Animal Facts

4 Different Types of Bees To Look For This Summer

Common bees that you may be familiar with include honey bees, bumble bees and leaf cutters. Did you know that there are over 4,000 different types or species of bees? All bees belong to the insect or Super-family ‘Apoidea’. Apoidea also includes ‘sphecoid wasps’, from which bees are believed to be descended.

There are currently seven different bee families.

Super Bee Family

  • Apidae- Large group of around 6000 species. Includes social and solitary species. Some cleptoparasite bee species belong in this group.
  • Megachilidae- Around 3,000 species. Includes the world’s largest known species, Megachile pluto. Some members of this family are cleptoparasties.
  • Andrenidae- A large family of bees, with around 2,700 species. There are no cleptoparasite species in this family.
  • Colletidae- Believed to consist of around 2,000 species. Bees belonging in this group line their nests with a waterproof cellophane-like substance.
  • Halictidae- A group of around 3,500 species. Some are metallic in appearance. Some tropical species may be called ‘sweat bees’ due to the attraction to sweat. Some cleptoparasite species are included in this group.
  • Melittidae- A small family of bees with around 160 species.
  • Stenotritidae- Small bee family with around 21 species. Found in Australia. Originally part of the ‘Colletidae’ family.

Honey Bee

Honey bees are super-important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. This means that they help other plants grow! Bees transfer pollen between the male and female parts, allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit. Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types including the Queen, Worker, and Drones. One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees. The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day! The worker bees are all female and their roles are to forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive. The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. Drones are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen. Several hundred live in each hive during the spring and summer. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!

Bumblebee

Bumblebees are large, fuzzy insects with short, stubby wings. They are larger than honeybees, but they don’t produce as much honey. However, they are very important pollinators. Without them, food wouldn’t grow. Two-thirds of the world’s crop species depend on animals to transfer pollen between male and female flower parts. Bumblebees are the leaders in pollination. Their wings beat 130 times or more per second. The the beating combined with their large bodies vibrates flowers until they release pollen, which is called buzz pollination. Buzz pollination helps plants produce more fruit. There are over 255 species of bumblebees. The largest is the queen of the Bombus dahlbomii, which can grow up to 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) long. Bumblebees usually build their nests close to the ground, under piles of wood, dead leaves and compost piles, or even below ground in abandoned rodent tunnel. A dominant female called the queen rules the colony. The other bees serve her or gather food or care for developing larvae. During the late fall, the entire colony dies, except for the queen. The queen is the mother of all the bees in a colony. After waking from hibernation, the queen finds food and looks for a good location for a nest. Once the nest is found, she lays her eggs and stores up food for herself and the babies.

Bumblebees are larger than honey bees and generate more heat. This allows them to work during cooler weather. Bumblebees don’t die when they sting like honey bees.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees are the largest in statue in the bee family as many can be measured over an inch long! Often mistaken for Bumblebees, Carpenter Bees are different with a black shiny tail section. Carpenter Bees are not active year-round. They hibernate in the winter. Females do have a stinger but will rarely sting. These bees will sting when caught or squeezed. Since Carpenter Bees’ stingers are not barbed, they are able to sting over and over again. Homeowners find carpenter bees seasonally as they like to burrow within wood surfaces. This bee truly is a “carpenter,” tunneling into the wood of a tree limb, beam, deck, porch rail, or bench. The tunnels are built with the Carpenter Bee’s strong jaw as it vibrates itself through the wood. The bees do not eat the wood but reuse the particles to build individual cells or discard them.

Stingless Bee

If you’re in North America, you might not have heard of stingless bees because well, we don’t have them here. Stingless bees are found only in special places of the world. These bees are tropical. You can find them in Central and South America, Africa, South East Asia, and Australia. In these warm climates, the bees are often active year round. Stingless bees, like honey bees, are social and live in colonies. They have a queen, workers and drones, but some species have another member called soldiers. These specialized nest defenders are given extra food during their larval state. As a result, they develop physiological differences, like a larger body or bigger legs, that aid them in their role of protecting their colony. Stingless bees have many similarities to honey bees, but when it comes to queens, they may have a better plan. Honey bee colonies often rely on a single mated queen to sustain their population and if she dies, they rush to make a new one, but if they fail, they face collapse. In contrast, stingless bees keep unmated “back up” queens in their hives in case their active queen fails. These virgin queens just keep out of the way until they are needed. Swarming for them is a gradual process. When it comes to swarming, scout bees and worker bees often travel ahead of the queen to the new location and begin building the new nest before she arrives. The bees will sometimes transport materials to their new nest site from the old for weeks before the process is complete.

#Literacy, Preschool

July’s Book List- A Positive Representation of African American Children

It’s July 1st! If you have started to read to your young child, or deciding to begin this month, this list will be extremely beneficial to you.

Carmin Cares

Age Group: 2-5

Author: Karen Kilpatrick

When Carmin gets gum on her shoe while playing on the playground, she decides it’s time that someone did something about the mess and that “someone” may as well be her! But Carmin’s not old enough to clean the whole park by herself, so what can she do? It turns out that even the littlest kids can find ways to encourage people to take care of their community — and their environment. This cheerful picture book with a positive message is a fun read and a great way to prompt discussions about how kids can help.

When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree

Ages: 3-7

Author: Jamie L.B. Deenihan

Sometimes, even if you give Grandma a very careful list of electronic gadgets you’d like for your birthday… she’ll give you a lemon tree instead. If that happens, you should be polite and say thank you, and you definitely should not try to get rid of it (even if you do come up with some clever ideas.) Instead, put it somewhere sunny and give it just enough water, and with a little time, you might just have some delicious home-made lemonade (recipe included)! This wry and clever book about the joys of tending a growing plant is sure to make kids giggle, and give them a new appreciation of all the good things that can come from a little patience.

I Love My Hair!

Ages: 3-7

Author: Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Kenaya is a little girl with a big imagination. Every night, she and her mother sit down for the dreaded ritual of combing Kenaya’s thick hair. But as Kenaya’s mother tells her all the wonderful and different ways she can wear her hair, Kenaya imagines those styles in fantastic ways, from thread on a spinning wheel to rows of plants in a garden to her favorite style, two ponytails that become wings that let her soar high above the world. This tribute to the beauty of naturally textured hair is sure to delight.

Who’s Knees Are These?

Ages: 2-5

Author: Jabari Asim

A vibrant, multicultural board book that celebrates a baby’s sweet knees, for fans of Ten Tiny Fingers and Ten Little Toes. Parents and children will enjoy this interactive board book full of toddler appeal that is perfect for celebrating a baby’s adorable knees.

Crown, An Ode To The Fresh Cut

Ages: 3 and up

Author: Derrick Barnes

A fresh cut makes boys fly. The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. Read this book to boost the esteem of your young son.

Not Quite Snow White

Ages: 4-8

Author: Ashley Franklin

Tameika loves to perform on stage and whether she’s acting, singing, or dancing, she always puts on a great show. So when her school decides to put on a musical version of Snow White she can’t wait to audition… until she hears her peers talking behind her back about how she’s too tall, too chubby, and too brown for the role. Fortunately, Tameika’s parents give her just the right reassurance she needs to nail the audition and show there’s no one right way to be a princess. Text that emphasizes Tameika’s passion and drive and images that highlight the joy she takes in acting combine to create an empowering story of self-confidence and individuality.

#Literacy, Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, education, Preschool

10 Rabbits You Should Consider As A Pet

As pets, dwarf rabbits are becoming increasingly popular. Larger and larger pets are becoming more popular as animal companions also, which might lead to health issues later in their lives. Dwarf rabbits, on the other hand, are believed to live longer than larger rabbit types. They are also very adorable, as well as, intelligent and capable of forming strong ties with humans.

1. Mini Lop

Despite its youth, the Mini Lop, also known as the dwarf lop rabbit, is one of the most popular dwarf rabbit breeds. They have a short and wide body shape with a rounded shape. They have a strong musculature for a small rabbit breed, and their head is relatively large in comparison to the rest of their body. The name ‘lop’ refers to their ears which hang down the side of their head. They have a rounded tip, but are not as long as some lop rabbit breeds.

mini lop

They have a high proportion of guard hairs, which make up their outer coat. When showing Mini Lop in rabbit shows, a wide range of colors are acceptable, which is agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band color groups. In adults, their body weight should range between 2.5 and 3.5 kg.

2. Netherland Dwarf

Even among little dwarf rabbit breeds, the Netherland Dwarf rabbit is the smallest. Their body weight ranges from 0.5 kg to 1 kg. Despite their small size, they are robust and muscular, allowing them to move with incredible flexibility. Their head is also large in comparison to the rest of their body, but they have an extremely short neck.

netherland dwarf

The roots of this rabbit breed can be traced back to the Netherlands, as the name implies. The examples we know today may be very different from their ancestors, which were produced at the turn of the twentieth century. Today you can find them in many colors such as self-group, shaded group, agouti group, tan pattern group, fawn, Himalayan, orange, steel, and tortoiseshell.

3. Jersey Wooly

Another unusual and little-known rabbit is the Jersey Wooly rabbit. The breed originated in the United States, notably in the state of New Jersey, from where their name derives. Their appeal as a pet extends far beyond their lovely look with wide variety of colors and also long wooly coat. They are also naturally gentle and affectionate.

jersey wooly rabbit

The Jersey Wooly is regarded as “the rabbit that does not kick” in its native land. They have a fairly balanced temperament and rarely show symptoms of hostility, making them quite friendly in their daily lives. This dwarf rabbit breed was created in the 1970s through crossbreeding between the French Angora rabbit and the Dutch Dwarf rabbit. The Jersey is characterized by their compact and muscular body, small erect ears on a square head. These ears only measure around 2″. Adult individuals can weigh up to 1.5 kg 

4. Holland Lop

During the 1940s, Adrian de Cock developed the Holland Lop rabbit breed by selectively crossing the English Lop, the French Lop, and the Netherland Dwarf rabbit breeds. The Holland Lop weighs between 0.9 and 1.8 kg and has a compact and sturdy body covered in profuse smooth and silky fur.

holland lop

The breed now has the color of agouti, broken, pointed white, self, shaded, ticked, or wide-band color groups. The head is noticeably flattened with their lopped ears being medium length and giving them an adorably cute appearance.

5. Lionhead Rabbit

One of the most eye-catching miniature rabbit breeds is the Lionhead rabbit. Its name relates to its most distinguishing feature, a mane of long, fluffy hairs on its head resembling those of a lion. However, many people lose their manes as they grow older. The dwarf rabbits’ ears, which can grow to be more than 7 cm long, are another distinguishing trait. This causes them to be big in comparison to the rest of their body, though their fuzzy mane can sometimes disguise them. There is, however, a Lionhead rabbit variety with shorter and more upright ears. 

lionhead rabbit

Lionhead rabbits are a miniature rabbit breed that can weigh up to 2 kg. They are tough, but the fluff, which can come in a variety of colors, makes them appear larger than they are. The eyes are rounded and nicely spaced from one another. They have a rounded skull and a snout that is slightly extended. This breed can be traced back to its Belgian origins, but it was finished to the standard we see now in England.

6. Dwarf Hotot

dwarf hotot

Mme Eugenie Bernhard raised this rabbit in France, notably Hotot-en-Auge, from where it gets its name. Since their introduction in 1902, these dwarf rabbits have received worldwide acclaim for their stunning look and kind, friendly demeanor. The contrast of totally white fur and brown eyes encased in a dramatic black ring is the dwarf rabbit’s most distinguishing trait.

This color contrast draws attention to the Dwarf Hotot’s gorgeous eyes, making them appear much larger than they truly are. We must not, however, overlook their adorable little ears that perch atop their head and are relatively uncommon.

7. Lagomorphs

These little lagomorphs from England have a broad, compact, and muscular body with an equally broad and slightly curved skull (when in profile). They have wide, brilliant eyes that give them a captivating appearance. Their longest, densest, and most plentiful trait is their long, dense, and plentiful fur.

Mini Satin

This can have a variety of solid and distinguishing color patterns. Its long, drooping ears give it a soft appearance. Their delicate coat is quite pleasant to the touch, but they require meticulous upkeep to avoid knots, filth buildup, and digestive issues caused by hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Britannia Petite Rabbit

The Britannia Petite is another rabbit breed that originated in England from rabbits brought over from Poland. It is one of the oldest dwarf rabbit breeds, with origins dating back to the nineteenth century, owing to the popularity of animal exhibitions at the time. Its most distinguishing trait is its arched body, which has earned it a favorite in rabbit displays.

This arch is almost as curled as a quarter of a circle and spans from the base of its neck to its tail. The belly button is also somewhat elevated, adding to the arching appearance. Its head is shaped like a wedge, and its eyes protrude slightly. Their ears are short and pointed, and they tend to stand upright.

These tiny rabbits are notable for their high level of energy. As a result, they require a significant amount of daily exercise to maintain both physical health and stable behavior. Because of their small size, they do not require a large hutch to keep them in, but they do require a huge run in which to expend their energy. It is recommended that kids have access to open area where they can run, jump, and play with their families whenever feasible.

9. Mini Angora

The English Angora rabbit is a popular rabbit breed due to its sensitive looks and dense coat. Originally, its breeding was devoted to exploitation of its fur for wool, which is why you may have heard of them from the famous angora jumpers created from its wool. They are, nevertheless, becoming increasingly popular as pets. They require a lot of care and grooming due to their thick coat. This is to avoid knots, hairballs, and other hygienic issues.

Not all Angora rabbis are diminutive. The Giant Angora rabbit, contrary to popular belief, is everything but. Despite being smaller than most rabbits, the English Angora is not a dwarf rabbit. Norma Spencer, a breeder in New Zealand, has bred the Mini English Angora rabbit. They gained their small stature by breeding with Netherland rabbits, but they are very rare, even in their homeland.

10. Columbia Basin Pygmy

The Columbia Basic pygmy rabbit is one of the tiniest dwarf rabbit breeds. Adults weigh no more than 500 g.

During the 1990s, the breed was on the verge of extinction. Unfortunately, there are no purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, but the breed is still alive and well. Nonetheless, they remain one of the world’s rarest rabbit breeds.

Animal Facts

All About Ladybugs

Ladybugs are not bugs at all, but are soft shelled beetles. Lady bugs are most known for their graceful ways and attractive outer appearance or their shell casing. In comparison to other bugs, ladybugs are the least harmless to humans and are often considered good luck, by even those who do not like bugs.

There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs in the world. These much loved critters are also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles. They come in many different colors and patterns, but the most familiar in North America is the seven-spotted ladybug, with its shiny, red-and-black body.

Physical Features

Did you know? Ladybugs are small and usually quite round in shape. The color on the wing covers (elytra) can be yellow, orange, or red and often has small black dots on it. Ladybugs also have black legs, head, and antennae. Its body has three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Each of the three body parts has a different function.

The head houses the ladybug’s mouthparts, compound eyes, and antennae. The thorax has three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. The first pair of wings is the hardened elytra that protect the flight wings underneath. When the ladybug takes flight, the elytra open, and the thin, veined wings unfold. The abdomen contains organs for digestion, respiration, and reproduction.

The Lady Beetle

The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “Beetle of Our Lady.” This eventually was shortened to “lady beetle” and “ladybug.”

Ladybugs as Prey

When threatened, the bugs will secrete an oily, foul-tasting fluid from joints in their legs. They may also play dead. Birds are ladybugs’ main predators, but they also fall victim to frogs, wasps, spiders, and dragonflies. Potential predators may be deterred by the vile-smelling mix of alkaloids and equally repulsed by the sight of a seemingly sickly beetle. Ladybug larvae can also ooze alkaloids from their abdomens.

Insect-eating birds and other animals learn to avoid meals that come in red and black and are more likely to steer clear of a ladybug lunch.

Farmers and Lady Bugs

Farmers use ladybugs to control other insects. Because ladybugs have long been known to eat the gardener’s pestilent aphids and other insects, there have been many attempts to use ladybugs to control these pests.

Farmers often see a mass of ladybugs when the season changes. Also, ladybugs are known to wash upon the sea in large numbers. Fall infestations of these beetles is more a sign of winter’s approach. As the temperatures begin to cool, these bugs love when a sunny day beckons to them to come out and soak up the rays. They will do anything or go any place for a bit of warmth. In fact, if there is a tiny opening around a window or door, they find their way in and seem to invite all of their relatives.

In June 2019, a group of ladybugs moving through San Diego was so big, it showed up on the National Weather Service’s radar.

Ladybug Fast Facts

1. Lady bugs lay extra eggs as a snack for their babies.

2. Adult ladybugs fly with hidden wings.

3. Ladybugs survive the winter as adults.

4. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

5. There are over 450 species of lady beetles are found in North America.

#Literacy, Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, Virtual Learning

The Rosy Boa

The rosy boa is a wonderful pet. It’s a small, hardy feeder that’s easy to breed, and rosy boas are normally very docile and handled well. This species thrives as a beginner pet with the right snake supplies and a focus on reptile conservation and wellbeing.

rosy boa

Care Requirement

When it comes to keeping rosy boas as pets, simple cages perform wonders. Most significantly, every cage must be escape proof; if a rosy boa sees even the tiniest opening in its enclosure, it will most likely escape. There are several (better) escape-proof cages on the market, and it’s a good idea to get one. As a suggestion, have an enclosure with a non-abrasive top, such as filtering.

Otherwise, due to rostral abrasion, the snake could need medical attention. Rosy boas are known for rubbing their snouts on cage surfaces in an attempt to avoid their confinement.

Hatchling rosy boas may be kept in deli cups or other small containers of equivalent scale. It’s important to provide enough airflow, which you can easily accomplish by punching tiny holes in the cup’s side or lid. Your rosy boa’s enclosure can expand as well. Shoebox-sized enclosures are ideal for medium-sized rosy boas. Make sure to keep adults in 10-gallon reptile terrariums. These enclosures are easy to clean and are great for setting up thermal regimes that are beneficial to the captive rosy boa.

Heat

Placing heat tape under one side of the cage is the simplest way to do this. A good pulse-proportional thermostat is needed to keep the heat tape at a steady temperature. Pulse-proportional thermostats keep the cage bottom at a steady temperature (plus or minus 1 degree Fahrenheit), protecting it from overheating.

A temperature gradient of 65 degrees at the cool end to 90 degrees at the warm end of the enclosure is a decent place to start. If your rosy boa is continually jumping around the cage, adjust the selection.

Light

Snake lighting isn’t needed for rosy boas unless you choose to use it to help you see your pet.

Humidity

Provide a humidity retreat, which uses a sealed jar with an entry hole lined with damp sphagnum moss or paper towels to provide moisture in a similar way (a water dish is still provided outside the retreat).

Make sure you have a good enough dish for your snake to soak in. During sheds, soaking is particularly necessary. Some owners choose to have a covered dish with a hole in the lid to provide protection for the snake and allow it to soak for longer if needed.

Substrate

Snake beddings such as newspaper, paper towels, and wood shavings may be used as rosy boa substrate. A substrate depth of 1 to 2 inches makes for quick upkeep and allows the snake to burrow, adding to its sense of protection. Spot clean at least twice a week, and adjust the whole substrate six to seven times a year with reptile cleaning materials.

A gallon of water mixed with a few tablespoons of soap and a few tablespoons of bleach makes an excellent cleaning solution.

rosy boa

Behavior

Rosy Boas are sluggish snakes who only emerge from their rock crevices on special occasions. They reach three feet in length and need little maintenance, making them ideal for beginners. Rosy Boas are shy snakes who seldom leave their burrows in the wild. As a result, much of their irrational action is understudied.

Most owners stated that they don’t bite. Instead if they feel threatened they release a foul smelling liquid from their vent or ball up and hide their heads.

Adults are docile, well-tolerated, and seldom bite. It’s possible the young Rosy Boas are afraid of humans and being treated. Allow at least two weeks for them to adapt to their new environment before treating them. Working with your Boa to socialize them because they love handling is a good idea. Keeping the snake for 10 to 15 minutes per day for two weeks will do this.

Health Treatment

Respiratory infections and scale rot are typically caused by poor substrates, incorrect humidity, or low enclosure temperatures. This allows for bacterial growth and is easily prevented with correct husbandry.

Internal parasites are typically diagnosed with a fecal exam by a vet. Some snakes may stop eating due to parasite overload. External parasites (e.g. mites) are often treated with increased cage cleaning and anti-mite products.

Animal Facts, Technology, Virtual Learning

Top 10 Most Interesting Foxes in the World

Foxes are adorable, amusing, and cunning little escape artists. You may know that some people already kept them as pets! They have a close attachment to their owners. They resemble domesticated dogs as part of the canine family. Their nature is more aloof than that of a cat. They are the only canine species that can climb trees with ease.

If you adore foxes and believe they look better in the wild than on a person’s neck, you’ll love seeing all of these fox photographs.

Top 10 Most Interesting Foxes in the World

1. Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)

Fennec fox

The big ears of fennec foxes, which are native to North Africa and the Sahara desert, help to dissipate their body heat. They have such excellent hearing thanks to these ears that they can detect their prey running under the sand. Their cream-colored hair helps them keep warm at night and deflect heat during the day.

Fennec foxes are privately bred throughout the United States and can be purchased for several thousand dollars. It’s a smart pick for a pet fox because of its compact size, long lifespan, and friendly personality. It may not be ideal for families with young children or other pets, since they can be nippy. It is fragile and needs to be protected from other pets as the world’s smallest fox breed.

2. Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Red fox

The red fox is the largest, most widespread, and therefore most diverse of all the fox species. They can be found all over the Northern Hemisphere, as well as in Australia. They are nimble hunters who have been able to leap over fences as long as 2 meters. They are not domesticated and have a few drawbacks. Perhaps their worst offense is that they have the smelliest urine of the fox breeds.

3. Silver Fox

Silver fox

The silver fox is the same breed as the red fox; the only difference is in their pigmentation. The silver fox was one of the most desirable fur foxes available at the time. This foxes are a domesticated red fox breed that has only been bred in Russia. The foxes’ urine odor has been minimized, and their general disposition has changed, thanks to this domesticated fox initiative.

These foxes have a dog-like behavior and emit very little odor. Tail-wagging while pleased, shouting and vocalization, and ear floppiness were among adorable dog habits bred into silver foxes.

4. Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)

Arctic fox

Throughout the Arctic Circle, the arctic fox can be found. In temperatures as cold as -70 degrees Celsius, their dense fur prevents them from shivering (-94 Fahrenheit). These foxes have small legs and snouts, which helps them save heat by reducing their surface area. Arctic foxes are overbred in the United States due to a limited breeding population, and others have genetic issues.

5. Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

Gray fox

The grey fox has a “salt-and-pepper” upper coat and a black-tipped tail. It can be seen all over North America. One of the only canids capable of climbing trees is this fox. Human encroachment and deforestation have caused red foxes to become the most dominant species over the centuries. Gray foxes are the friendliest and calmest of all the fox species. Usually, most foxes are wary of strangers, however, gray foxes are amiable and affectionate with most people. 

6. Marble Fox

Marble fox

The coloration of the “arctic marble fox,” which is also a red fox breed, is not natural; it was bred for its fur by humans between red fox and silver fox. Marble fox coats are mainly white with delicate stripes of grey, black, or tan artistically arranged throughout, as their name indicates. Their coloration is a genetic alteration known as a “color process” in scientific terms. Usually, the highlight color runs down the neck and over the forehead. All of them seem to be wearing vintage burglar masks.

7. Cross Fox 

Cross fox

A long dark line runs down the back of the cross fox, intersecting another stripe to create a cross across the shoulders. It is more common in northern Canada than in the rest of the country, and it is rarer than the common red fox, but more common than the much darker silver fox.

They may be a little bigger, with a bushier tail and more fur under their paws. The vertical dark band running down the back intersects with another horizontal band around the shoulders, giving the cross fox its name. The back and sides are yellowish rufous, with the flanks and sides of the neck becoming more vibrant.

8. Bengal Fox (Vulpes bengalensis)

Bengal fox

The Bengal fox, also known as the Indian fox, is a fox that is native to the Indian subcontinent, ranging from Nepal’s Himalayan foothills and Terai to southern India, as well as southern and eastern Pakistan to eastern India and southeastern Bangladesh.

The Bengal Fox has a more delicate build than the red fox, and its bushy, black-tipped tail, which is about 50–60 percent of the length of the head and neck, is easily distinguishable. The insides of the ears are white and the tails are dark brown with a black border. The ears are the same color as the nape, or even darker, but they don’t have a dark spot like red foxes. It has a nude rhinarium and black lips.

9. Simien Fox (Canis simensis)

Simien fox

The Ethiopian Highlands’ Simien fox is a canine endemic to Ethiopia. Its size and build are comparable to those of a coyote, but it is characterized by its long and thin skull and red and white hair. The Ethiopian wolf is an extremely specialized feeder of Afroalpine rodents with very particular habitat needs, unlike most large canids, which are widespread generalist feeders. It is Africa’s most endangered carnivore and one of the world’s rarest canids.

10. Darwin’s Fox (Lycalopex fulvipes)

Darwin's Fox

The Darwin’s fox is an endangered canid belonging to the Lycalopex family. It lives in Nahuelbuta National Park (Araucana Region), the Valdivian Coastal Range (Los Ros Region) in mainland Chile, and Chiloé Island, and is also known as the zorro chilote or zorro de Darwin in Spanish.

The Darwin’s fox is darker, has shorter legs, a wider, narrower skull, smaller auditory bullae, a more sturdy dentition, and a distinct jaw shape and type of premolar occlusion than the grey fox.

Animal Facts, Clever Kids Corner, Preschool, Toddlers, Virtual Learning

All About The Fennec Fox

The fennec fox is the smallest fox in the world!

The average height of a fennec fox is about 8 inches for a full grown adult. This is in addition to a length span of about 12-16 inches for an adult without the tail included in the measurement. The fennec fox can weigh between 1.5-3.5 pounds. The fennec fox has distinctive features as this small creature is known for their small statue, smaller heads, and large ears. Most fennec foxes have a long black tipped tail that takes about 3/4 of their body length.

Native to desert regions, the fennec fox descends from sandy deserts in Northern Africa ranging from Western Sahara and Mauritania to northern Sinai. Fennec fox can thrive in desert environments as it is capable of inhabiting the remotest sand seas. While foxes are normally solitary creatures, the Fennec Fox forms groups. These small communities consist of around 10 individuals. Stable sand dunes are believed to be ideal habitat for this fox. This fox may share a burrow system with up to 10-12 other fox individuals. This fox has experienced a decline, population wise. However, they are most common throughout the Sahara.

These foxes are nocturnal.

The fennec fox hide from heat in sand burrows during the day. At night, expect this fox to roam.

The fennec fox coat of fur provides camouflage and protection from cold desert nights. The hair on the soles of their feet protect them from hot sand. To communicate with one another, the fennec fox project a high pitched yelp and quiet growl.

Facts About Fennec Foxes

  • The Fennec Fox has uncharacteristic behaviours compared to other foxes.
  • Fennec fox have amazing hearing and use this ability to hear animals underground even small insects.
  • Their ears are about 4 to 6 inches long are used to dissipate heat on hot days.
  • This fox consumes a diet of rodents, birds, eggs, lizards and insects.
  • Fennec fox reach maturation age at 9 months and can reach a full life span of 14 years old under human care.
  • The fennec fox appears to be the only carnivore in the Sahara Desert able to live without freely available water. Their kidneys are specifically adapted to conserve water. They can obtain moisture from the food they eat and by licking the dew that forms in their dens.
  • Fennec Foxes have sharp, curved claws which help them dig their burrows.
  • Their fur reflects the sun during the day and conserves heat at night.

Pet Ownership of the Fennec Fox

Photo provided by Kids Feed

Fennec foxes behave a bit like active, playful little dogs. However, it’s important to for owners to remember these are still animals with wild instincts, even if they were bred in captivity. Fennec fox love to roam. Pet owners are advised to give this animal enough space to explore and behave as though it were still in the wild. Since this animal is nocturnal, pet owners are advised that it may be difficult to manage their high energy during sleeping hours. The combination of a proper diet along with enough space for activities can keep your fennec fox happy and well maintained.

#Budgeting, #Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Self-Care, Traveling

10 Inexpensive Weekend and Daytrips from West, TN

Southern Living Experience

Living in the South brings its own perks. We have the opportunity to experience soul food and southern hospitality. The environments are always filled with a welcoming, laid back energy to all that are here to stay and those that roam. In fact, most natives of the southern states would not trade their experience for any other location in the United States. For those seeking a little adventure, living in the Mid-South has one perk in particular, it is literally driving distance or a day-trip from many landmarks and attractions. On this list, the hope is to gather new places to explore each weekend with your family.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a city in Ohio, located on the Ohio River. The Over-the-Rhine district is known for its 19th-century architecture. There are also well known locations such as the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Google Maps lists this trip to be under 8 hours, driving distance from Memphis, TN.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

The longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky offers cave tours based on skill level. These tours range from novice to expert. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach is a small city in Alabama. Spend the weekend skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Also, Orange Beach offers parasailing, dolphin cruises, fishing, and diving. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 7 hours from Memphis, TN.

Hardy, Arkansas

The small town of Hardy, AR has three museums, summer musical shows, bed and breakfast inns and several festivals each year. Cherokee Village, the state’s first resort/retirement settlement, is just southwest of town, offering lake activities and two championship golf courses. For those interested in fishing year round, this is your place. Google Map lists this trip as approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Memphis, TN.

New Orleans, Louisiana

“The Big Easy” is situated along the Mississippi River and is known for its heavy cultural influence in the South. Nightlife includes vibrant live music, French cultured cuisine, and Mardi Gras related festivities. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

Destin, Florida

Destin is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters. Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination. Destin calls itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” as there are claims of this city having the largest fish in Florida. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 8 hours from Memphis, TN.

Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee

Located in Northwest, TN, Reelfoot Lake is known for fishing, boating, and eagle viewing. Reelfoot lake is a flooded forest. Tourists can find beautiful greenery on the shorelines and eagles high above the Cypress trees. Google Maps lists this trip as 2 hours from Memphis, TN.

Tupelo, Mississippi

Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. You can tour the Elvis Presley museum and reminisce at the statues of the late great performer. Tupelo also houses the Buffalo Park and Zoo where you can view bisons, zebras, and giraffes. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Memphis, TN.

Falls Creek Falls, Tennessee

Hike the trails to reach this magnificent waterfall in Tennessee. Fall Creek Falls is a 256-foot tall sheer-drop waterfall located in Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, Tennessee. For those seeking to stay the weekend, this state park offers cabins and RV parking. Google Maps lists this trip as approximately 6 hours from Memphis, TN.

Clever Kids Corner, Movies, Parenting, Toddlers

12 Movies From Your Childhood That Will Cause Nostalgia- Your Children Must See!

Grab a bag of popcorn and watch these movies with your children!

Monsters Inc

Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan is one of its top scarers. What happens when one of his clients (a toddler) gets out into the factory?

Hercules

In Ancient Greece, the gods Zeus and Hera have a son named Hercules. While the other gods are joyful, Zeus’ grumpy and jealous brother Hades plots to overthrow Zeus and rule Mount Olympus. As a teenager, Hercules showcases his strength and inability to control it.

Flubber

Mad and whimsical scientist works to create a new creation and hold on to it. However, he finds this much harder than expected.

Tarzan

A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human. He meets a female human companion along the way.

Toy Story

Woody, a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy sees his position as Andy’s favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear action figure. The two battle it out throughout the movie. Who will win?

The Parent Trap

Two identical twin sisters meet for the first time at summer camp. These two plot to reunite their divorced parents.

Finding Nemo

Marlin a clown fish, is overly protective with his son, Nemo, who has a foreshortened fin. When Nemo swims too close to the surface to prove himself, he is caught by a diver. Marlin and a fellow fish, Dory, must set him free. The thing is, Dory suffers from short term memory loss. Can they do it?

101 Dalmatians

The Cruella De Vil finds a litter of cute dalmatian puppies and decides that their skins will make her the perfect new coat. The parents Pongo and Perdy seek to rescue them.

Hocus Pocus

After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison, explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani and their new friend, Allison. After downplaying a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches who live in the house. What will happen next?

Ratatouille

Remy dreams of becoming a great chef, despite being a rat in a definitely rodent-phobic profession. He disguises himself to pursue his dream.

Cool Runnings

Four Jamaican bobsleighers dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a former Olympian, this group sets to break a record!

Holes

A boy, wrongfully accused, is sent to a juvenile camp. There, the warden forces the group to dig holes all day. They make a discovery while digging.

#Healthy, Exercising, Outdoor Activities, Parenting, Self-Care, Teachers, Weather

The Benefits of Walking or Running in The Rain

When it starts to rain, typically, the first instinct is to run and take cover inside. However, after reading this today, you may change your mind. This is because you will learn the health benefits of going out into the rain.

1. The air is purer.

After a heavy rainfall, the air is purer because as raindrops fall through the atmosphere, they have the ability to attract hundreds of particles of pollutants like dander, soot, sulfates and bacteria before hitting the ground.

2. Rain is good for your hair and skin.

Rain water is high in alkaline which is good for your hair and skin and does not contain harmful minerals. High levels of humidity in the air help keep your skin fresh.

3. Walks in the rain burn more calories and build more muscles.

Much like walks on the beach, walking or running in muddier surfaces forces you to use more muscle strength to move your legs and feet.

4. Chemicals released in the rain are stress reducing.

When water molecules crash together, as they do in falling rain, they create negative ions. Some researchers believe when these negative ions are inhaled, they create a chemical reaction that can reduce stress and anxiety. Read more on The Pyschology of Rain by clicking the link.

5. Running in the rain can increase metabolism and performance.

When performing any kind of exercise, your body’s temperature tends to increase, if you are working out in colder temperatures, the environment is helping cool your body and maintain a more stable temperature. This allows you to work harder for longer due to a lesser risk of overheating. As always, consult your Physician before trying a now workout regime.

6. Boost Your Immune System

This is done by exposing yourself to various different temperatures and life outside of the house. As a result, you will develop a stronger immune system for the future.

7. Connect with Nature

This is another way to connect with nature and it’s elements. Typically, we are indoors when it rains. It is a nice concept to embrace all of nature’s elements.

Read more here

Tips to Successfully Run in The Rain

1. Stay safe and inside if it is a severe storm or produces thunder, lightening, hail or tornadoes.

2. Dress appropriately in rain gear that will keep you somewhat dry. The goal is to enjoy the rain but not develop hypothermia or any other related illness.

3. Seal off electronics such as your iPhone or watch in a waterproof case.