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1 Sep 2011

Do Giraffes Get Light-Headed?

By | September 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Do Giraffes Get Light-Headed?

Ever feel a little woozy after you pick something up off the floor and stand up again quickly? First the blood rushes to your head as you bend over, and then it suddenly drains away as you straighten. Now imagine you are 16 feet tall, and straightening up quickly is necessary for your safety. Welcome to a giraffe’s world!

We have to wonder why we don’t see giraffes stumbling about, looking like their heads are spinning. Medical scientists studied giraffe blood pressure and circulation to find out why blood doesn’t rush to the brain when a giraffe bends to drink, and why it doesn’t drain away, causing the giraffe to faint, when it lifts its head to a normal position. They’ve discovered that giraffes have valves in the artery and veins of the neck that interrupt blood flow, slowing the rush. This is a very fortunate adaptation, considering a giraffe heart can be two feet long, and pumps 20 gallons of blood a minute. Nobody wants to have to steady themselves to let all that blood settle down when there’s a hungry lion in the neighborhood!

24 Aug 2011

Take A Look Around!

By | August 24th, 2011|Comments Off on Take A Look Around!

If you could have the ability to see behind you and in front of you at the same time, would you? As you learned in the current issue of Zoobooks Wild Horses, horses have a very wide field of vision – and the biggest eyes of any land mammal! It’s no wonder they can see what’s going on at either end of them at the same time.

Did you know that horses aren’t alone in their ability to see in two directions at once? A handful of other animals can do so, too. One of these is the chameleon, which has elevated eyes that can move independently of one another and rotate in all directions. That means one eye can face forward while the other looks back! And, like a horse, chameleons can see in two directions without needing to move their heads.

22 Aug 2011

Butterflies Survive Creatively

By | August 22nd, 2011|Comments Off on Butterflies Survive Creatively

If your child is a fan of The Transformers, she or he may be interested to know that butterflies –so peaceful and beautiful – have a very important commonality with the transforming robots. Like Transformers, butterflies have a very unique ability to morph into different forms, which can be key to their survival.

Sometimes butterflies have wing color patterns that resemble those of other butterflies. This is a survival strategy based on mimicry. While some animals change their colors to mimic their surroundings, butterflies can escape danger by resembling other butterflies that are unpalatable or toxic to predators. This way, predators misconceive them for a butterfly species they’d rather leave alone than eat. That’s some pretty smart thinking! Learn more about butterflies in the Zoobooks Animal Directory!

17 Aug 2011

Animal Fun with Hand Games

By | August 17th, 2011|Comments Off on Animal Fun with Hand Games

On page 18 of the current issue of Zoobies Turtles, you’ll find a fun turtle poem that can easily be made into a hand game using the instructions at the bottom of the page. Using your thumb, you can illustrate to your child how a turtle pokes his head out of, and back into his shell.

Hand games associated with rhymes are valuable activities that are important to a child’s development and learning. They can assist with developing hand-eye coordination and with a child’s development of fine motor skills. They can also be fun ways to learn about animals! In fact, there are a number of animal-based nursery rhymes that have hand games, or “fingerplays” that go along with them. Some examples are “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “5 Little Monkeys.” For a fun animal activity, try creating your own hand game with your child based on his or her favorite animal.

15 Aug 2011

ZooWho for iPad and iPhone

By | August 15th, 2011|Comments Off on ZooWho for iPad and iPhone

Hey iPad and iPhone users – have you checked out the new African Plains Pack on ZooWho? No, not Zoobooks, ZooWho! If you haven’t yet downloaded the free Zoobooks app for iPad and iPhone, don’t waste another minute!

ZooWho is the app that lets you take the jungle with you wherever you go. It’s a unique animal wildlife experience that offers interactive games, animal habitats to explore, fascinating facts, jungle sounds and more! And it’s free! Download ZooWho for iPhone or iPad today, or learn more at www.zoobooks.com/fun.

10 Aug 2011

You Can Be a Scientist, Too!

By | August 10th, 2011|Comments Off on You Can Be a Scientist, Too!

As animal lovers, we’re all about sharing the excitement of wildlife with the young people in our lives, and strive to make animal learning not only educational, but enjoyable. That’s why every issue of Zootles includes activity pages with fun activities for your child to complete, as well as ideas for other wildlife activities you can do together.

Did you see the activity on page 17 of Zootles Pandas? It explains how scientists at the Wolong Nature Preserve in China learn about pandas from watching them around the clock and recording their observations. Your child can be a scientist, too, by observing the animals in your yard or local park. This is a great activity for summer, when the weather’s just right for outdoor animal fun. Take this activity one step further by going outside with your child at the same time every day and recording your findings. How do the animals you see spend their mornings or afternoons?

8 Aug 2011

The Wildlife Education & Fun Continues!

By | August 8th, 2011|Comments Off on The Wildlife Education & Fun Continues!

Your child’s Zoobooks experience doesn’t have to end on the last page of the current issue – and there’s no reason it should! Online at the Zoobooks website, there’s a variety of ways for you and your child to keep the wildlife education and fun going.

For starters, after you’ve read about Pandas in the current Zootles issue, you can head on over to the Virtual Zoo where you can listen to a Panda bear and learn more about Panda bears’ habitat and survival status. If your child has just learned about Wild Horses in the current Zoobooks issue, they can test their knowledge with the Wild Horses quiz. This and more awaits you online at Zoobooks.com, so come on over and enjoy!

3 Aug 2011

Zoo of the Month: El Paso Zoo

By | August 3rd, 2011|Comments Off on Zoo of the Month: El Paso Zoo

In light of the current Zoobooks Wild Horses issue, we’re very excited about El Paso Zoo’s new Przewalski’s Wild Horse exhibit! The Przewalski’s wild horse, commonly referred to as the Mongolian wild horse, was declared extinct by the World Conservation Union in 1970. In 1977, a breeding conservation program was established thanks to the dedication of zoos and other facilities where Przewalski’s horses survived. Now, more than 300 of these horses can be found in the wild in Mongolia, and the species’ status has been elevated from extinct to critically endangered.

The El Paso Zoo is dedicated to conservation education and to helping people connect with the last wild horses in the world, and take action to help them. In 2010, the Zoo joined a global effort to maintain a population of the Przewalski’s wild horse in North America. Now, visitors at the zoo can see the horse up close, and take part in maintaining its existence. Learn more about El Paso Zoo’s Przewalski’s wild horse conservation efforts.

1 Aug 2011

New Grevy’s zebra at the Bronx Zoo!

By | August 1st, 2011|Comments Off on New Grevy’s zebra at the Bronx Zoo!

In your Zoobooks Wild Horses issue, you read about all different kinds of zebras, including the Grevy’s zebra. You may remember that Grevy’s zebras are different from other zebras in size, weight, body and head shape, and stripe pattern. The Grevy’s zebra is 200 pounds heavier than the plains zebra, and about 5 to 10 inches taller, too.

Earlier this year, a Grevy’s zebra was born at the Bronx Zoo. Her unique brown stripes make her stand out from the crowd, and if she’s not busy galloping around them, she sticks by her parents. Check her out in the video below!

To learn more about this Grevy’s zebra, visit the Bronx Zoo online.

27 Jul 2011

Horses in History

By | July 27th, 2011|Comments Off on Horses in History

It’s amazing how much we can learn from ancient artifacts. Recovered drawings, jewelry, tools, and other objects from hundreds or thousands of years ago can tell us so much about how people around the world once lived, worked, and played. They can tell us a lot about animals, too.

In the current issue of Zoobooks Wild Horses, you can see an ancient piece of Scythian jewelry that gives us an idea of when wild horses were first trained for riding. Thanks to these types of artifacts, scientists can estimate that Mongolian wild horses were probably broken to saddle some 5,000 years ago.

What objects from today might someone discover in a few hundred years to reveal how we live, work, and play with horses today?

25 Jul 2011

Vote on upcoming covers!

By | July 25th, 2011|Comments Off on Vote on upcoming covers!

We’re hard at work preparing the fall issues of Zoobies, Zootles, and Zoobooks – and we want to know what you think they should look like! Let us know by choosing the cover photograph you like best using the poll below. The winning photos will be used as the cover images for the Sep/Oct issue of each magazine.

What are you waiting for? Place your vote!

[polldaddy poll=5257154]

[polldaddy poll=5257166]

[polldaddy poll=5257179]

20 Jul 2011

Camouflaging Turtle-Style

By | July 20th, 2011|Comments Off on Camouflaging Turtle-Style

The current issue of Zoobies Turtles gives you and your toddler the opportunity to explore turtles together. One of the most fascinating aspects about turtles – indeed, what sets turtles and tortoises apart from most other animals – is their shells.

Reading through Zoobies Turtles, you probably noticed all the different kinds of turtle shells there are. There are smooth shells and bumpy shells, and shells of all different colors and designs. Some turtles sleep in their shells, and others use their shells as camouflage for protection.

To continue your toddler’s Turtles experience beyond the pages of Zoobies, teach him or her the word “camouflage.” Then, find different places in your house or outside where your child might hide or sleep if she or he was a turtle. What color would their shell have to be to use camouflage in each spot?

18 Jul 2011

Panda Fun

By | July 18th, 2011|1 Comment

Did you catch the poem by Fran Sammis on page 11 of Zootles Pandas? Poetry can be a fun (and funny) way for kids – even the little ones – to play with language and explore ideas. For a fun Pandas activity, make an acrostic poem from the word Panda with your child. Maybe it could start like this:

Panda bears can climb up trees,
And eat as much bamboo as they please,
N
D
A

How did your child complete this poem? We’d love to see what you’ve come up with, so feel free to share! And if you haven’t already, get your copy of Zootles Pandas today!

15 Jul 2011

Animal Fun Fact: What’s That Horse Doing on the Ground?

By | July 15th, 2011|Comments Off on Animal Fun Fact: What’s That Horse Doing on the Ground?

Most horses spend a good portion of the day outside. Have you ever wondered how they avoid those irritating bugs and flies? In the current issue of Zoobooks Wild Horses, you can find out!

If you ever catch a horse rolling around in the mud, chances are it’s not just being playful. In fact, rolling around in the mud or dust allows horses to get rid of pesky little insects and loose hair. And that’s not all — the dust and mud that sticks to horses when they get back on their fours actually protects them from the sun and insect bites. Forget sunscreen and bug spray — these animals know how to take care of themselves au naturel!

Learn more fun and interesting facts about horses in the Wild Horses issue of Zoobooks, available for order online. Or, subscribe now and receive Zoobooks Wild Horses as your first issue!

13 Jul 2011

Sharing a Meal with the Giant Panda

By | July 13th, 2011|Comments Off on Sharing a Meal with the Giant Panda

Did this month’s Zootles Pandas issue leave you and your child longing for more of those adorable giant pandas? If so, you can sign online together and see what’s happening with different pandas across the U.S. With online panda-cams, you can find out how Yun Zi or Gao Gao are doing at the San Diego Zoo, and what little Po is up to at Zoo Atlanta. Is there a baby panda nursing, or playing? Perhaps a mother panda is munching on some bamboo?

You may have noticed in your latest Zootles issue that the San Diego Zoo harvests over 13 tons of bamboo each year to keep its pandas satisfied – that’s a lot of bamboo! This may not come as a surprise when you consider that grown giant pandas eat bamboo for 10-12 hours a day! Did you know that the giant panda isn’t the only animal that eats bamboo? Different parts of the tree, including the leaves, shoots, and stems, serve as major food sources for a variety of other animals, including the raccoon-resembling Red Panda of Nepal, Africa’s Mountain Gorillas, and even some chimpanzees and elephants. Human beings in different areas of the world eat bamboo, too! What does your child think – would bamboo be a yummy mid-day snack, or food better left for animals?