Thursday, December 12, 2013

A little note...relaunch!

I haven't posted in a loooooong time so I'm here to relaunch Life of This Kind!

I am posting now to let you know that I have a few things in the works for this blog:
  • Previous posts will be updated by January 1st!
  • New posts are coming, beginning January 1st!
  • The Zoo is on it's way January 15th!
  • Go on Safari is on it's way January 31st!
Look for new coloring pages and some puzzle pages to print! From now on, every post will have both a coloring page AND a puzzle page or two.

Look for more information on The Zoo and Go on Safari this weekend!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Leatherback sea turtles

Leatherback sea turtles are a huge, cold blooded reptile species.  They are an ancient creature that grows to huge sizes.  These beautiful animals are fascinating not only for their size and their history on this planet, but also for how they live.  They start out being born from little eggs on beaches, then crawl out to sea where they then grow and live, swimming across vast oceans.  Although they are great survivors, they face numerous natural and human dangers throughout their lives. 

For loads of infomation, as well as conservation efforts check out The Leatherback Trust and Sea Turtle Restoration Project.

View ten different (very short) video clips of leatherback sea turtles at ARKive.

National Geographic Kids - Information, pictures, maps, and more about leatherback sea turtle HERE.

NOAA has a great set of informative PDF files geared towards kids HERE.

HERE is an interactive quiz for children from National Geographic.

A few coloring pages: HERE, HERE, and THIS ONE has the option to either color online or print and color.

A great blog post from the World Wildlife Fund - More Leatherback Turtles and Faces of Papuan Kids.

A brief but informative video from Stanford University:

Leatherback sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica:


Inside Nature's Giants: Leatherback Turtles - THIS VIDEO IS GRAPHIC - WATCH IT BEFORE SHARING IT WITH YOUR CHILDREN.  This video discusses the death of a leatherback turtle, and shows several that have died from various reasons.  The video GRAPHICALLY shows the dissection of a leatherback turtle which died after its front flipper was sliced off by the motor of a speed boat.  Please note, this video also discusses evolution should that be a consideration for your family.  Also discusses and shows the sexual organs and habits of the leatherback turtle (with a few bad jokes, unfortunately)...  Watch or share with caution.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Banana slugs

If you grew up on the Pacific coast of North America, or in the Pacific Northwest in particular, you are probably familiar with the banana slug.  These guys come in a variety of colors and sizes.  I spent my childhood in Washington state, and every summer we took a vacation on the coast as part of a softball tournament that my dad and his friends took part in each year.  Well, we usually spent the softball-at-the-coast weekend at a family friend's beach house which featured a deck in the back.  My dad and his friend, Steve, convinced all the children that a giant banana slug named Samantha lived under the deck, and that Samantha loved to eat children that climbed under there!  Needless to say, none of the kids ever climbed under the deck!

Anyhow, Corinna at The Frog Bag mentioned banana slugs in THIS post which reminded me of my childhood experiences seeing banana slugs in our Washington yard, and the story of the mysterious Samantha the Slug.

Here is a great video about the banana slug - please note, if you are sharing this with younger children, the host does talk about the sexual characteristics and habits of banana slugs (they are hermaphrodites).  It is a great video though, packed with loads of information in just over six minutes of footage:

Here is a very short video with subtitles and music, filmed in Sitka, Alaska:

This video is absolutely fascinating! It is super short (25 seconds), but shows a banana slug eating. Ok, eating isn't that interesting in and of itself, but have you ever seen a banana slug eating? THAT is interesting...

HERE is an online slug coloring page (fairly simple picture, but coloring online is fun!).

HERE is a cute, fruity snack to make after you finish learning about banana slugs!

HERE is a slug coloring page and info page...but, it is from a pay-for-membership website.  You can see the page, and even print it without being a member, but you will have adds and other stuff printed on your page as well.  Which means...I have to start drawing more so that I can add my own coloring pages to these posts! :)

Update: I sketched a banana slug coloring page! Click "download" to save a copy.  Please only print and use my coloring pages for your personal use.  Thank you!Banana slug

This next link is one to read/view with caution.  It is all about banana slug s....e....x!  But, it is specifically about sexual conflict among female and male banana slugs.  Lots of talk about banana slug genitals (with pictures! gasp!), and some interesting (and slightly disturbing) behavior on the part of a male banana slug regarding its own genitals (actually, this bit is gross....if you want to skip it, don't read past the picture of the slug with the quarter next to it).  HERE.

Loads more banana slug info HERE.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fennec Fox

Oh my goodness! The fennec fox is so unbelievably cute!  These are WILD ANIMALS, but some people seem to think they are suitable as pets because they are related to dogs and can adapt to some domesticated animal behaviors.  But, in my opinion, they aren't meant to be pets...they are WILD ANIMALS.  Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, lets get on with this...  Unfortunately, they are also an "at risk" species - not listed as endangered or threatened, but a species under enough stress to be on its way to those categories.

Some great pictures and videos from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL HERE.

The fennec fox in its natural desert habitat:

Fennec fox kits at the Palm Beach Zoo:

Several fennec fox coloring pages HERE.

More information about the fennec fox from the Pueblo Zoo, and scroll to the bottom for a coloring page, HERE.

Beyond adorable photos and some information about some fennec foxes born at the Krakow Zoo in Poland, HERE.

I specifically avoided including videos and pages about keeping fennec foxes as pets because these are WILD ANIMALS, even if they can adapt in many ways to domestic life.  This video from the Adelaide Zoo in Australia, shows how fennec foxes are trainable, much like a dog, but again, this is still a wild animal, and he is being trained in a zoo, not a home:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red Fox

The red fox is some people.  Unfortunately, the red fox can also be quite a bit of a pest.  It all depends on where you live, and your perspective. Read and watch on to find out why...

Sweet video of a family of red foxes living in Dublin, Ireland. This is the first of six videos of the same family of foxes.  Please note, the videos in the playlist don't correspond to the playlist itself - 1/6 is not the first video!

A brief documentary on the red fox...and I mean brief! Only about 2 1/4 minutes, including credits!

A very simple red fox coloring page HERE.

A red fox coloring page from the USGS kid's website (this link is to a PDF) HERE.

Check out this insanely detailed fact page for the red fox on the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology's Animal Diversity Web HERE.

Another fact page about the red fox.  Not quite as intense as the University of Michigan page though, and has a paw print example at the bottom of the page.  Click HERE.

I considered not including this documentary, but it does highlight how urban wild red foxes can be both a joy and a curse.  Please read the notes for each segment before watching.  "Meet the Foxes" is a 6 part documentary (each part is fairly short...about 8 or 9 minutes).  The videos do have some mild swear words (like the British "bugger off").  Just FYI...  This documentary is about red foxes (primarily one family of them in London, England.
Part I:

Part II HERE.  Please note!  Shows a red fox that has been hit by a car. It doesn't show the fox actually getting hit, but does show its body on the sidewalk afterwards, including some close ups and disposal of the fox's body.
Part III HERE.  Discusses mating habits, and does show foxes mating.  The video also discusses incest among foxes.  Just FYI again...  This part also discusses an ill fox, and having to put it down (kill it) due to how sick it is.
Part IV HERE.  Shows chickens that have been killed, and mutilated by foxes. Graphic.
Part V HERE.  Discusses the "dispatching" of red foxes that are considered pests, primarily by shooting them.
Part VI HERE.  Starts with a fox being shot as the means of "dispatching" her, and then the same being done to her mate.  The shooting IS shown.  At the end, the guy who wanted them shot finds out that doing so didn't change anything...

Although this isn't about the red fox, but rather about color, here is a page with some activities that can be used with the Eric Carle book Hello, Red Fox.  Click HERE.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red Panda

Red pandas are adorable, but are they pandas, raccoons, foxes?  They look a bit like each...find out, and learn more about them with these videos and links.

Keti the Red Panda at the Calgary Zoo:

Adorable video of a red panda at the Taronga Zoo in Australia - the sound quality isn't that great, but there are subtitles, and you can hear the little red panda's voice:

Red panda coloring page HERE.

Red panda fact page with several full color pictures, and a link to a coloring page at the bottom HERE.

A brief article about the naming of two red panda cubs at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. HERE.

National Geographic video of Farley the Red Panda HERE.  Discusses the care of Farley, a baby red panda.

Learn about red panda conservation at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China.  Although the research base originally served primarily the giant panda, they also now have a dedicated facility for the red panda.  Read more HERE.

Some great information and links about the red panda and conservation efforts at the World Wildlife Fund.  Read more HERE.

Red panda facts and more from the Lincoln Park Zoo  in Chicago.  Be sure to scroll towards the bottom for a video and photos.  Click HERE.

Toby the red panda at the Houston Zoo:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Monarch Butterflies

As a graduation present, my lovely friend, Angie, gave out live Monarch butterflies that she had hatched herself.  She presented a little box, saying, "Close your eyes and make a wish!  When you open your eyes your wish will be carried away to be made true!"  My son and I closed our eyes, made our wish, and opened my little box.  It was amazing!  The butterfly was beautiful, and walked on my hand and along my arm before flying away. is a fantastic site with loads of different projects about nature, cycles of the moon, the seasons and more. I've linked their Monarch Butterfly Migration project and information here.  The project has several components to take part in, including a paper butterfly migration option.  Although the paper butterfly migration is meant for school groups, I would imagine that a homeschool group or co-op might be able to take part.

National Geographic Kids is a wonderful site with factual information, pictures, videos,and more.  We used it when my son was in 4th and 5th grades, and we learned about animals from around the world.

Monarch butterfly video from National Geographic - discusses natural and human damage to Monarch habitats and the effects on the butterflies in both the United States and Mexico.

This video starts with flamingos, but also covers butterflies in swarms.  The video discusses the advantages of swarming behavior.  Please note, there is a joke about a singles bar.  Thought I should let you know just in case you watch and the kiddies ask what that is....  If you scroll to about 1:35, you can watch just the Monarch portion.

National Geographic Monarch butterfly coloring page HERE.

Monarch butterfly life cycle coloring page HERE.

Multiple coloring pages HERE.

Lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly from the Chicago Nature Museum.  This is a time lapse video with music and subtitles but no actual audio narration.

Monarch Watch has more great info about Monarch butterflies, as well as information about determining gender, about parasite effects on Monarch populations, tracking, and tagging.

This post is cross listed at our other blog, M and J in a Nutshell.