Posts Tagged "aquarium"

Did You Know This About Penguins!?!

Dear Kid,

It’s Hump Day which in some circles would mean it’s Camel Day but today it’s Penguin Day.

Not Batman-type penguins, but flying-through-the-sea, waddling-across-the-ice, bringing-a-pebble-to-your-mate type penguins.

These penguins in these photos live at the Newport Aquarium (I told you I was going to talk about them).

The fun facts are courtesy of My Friend the Internet.

Some penguins can hold their breath up to 7 minutes. Other penguins can hold their breath even longer. You shouldn’t try that. Gentoos can dive down 655 feet without SCUBA gear. You shouldn’t try that either. Mostly because you’re not a penguin.

Penguins at the Newport Aquarium.

Penguins have excellent hearing and can hear their mate call them from several miles away. However, when asked to take out the trash, they become instantly deaf. Kind of like human teenagers.

Most penguins can swim faster than you can.

Penguins at the Newport Aquarium.

To keep from overheating, penguins pant like dogs to cool off. Dogs consider this the highest form of flattery.

Penguins at the Newport Aquarium.

A group of young penguin chicks is called a “crèche.” A group of penguins in the water is called a “raft.” A group of penguins on land is called a “waddle.” (Guess which one is my favorite?)

Love, Mom

Don’t forget to share DearKidLoveMom!


This is a bonus picture of the rainbow chameleon that lives at the aquarium. I included the photo because how could I not?

Rainbow chameleon Newport Aquarium

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Conversation (Sort of) with an Otter

Dear Kid,

Did I mention we went to the Newport Aquarium? (I did, it was just a way to get you to click on yesterday’s blog if you’ve forgotten.)

One of my favorite parts was seeing the Asian Small Clawed Otter.

Just so we’re clear, there is nothing about this small otter that would make it a good choice for a house pet. Nothing. They aren’t social, they mark their territory in a very odor-ful way, they are rather vicious, and they can bite through a steel-toed boot.

On the other hand, they pack a LOT of cute into their little bodies.

Look how well I've trained this human. Nita, the Asian Small Clawed Otter Newport Aquarium. DearKidLoveMom.comI tried to have a conversation with Nita (the 6 year old Asian Small Clawed Otter on display) before the education talk.

Me: Hi

Nita: Can’t talk now. Too excited. I have to run around because it’s almost time for the humans! Did you know that visitors come to watch the humans? Visitors sometimes watch me during the day, but when I bring out the humans, they all sit down and pay attention.

Gotta swim.

I’m back. Look at all the visitors! They really like my humans. Come on, humans! What are you waiting for?

Hiding. Bet you can’t find me. Just kidding. I’m right here in the log.

Gotta swim.

The humans never come through the water, but I thought I’d check.

Hey humans! I’m on top of the steps looking for you.

Gotta swim.

Where are you! I’m ready, ready, ready!

There you are. What took you so long? Silly humans.

And with that, Nita the Asian Small Clawed Otter, put her humans through their paces. Mostly, she touched a stick. She had taught them that when she touched the stick they should feed her. Nita’s humans were very well trained.

Why yes, thank you. I'd love another small fish. Asian Small Clawed Otter at Newport Aquarium.

Asian Small Clawed Otters are related to weasels (Not responsible for that branch of the family!), and they are the smallest otters in the world (Hey! A little sensitivity please!).

The Aquarium has another Asian Small Clawed Otter, a 4 year old male named Porkchop. Porkchop and Nita have not yet established that they want to be on the same planet, much less in the same display area so the Aquarium only has one out at a time. Apparently, the Aquarium did not consult an online dating site before pairing them up. Nor did they read any of my blogs on relationships (like this one, or this one, or this one).

Silly humans.

Love, Mom

Remember to share DearKidLoveMom here and on Dear Kid Love Mom Facebook. Don’t keep all the love to yourself! (Otters don’t share; let the humans do it.)


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I’ll See You on a SeaHorse

Dear Kid,

There is (I think) something soothing and angelic about seahorses. They seem so calm and peaceful, perfect for underwater creature transportation (think about little sea fairies riding seahorses). Yet, it turns out that they are terrible swimmers so ixnay on the ansportation-ay and they are too busy looking for dinner to be calm and peaceful.

So here it is. Everything you always wanted to know about seahorses (that I decided was interesting).

I might be a seahorse in disguise... DearKidLoveMom.comSeahorses are fish, they breathe through gills, and have a swim bladder (which is more or less an internal BCD [buoyancy control device]). Unlike medieval war horses they are not trained to fight and generally try to avoid being eaten by changing color to hide in plants (think chameleon of the sea).

They have excellent eyesight and their eyes are able to work independently which means they can watch what they are writing on the blackboard and keep an eye on the class (like math teachers).

Their snouts work like expandable vacuum cleaners, sucking up anything that looks like dinner. Or breakfast. Or snacks. They eat pretty much always (think 30-50 times a day for an adult). Even babies eat 3,000 pieces of food a day. Remind me to be reincarnated as a seahorse.

Seahorses mate for life (divorce attorney seahorses are too busy eating to take on clients). They have an elaborate courtship display (which they practice every day) which involves dancing and changing color.

Speaking of courtship, it’s the male seahorse that gets preggers and goes through hours of labor to deliver the brood. Baby seahorses are called fry and mostly don’t live very long (baby seahorse is haute cuisine to some predators).

As I said, they are really terrible swimmers and often die of exhaustion trying to move around in a storm. Mostly, they use their prehensile tail to hang onto weeds or coral and watch TV while they wait for the floating buffet to drift by. If they chose to go on a long journey, they grab floating seaweed and hitch a ride across the ocean.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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