Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy July 4th - Bald Eagle Facts!

Celebrate the Fourth of July by impressing folks at your bbq with some impressive facts about America's symbol - the Bald Eagle!

They are America's symbol because some of them are naturally born with the American flag design on their wings.

Ok, not really - so here are some REAL facts:

Bald Eagles hold the record for largest bird nest. On average, their nests are 2-4 deep and 4-5 feet wide. But one found in St. Petersburg, Florida earned the record for largest bird nest - at 20 feet deep and 9.5 feet wide. It weighed over two tons!

They mate for life! And they share parenting duties, too - taking turns incubating eggs and feeding their young. They normally pair up around 4-5 years old and can live into their 30's. Romantic, right?

Their eyes are AMAZING. They have a set of eyelids which are a see-through membrane. So they can close that eyelid to protect their eyes, and still see! They also can see ultraviolet light. They can also spot a rabbit at 10,500 feet away!

Eagle talons are reportedly the strongest talons of any bird! They've been tested to have an average crush rate of over 800psi - the strong of any bird!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Because I Can't Wait for Jurassic World .... Dinosaurs!!!

I am a HUGE dinosaur person! I've always loved them. At the beginning of my first book, Acea and the Animal Kingdom, Acea would spend his recesses in elementary school digging through rocks at his playground looking for dinosaur fossils. This was actually me. I used to come back to class with pockets full of rocks that I thought were fossils or footprints. Naturally, dinosaurs were then featured prominently at the end of my trilogy in Acea and the Adventure Thru Time.

So, I can't wait for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to come out! Part of it is nostalgia with wanting to re-live my memories of being enthralled with Jurassic Park as a kid. But the other part of it is that it's just way awesome to see dinosaurs on the big screen!

In anticipation of JW, we went to our local dinosaur museum (Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, Utah).  We loved it!  We'll skip to animal facts for today - and instead just post some pics of the dinosaur fossils we encountered:

One of the coolest things we did was cleaning fossils of fish - real fossils that came from a Wyoming quarry. I'd been wanting to go to that quarry for a while now, and so getting to finally see those fish fossils in person was great. And we got to keep them!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Worm from Hell? It's the Hyrdothermal Worm!

Ever watched tremors and wondered if worms like that really exist? They don't. But something that's just a creepy-looking-cool does exist: the Hydrothermal Worm!

The little guys are ... well ... little! The below image is zoomed in 525 times and was taken by an electron microscope. They are actually about the size as bacteria. But most people will never encounter these things, so no need to fear. They are deep sea creatures that live primarily next to hydrothermal vents deep in the sea.

Still ... there's something about this picture that makes me thing "Worm From Hell."

(Photo credit: Philippe Crassous & FEI)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Amazing Fact of the Day: Ostrich Eyes

Amazing Animal Fact of the Day:

An Ostrich eyeball is about as big as a billiard ball. Their eyes take up so much room in the skull that each eyeball is larger than the size of the Ostrich's brain! They may be good a running, but they're not very good at outsmarting predators due to that small brain. They tend to run in circles!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Longest Living Animal Is...

What's the longest living animal ever discovered? The answer may surprise you!

Most people would probably think it's a Galapagos Tortoise, whose lifespan is over 100 years. But you'd be wrong.

Image result for galapagos tortoise

Before we get to the winner, the runner-up is the Greenland Shark. The oldest recorded living Greenland Shark was 392 years old! They live in the Northern Atlantic Ocean and live on average of 200 years. They don't reach their adult size until 100 years old! 

Though it's the runner up of all animals, it does win the award for longest known living vertebrate animal.

Image result for greenland shark

The winner is .... the Ocean Quahog Clam!  

The animal can live over 400 years on average, and the oldest known living one was discovered at 507 years old!!! It was given the name 'Ming' because it would have been alive during the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Like the Greenland Shark, these Clams also live in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. 

This is Ming:

Ming clam shell WG061294R.jpg

But I have a feeling that once the Loch Ness Monster is caught, we'll have a new winner!