May 05, 2011

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Crocodiles ... The Snappy Truth Fact #1 Unlike most other reptiles, crocodiles do not shed their skin but grow into it instead. Fact #2 If a mother crocodile senses danger to her young, she can protect them by putting them in the gular pouch inside her mouth. Young crocodiles do not remain with their mothers beyond two years. Fact #3 The easiest way to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is by the teeth. When an alligator closes its mouth all of the teeth fit inside and none are exposed. When a crocodile closes its mouth one tooth on each side remains exposed. Also, alligators are darker. Crocodiles have a lighter skin that is grayish green. Fact #4 Crocodiles don’t have litters of babies they have nests of eggs! These are called “clutches.” Some crocs will dig from 10-30 feet into a creek bank to make a burrow for their nest. Then they create a hidden entrance that is at the water line or just below. A clutch can have as little as 8 eggs or as many as 80! Fact #5 The jaws of a croc can exert 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. They break through both bones and flesh! Fact #6 New born crocs are 10 inches long! The mother will carry them from the nest to the water. They grow 12 inches a year and can live up to 45 years and longer in captivity. In Madagascar the crocodile was almost extinct due to hunting them for their skins. Other threats are from fishermen’s nets and habitat loss. Fact #7 Crocodiles have the ability to keep their eyes open under water and close their nostrils while under water. Fact #8 Crocodiles also have special glands in their tongues that can get rid of excess salt, so they tend to live in saltwater habitats. Alligators have these glands, too, but they don't work as well as the crocodiles, so alligators prefer to live in freshwater habitats. Fact #9 When fish are migrating, crocs may hunt cooperatively by forming a semi-circle across the river and herding the fish. They then eat the fish that are closest to them. Fact #10 The first species of crocodiles appeared 240 million years ago and are said to have evolved from dinosaurs. This is the same time the Dinosaurs existed. They are closely related to dinosaurs and birds than other reptiles.
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JELLYFISH ~ MAGICAL CREATURES OF THE SEA! One of my favorite creatures of the sea is the Jellyfish! They are so magical and beautiful! I love the way the move in the water and how they are all so different and original. Here are some fun facts that I learned about Jellyfish: Fact #1 There are over 200 known species of jellyfish, True jellyfish and many others. Examples of true jellyfish include Lion’s Mane that is known to be the biggest, Moon Jellies, Sea Nettles and Blue Jellies among others. Those that are not true jellyfish like the Craspedacusta Sowerbii, are known so because they only thrive in fresh water. The history of jellyfish dates back to over 650 million years ago and is a story much longer than that of dinosaurs. Fact #2 Jellyfishes use jet propulsion to make their way through to the oceans of the world. Some jellyfish are avid swimmers, while other mostly drift with the currents. Fact #3 Jellyfish are made up to 95% water! Their bodies are soft and lack a skeletal structure or outer shell. They are delicate and are easily damageds. Jellyfish require water to help support their body and if removed from their aquatic surroundings, they collapse. Fact #4 Jellyfishes have no brain, no blood and no nervous system. Their senses are primitive and consist of a neural net, eye spots that can sense light from dark, and chemosensory pits that help them identify potential prey. Fact #5 The word jellyfish is a common term used to describe animals that are gelatinous or made up of ‘jelly-like’ material. There are many different types of jellyfish, including stinging kinds called medusae and non-stinging kinds calledcomb jellies or ctenophores. Another type of jelly animal called a salp is even in the same group as humans! Fact #6 Most jellyfish live less than one year, and some some of the smallest may live only a few days. Fact #7 Jellyfish digest their food very quickly. They wouldn't be able to float if they had to carry a large, undigested meal around for a long period. They dine on fish, shrimp, crabs, tiny plants, and will even eat other species of jellyfish. Fact #8 Jellyfish NEVER stop growing. Fact #9 Jellyfish are not actually classified as ‘fish’, some people prefer to refer to them as ‘sea jellies’. They do not have gills (or lungs) Fact #10 The jellyfish population can be decreased by particularly rainy season, because they prefer salt water.

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Araya and Avery are young equestrians and entrepreneurs with a passion for life!

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