Friday, August 10, 2012

Furry Friend Friday – the Bunny

It’s furry friend Friday once again. Today we are exploring the world of domesticated rabbits. What does it take to keep this little fellow happy and healthy? Let’s find out.

Bunny Boom
Rabbits have been popular pets in the US since the late 1800′s. Rabbits known as Belgian Hares were brought into the United States from England in 1888. This became known as the ‘Belgian Hare Boom’ and from 1898 to 1901 many thousands of these bunnies were imported. Today, there is an organization called the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) which was founded in 1910 and is still the national authority on breeding and care of domestic bunnies.

Furry Friend Fact…the rabbit is the third most popular pet in England after the cat and the dog.

Bunny Breeds

There are several different types of bunnies kept for pets, in fact, there’s way to many to list here, so we’re going to check out the most popular.
  • Dwarf Bunny ~ grows up to 2.5 pounds, comes in various colors, has small pointed ears and can live from 7-10 years
  • Lop-Eared Bunny ~ these can grow up to 15 pounds (depending on breed), have long ears that hang below their jawline, are intelligent and affectionate.
  • Angora Bunny ~ a bigger rabbit, it can grow up to 12 pounds, depending on breed, docile in nature and likes attention, is social and very active. This rabbit needs to be groomed on a regular basis.
Furry Friend Fact…make sure you research each breed of bunny so you know what’s right for you.

Now What?

You’ve chosen a bunny, so now what? First you have to decide where your bunny is going to reside in your home. Do you want a cage, pen, bunny condo or just a large area with a litter box, food and someplace quiet for him to get away from it all? Remember, bunnies are social creatures so he has to be able to interact with the members of the household in order to be happy and healthy. Plus, he will need to exercise. If you decide to let your new friend explore your home, be sure to “bunny-proof.” Rabbits are very curious, so you need to make sure there’s nothing for him to chew on, like electrical cords, carpeting, paper etc. Also, if your rabbit gets bored, he will look for fun things to do, so provide him with a cardboard castle filled with empty paper towel/toilet paper rolls, old phone books or other paper products you may find around your home.

Furry Friend Fact…a bored bunny is a destructive bunny. Keep him happy with things to chew on.

Bunny Food

Even though we know rabbits like carrots, you have to feed him more than just that. Pet retailers sell a pre-package pellet that will give your bunny his basic diet, but you also have to give him grass hay. This is high in fiber and essential to your bunny’s health. Also, a fresh supply of water is a must have at all times.

Eat Your Veggies!

Like us, rabbits need some vegetables to keep them healthy, here’s a list of bunny-friendly veggies;

  • Basil
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli leaves (stems or tops can make rabbits gassy)
  • Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly)
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Dill
  • Kale (sparingly)
  • Lettuce – romaine or dark leaf (no iceburg lettuce and no cabbage)
  • Mint
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Water cress
Bunnies can make a wonderful pet, but like all animals they’re a responsiblity that isn’t to be taken lightly. Before you decide to bring a bunny into your family, do some research on the Internet, the library or ask your local bunny breeder or pet retailer to fill you in on all the details. Armed with knowledge and lots of love, you’ll have a fun furry friend for years to come.

Want to read a new story everyday or fun articles on cool topics?  Then check out knowonder magazine for kids.  It's FREE and we even have an app!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wild World Wednesday ~ the Mudskipper

We live in a wild world. Today we are visiting the banks of the Pacific ocean to catch a glimpse of the frog-faced fish called a mudskipper. Keep your eyes peeled, we may find him lurking in the brackish mangrove swamps or on the mud flats after the tide has gone out.

Fish Can Walk!

You may be saying…fish can’t walk, they swim; however, the mudskipper is the exception to the rule.

The mudskipper crawls and flaps its way across the shoreline using its tail and specially developed front fins. It’s 12-30 inches long with big protruding eyes and small gills, which holds water so it’s able to breathe on land. The mudskipper is olive brown in color with bluish markings. It prefers food found on land like, flying insects, crabs and other small creatures.

Wild World Fact…Mudskippers must remain moist and will roll in puddles on land and wipe a wet fin across their eyes so they don’t dry out.

Mud, Skip, Jump!

Mudskippers not only walk on land, they can also leap in the air by bending and suddenly straightening their bodies. This gives them the ability to reach up to 2 feet (half a meter) in height. The mudskipper can also climb mangrove trees in search of food. Because of these unusual actions, mudskippers have also been called kangaroo fish, climbing fish, mudhopper and johnny jumpers. To avoid predators and to lay their eggs, mudskippers will dig a deep burrow in the soft sediment.

Wild World Fact…Larger memebers of the mudskipper family can skip faster than most people can move.

For more information on this and other marine animals, check out your local library, the Internet or a Marine Life sanctuary.

Check out knowonder magazine for kids.  It's FREE and we even have an app!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wild World Wedensday ~ Pygmy Marmoset

We live in a wild world. Today we're visiting the jungles of South America to venture into the rain forest where the pygmy marmoset, also known as a finger monkey, lives. Let's take a look at this cute little critter.


Pygmy Marmosets are the smallest monkeys in the world. They are 14 to 16 centimetres (5.5 to 6.3 in) length, with another 15-to-20-centimetre (5.9 to 7.9 in) for the tail. Males weigh around 140 grams (4.9 oz), and females only 120 grams (4.2 oz) - about the weight of an apple. Their fur is almost feathery in appearance and can range from black, brown, white, grey to tan in colour. They have long tails, small ears and 5 digits on each paw; however, unlike some monkeys, they lack a "true" thumb.

Wild World Fact... pygmy marmosets can jump more than 16 ft (5 m). Quite a distance for such a small monkey!
Give 'Em the Gum

If you read a food label you may discover the pygmy marmoset's favorite food - gum arabic. This is found in the acacia tree in it's rawest form. The finger monkey will spend hours gouging holes in the tree's trunk and branches to create a steady flow of the sap to lick from.

Wild World Fact...this monkey also enjoys eating fruit, nectar, spiders and insects.

Monkey Talk

Even though finger monkey's are small they have a mighty call. They communicate by making high pitched squeaks, whistles, clicks and trills. In fact some of their calls are so loud it can't be heard by the human ear.

Along with noise, the pygmy marmoset also communicates with facial expressions and body posture. To defend it's territory the male monkey will flatten his ears, raise the hair on his head and chase the intruder away from his troop.

Wild World Fact...male pygmy marmoset's will also pull back the corners of their mouths back in a grimace when defending their territory.

Finger Monkey Babies

The pygmy marmoset mom gives birth to two babies (twins) or sometimes three. She does this twice a year. Once the babies are born, mom marmoset will care for them along with the father. When the babies are two months of age they are grown enough to be away from their parents. At six months old the young are considered full grown, but may stay with the family unit until they find a mate and start their own troop.

Wild World Fact...Pygmy marmosets form small groups of up to 15 individuals. This group is called a Troop.

For more information on the finger monkey check out your local library, the Internet or a zoo.

Check out knowonder ezine for kids where you'll find a new story every day.  It's FREE!
Powered by Blogger.

knowonder Blog Design by Insight © 2009