost like dumbo the elephant flapping its ears to fly.
They swim along the ocean floor floating along, and then they jump on their prey and swallow it whole.

(from: wikipedia - grimpoteuthis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mountain Chicken Frog

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blue Ringed Octopus

We just learned about the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Blue Ringed Octopus.

This type of octopus is very small, only about 4 to 8 inches wide even including its arms.
Their body is yellow, with glowing blue circles on it.

This is nature's way of warning everyone to stay back because they are very poisonous, and deadly to humans!
If they bite a person, they have a type of neurotoxin poison that attacks the nerves in the body and make it so they can't move any muscles.

(from: wikipedia - blue ringed octopus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Purple Frog

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

We just learned about the Coconut Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

This squid has a special type of bacteria that lives in its body that helps it glow a little, and also helps it change colors to match other things around it.

When it wants to hide, it buries its whole body under the sand, leaving just its eyes uncovered.

(from: wikipedia - euprymna scolopes)

(from: wikipedia - euprymna scolopes)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Darwin's Frog

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Coconut Octopus

We just learned about the European Squid.

Another type of cephalopod is the Coconut Octopus, also known as the veined octopus or amphioctopus marginatus.

This type of octopus lives mostly on the bottom of the water, and walks along in the sand.
It gets the name of coconut octopus, because it has been seen carrying empty coconut shells while it walks, and then when it wants to hide it climbs into the shell and closes it up.
Sometimes it will carry shells instead of coconuts and hide out in them, either hiding from predators or hiding so they can attack their prey.

Scientists also think that when it walks it looks like a coconut shell bouncing along the ocean floor.

(from: wikipedia - amphioctopus marginatus)

Coconut-carrying octopus stuns scientists - AFP news agency

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Common Midwife Toad

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

European Squid

We just learned about the Cuttlefish.

Another type of cephalopod is the European Squid.

Squids are a lot like the cuttlefish, as they have eight short arms used for swimming and two tentacles used for grabbing their prey.
They also have a bone inside their body, kind of like the cuttlebone, but it is called the gladius.

They have a large part of their head called a mantle, with fins on the side.
Above the mantle is a tail.
Below the mantle they have the funnel where they breathe, and their eye.
At the bottom is their arms, tentacles and mouth.

(from: wikipedia - european squid)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


We just learned about the Chambered Nautilus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish have eight arms like an octopus, but they also have two tentacles that have sharp edges like teeth they use to hook onto their prey, or sting with venom.

They have very different eyes that are in a W shape, that lets them see in front and behind at the same time.
Cuttlefish have green and blue blood instead of red, and they have three hearts!

There is a bone in the middle of the cuttlefish's body called the cuttlebone that is made of aragonite.
This is like a hollow crystaline type of bone that they use to push air or liquid into, so they can float or sink.
Just like some other cephalopods, cuttlefish have ink they can squirt out when they are scared.
This ink was so dark that it was used for painting or in food, and the science name of Cuttle fish is "Sepiida" which is where we get the color name "sepia" from.

Cuttlefish are also sometimes called chameleons of the sea, because they can change their color to look darker, lighter or even change color to disguise themselves.

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

(from: wikipedia - cuttlefish)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Edible Frog

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chambered Nautilus

We just learned about the Common Octopus.

Another type of cephalopod is the Chambered Nautilus.

These cephalopods look sort of like snails, and they live in shells like a snail.
Inside their shells are chambers in a spiral shape where their body parts are squished into.

The top of their outside shell is dark on top and light on the bottom.
This helps them hide from predators, because looking down from above they blend in with the dark sea, and looking up from below they blend in with the sky above.

The nautilus grows from an egg, but they don't grow as a larvae like a lot of other cephalopods. They grow right from the start with a tiny shell, and the shell grows with them inside the egg until they hatch, about 1 inch long.

It is a meat eater, and it eats shellfish, but also eats garbage food floating around in the water or on the bottom of the sea.

They float up and down by changing how much water is in their shell.
If they want to go down, they suck in more water, and if they want to go up they spit some out.
You can think of it like a boat, that fills up with water and sinks, or empties the water and floats.

(from: wikipedia - chambered nautilus)

(from: wikipedia - chambered nautilus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Panamanian Golden Frog

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Common Octopus

Let's learn about some cephalopods!.

One of the most famous ones is the Common Octopus.

Some funny things about the octopus are that while a lot of people say "octopi" for a group of them, the right word is actually "octopuses".

Also, people say that an octopus has tentacles, but they actually have arms.
The difference is that arms have suction cups all along them, and tentacles only have suction cups at the end.

There are about 300 different types of octopuses in the world!

These cephalopods can change color to hide, and they use their arms to grab their prey and use their beak to crack open any shells for animals they have to eat.

(from: wikipedia - octopus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: European Fire Bellied Toad

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


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

There are over 800 different kinds of cephalopods living in the world, and around 11,000 kinds of cephalopods that have gone extinct and are no longer around.

Some cephalopods are really famous, like the octopus or squid, but some you may not have heard of like ammonoids or nautilus.

The super science name for an animal is split up into these parts: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, and sometimes Subclass.
Sometimes there are even more parts like Suborder, Infraorder, Family, Genus or Species.
Humans are:
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Primates, Suborder: Haplorhini, Infraorder: Simiiformes, Family: Hominidae, Genus: Homo, Species: H. sapiens

Scientists use these words to come up with special names for every single animal on the planet from mice to elephants.

Cephalopods are:
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Cephalopoda

The "phylum: Mollusca" actually means that an animal like an octopus is sort of related to a snail!

There are lots of different types of cephalopods, we'll learn about some fun ones next time!

(from: wikipedia - cephalopod)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Frogs and Toads

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Frog Teeth

We just learned about frogs eating their skin, and breathing through it.

When frogs eat, they don't chew up their food like other predators with big teeth.
They only have some teeth on their upper jaw, and they use it to hold on to their food and swallow it whole.

(from: wikipedia - frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Venom

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Frog Skin

We just learned about tadpoles.

Frog skin is very interesting, because many frogs breathe through their skin underwater.

Frogs also shed their skin, pull it off and then eat it!

Some frogs even have poison come off of their skin for protection.

(from: wikipedia - frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Fangs

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


We just learned a little about frog eggs, called Frogspawn.

When the eggs hatch, they turn into Tadpoles or pollywogs.

They are born with little flat tails, gills for breathing, and cartilage for bones.
As they get older, they will start to grow tiny lungs that they can use along with their gills to breathe.

Tadpoles mostly eat algae, but some bigger ones will eat insects or tiny fish.
They are in danger of being eaten by fish, large insects and birds, so some tadpoles are poisonous to protect themselves.

Eventually they will start to grow legs as they are on their way to becoming a frog.
This could be as fast as a week, or as long as a year!

(from: wikipedia - frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Skull

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


We just learned about the Masked Tree Frog that looks like it is wearing a mask.

When frogs are babies, they are born in eggs, like a chicken.
Their eggs are in water, and are usually clear and covered in a kind of jelly.

Baby frog eggs are called Frogspawn.
Some frogs lay their eggs in long strings, some lay them into soft dirt, and some lay their eggs in foam.
Other frogs lay their eggs in trees and then drop into the water.

The eggs usually hatch after about a week.

(from: wikipedia - frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Skeleton

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Masked Tree Frog

We just learned about the Yellow Spotted Climbing Toad, the only toad that lives in the trees.

Another type of frog is the Masked Tree Frog, also called the New Granada cross-banded tree frog, or Smilisca phaeota.
They live mostly in Middle and South America, in tropical forests.

They get the nickname of masked tree frog because they look like they have a black mask on.
The black mask covers their eyes, which helps them hide from predators.

(from: wikipedia - new granada cross-banded tree frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Molting

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Yellow Spotted Climbing Toad

We just learned about the Square Marked Toad that bounces around to confuse it's predators.

Another type of frog is the Yellow Spotted Climbing Toad, also called Pedostibes Hosii, or Boulenger's Asian tree toad.

These are true toads, part of the Bufonidae family.
They are the only known "arboreal" toads, which means they live in the trees.

(from: wikipedia - pedostibes hosii)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Scales

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Square Marked Toad

We just learned about the Japenese Tree Frog that lives in rice paddies in Japan.

Another type of frog is the Square Marked Toad, also called the African common toad, African toad, Egyptian toad, African bouncing toad, or Reuss's toad.

This is a true toad in the Bufonidae family, that lives in Africa.
It can grow over 5 inches long, and is a green brown color with warts.

When these toads are feeling scared, they sometimes will bounce around to confuse their predators, and try to escape.

(from: wikipedia - amietophrynus regularis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake - Internal Organs

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Japanese Tree Frog

We just learned about the African Dwarf Frog.

Another type of frog is the Japanese Tree Frog.

This frog lives in Japan, Korea, China and Russia.
They sometimes live in rice paddies and on rice leaves.

When the Japanese person Toyohiro Akiyama went to a space station called Mir in 1990, he took some of these frogs into outer space with him.

These frogs have figured out a special way to call out to each other without interrupting other frogs.
Scientists have used this to come up with better ways to use wifi networks.

(from: wikipedia - japanese tree frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snakes Forked Tongue

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

African Dwarf Frog

We just learned about the Stony Creek Frog with the special nostrils so they can hide underwater.

Another type of frog is the African Dwarf Frog.

These frogs live on the African continent around the equator.

This special kind of frog lives its whole life underwater, except when it goes to the surface to get a breath of air.
They have no tongues and no teeth! So when they want to eat they use their claws to grind up their food, and then push it down into their mouth with their feet.

(from: wikipedia - african dwarf frog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Snake Biology