Fairy Penguins

This post is for Thuy who is crazy about all penguins!

Did you know that Fairy Penguins have 2 names? One is Fairy Penguin, and the other is Little Blues. They are the smallest penguins in the world. They are only 16-17 inches tall, and weigh only two pounds. They are found in the Southern Hemisphere. A lot of people think all penguins live where it is cold and icy. So it might be a surprise to learn that Fairy Penguins like the warm waters of Southern Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

Fairy Penguins live in big cracks in rocks or burrows like ground squirrels. This is where they sleep, lay their eggs, and protect their babies until they are safe to go out.  Their groups or families are called “rafts.”  During the day, they hunt for small fish and squid to eat. When they’re in the water, they have to look out for sharks, sea lions, and seals.  At dusk they return to the safety of their burrows, but they still have to be careful not to get caught by seagulls.

African Elephants

This post is for my brother’s friend, Ian. He might be a wildlife biologist someday!

Do you know the difference between African and Asian Elephants? Asian Elephants have smaller ears, and both male and female African Elephants have tusks. Only male Asian Elephants have tusks.

African Elephants have very useful trunks! Since they live where it’s almost always really, really hot, they get a trunk full of water and spray it on their backs. Then, they do the same thing with dust. It works like sunscreen. The ends of their trunks work like little fingers. They use them to pick berries, grass, and other plants to eat.  To drink, African Elephants can suck up to two gallons of water in their trunks, then curl them up and squirt it into their mouths. If they sense danger, they use their trunks to make a loud warning sound. They even hug other elephants with their trunks.

African elephant tusks are ivory teeth that grow their whole life. Their tusks can grow as long as seven feet. They use them to dig up roots and other things for food. They also use them to fight and protect themselves and their babies.

African elephants can live a long time. Some live to be around 70 years old.  They can grow to be twelve feet tall and weigh more than 6 tons! The best thing about being so big is that they don’t have predators, but sometimes people kill them and take their ivory tusks. That makes me sad.


For Jordan.

Lions are one of the only cats that live in a pride. A pride is a group like a human family or a wolf pack. Sometimes they live in a group of 3 but usually in a group of 15 or more. Sometimes, when a male lion leaves and goes to live with another pride, he kills all of the cubs in the new pride.

Lions are very good hunters. Food for the pride is almost always caught by the female lions. They only eat meat witch means they are carnivores. Their favorite foods are gazelles, zebra, hares, and other small animals. They can eat 50 pounds of meat in one meal!

Did you know, that Lions are really good swimmers? Most cats don’t like water.

Full grown males can way between 330-550. They can run 35 miles per hour.

Great White Shark

This post is for my friend Demitre.

One of my favorite facts is that Great White Sharks have lived on earth for 350 million years.

Baby sharks are called pups. When they are born they swim away from its mother. That’s a good thing because she sometimes sees her babies as prey and eats them.  At that time, they are about 5 feet long and weigh about 77 pounds. When Great Whites are fully grown, they are usually three times longer than that and they can weigh more than 4,500 pounds!

Shark’s favorite food is sea lions and seals. They are at the top of the food chain because they are big, strong, fast,  and have sharp teeth to catch their prey. They also have a great sense of smell, hearing, and eyesight. After a really big meal, they can go a month without eating again.  Most people are afraid of Great White Sharks. Did you know that they are also afraid of us?  Shark attacks on human beings don’t happen very often. I’ve heard that more people die from getting hit by falling coconuts.


Tarantulas are carnivores witch means they eat other animals or insects. They mostly eat insects, but they also like frogs, toads, and mice. To catch food they burrow into a pile of fall leaves. When their pray crawls by, they pop out and bite them. The venom paralyzes the prey. For humans, the venom is weaker than a bee sting, but it hurts a lot.

They carry their eggs on their back, and can live mostly for 30 years.  Another interesting fact is that when they lose a leg they can grow a new one.

On October 23,2010 I went on a run in the hills with my family. On the way back, my mom said, “Let’s look for a tarantula” and just then we found one crawling on the trail.  My sister let it crawl on her hand. It was really cool!

American Alligators

This post is for my friend, and classmate Trevor.

Did you know that 40 years ago American Alligators were almost extinct? People kept using their skin for shoes, purses, hats, and belts.  Even though they used to be on the endangered species list, there are now over a million American Alligators today.

Alligators are reptiles like snakes and turtles. They lay eggs.  To protect the nest the female guards the nest from other creatures. When the eggs hatch the babies make noise so the mom hears them. When she hears them, she scurries up the nest and carries her babies in her mouth until she reaches the water.

Duck Billed Platypus

I bet you didn’t know that duck billed platypuses are venomous. The venom isn’t strong enough to kill a person, but people have said that it hurts a lot!Their venom doesn’t come from their mouth. Instead, it comes from a pointy spike on their rear ankles.

They are the only mammals that lay eggs. They look so weird. They walk like a reptile, have a bill like a bird, a body like an otter, and a tail like a beaver. I learned that they are much smaller than I thought. They are about 18 inches and weigh only 3 pounds!  Platypuses live in Australia.

Bald Eagle

Did you know that  bald eagles can have a 7 foot wingspan? They have such good eye sight that they can see a mouse from a mile away.  They build giant nests. In fact, they hold the record for building the biggest nest ever! One nest discovered in Florida was over 9 feet deep, more than 6 feet wide, and weighed almost 3 tons!  Bald Eagles live in  North America and even on Catalina Island, the same place I lived with my family when I was born.

Emperor Penguin

Did you know that emperor penguins lay eggs in the winter unlike other birds? While the mom penguins look for food, the dads take over the nest. After two months, when the eggs have hatched, the mom comes back.

Another fun fact about Penguins is that they can stay under water for 20-30 minutes.


This is for Rilee, who loves Capybaras!

Capybaras have  very sharp teeth . They are the biggest members of the rodent family.  They love to swim, unlike other rodents. When they sense fear, sometimes they dive under water. They can stay underwater for 5 minutes! Can you imagine that?  They can even sleep underwater with just their noses poking out.

Capybara means “Master of all grasses.”  That is a good name because they eat a lot of grass and live in grasslands.

Giant Pandas

This is for my friend, Brooke who wanted to learn about Giant Pandas.

Did you know giant pandas live in the same forest as the red panda.  Giant Pandas eat bamboo leaves for 12 hours every day.  To eat those leaves they have very big  flat molars. When Giant Pandas are born, they usually weigh between 3.5 and 7 ounces. When they are 2-4 years old, they are full grown and they can weigh about 175-280 pounds. That’s big!

Red Pandas

Red Pandas are mammals that are endangered because their forests in China are being destroyed. They are close relatives of Racoons, Ringtailed Lemurs ,and regular Lemurs. Red Pandas fur color is black, red, white, and orange. I think they’re really, really cute!