Kids grow up fast—it seems like only yesterday they were born, and now they’re old enough to read, write, and create beautiful works of art! This month, our Zooworks winners drew some of the baby animals from our latest issue of Zoobooks. Do you have a favorite?

Baby_turtleZootles is a great way for your kids to build their vocabulary and draw connections about the natural world. For instance, turtles can live in land or water, but even though they have different habitats, they’re all cold-blooded, meaning that they rely on the environment to keep their bodies warm. Instead of staying at one ideal body temperature like us, turtles need to move back and forth between warm sunlight and cool shade to keep their bodies at the right temperature.

But in addition to learning new words and bridging ideas, kids can have fun with reading by learning new fun facts. For example, turtles have no teeth—instead, they use their hard beaks to chomp down on foods like plants, fish, insects, and even snails. What are some fun facts about animals that your family loves?

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Lots of families visit zoos in the summer when the weather’s warm, but even though we’re coming into winter, there are still plenty of reasons to come to the zoo. Some of the animals that are sluggish in the hot summer are more active and playful when the weather’s cooler, and you can see young animals born earlier in the year who are now out for the public to see! Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo has a whole section of their website dedicated to their newest animal babies, so even if you can’t make it there in person, you can still see the animals in photos and videos.
Some highlights of Woodland Park Zoo are their lion cub triplets born in October. They’re still in a den with their mom, but they’ll be on display in the coming months. They also have a baby porcupine (called a porcupette) named Marty, along with young otters, baby birds, and a jaguar cub. Do you see any of the animals that you read about in your latest issue of Zoobooks?

Baby ElephantThe Internet has been kind to baby animals—you probably see a cute video of baby animals every day on Facebook or YouTube. But as many fun videos as you see, you might still be missing lots of information about them. Don’t worry—Zoobooks to the rescue!
In Young Animals, you can read all about different animal babies and learn what they have in common and what makes them different. For instance, animal babies are split into two groups—altricial babies, which are born helpless and rely entirely on their parents, and precocial babies, which can follow their parents around and start to fend for themselves at a young age. For instance, most snakes never even meet their parents— they hatch and are ready to take on the world. Even the venom in a baby rattlesnakes’ fangs is, drop for drop, stronger than its parents’ venom. Meanwhile, crocodile moms carry their babies in their mouths, and hornbill bird dads make up to seventy trips a day to the nest to feed their young. Mother elephants will even charge at lions that come too close to their babies. The next time you see a video of baby animals, take some time to find out more about them—you might be surprised by what you learn!

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

You’ll go ape over these drawings by our latest Zooworks contest winners! All of these chimps look great—do you have a favorite?

Hawksbill_Sea_Turtle_Carey_de_Concha_(5840602412)In the newest issue of Zootles, you can meet all kinds of amazing turtles and tortoises. What’s the difference? Turtles live part or all of their lives in the water, while tortoises live only on dry land. They come in all shapes and sizes, and this issue is full of fun facts, engaging activities, and gorgeous photos for you and your child to enjoy and learn from.

Lots of things that you might have assumed about turtles turn out to be not entirely true. For example, despite their reputation for being slow, some turtles are among fastest-moving reptiles. Though they’re not very quick on land, leatherback sea turtles can swim at speeds over 20 miles per hour. And while you might think that all turtles can pull their necks into their shells, sea turtles can’t—though freshwater-dwelling box turtles have hinged shells that help them fit their heads, legs, and tails inside!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

We’re very closely related to chimpanzees— over 98% of our DNA is the same. And we’re not just genetically similar species. We act a lot alike too. The Maryland Zoo’s website has all kinds of great facts about these amazing animals, and the more you read, the more you’ll see how much we have in common. For instance, chimpanzee parents nurture their babies for a long time, just like humans do, and grown chimps still stay close to their parents.
Even though we have a lot in common with chimps, that hasn’t stopped humans from causing them a lot of harm. There were between one and two million chimps in 1900, and now there are only 150,000. They are the victims of habitat loss, human-introduced disease, and poaching. One of the major dangers to chimps is being hunted for their meat. Chimpanzee meat, called “bushmeat,” is sold in Africa and around the world.
The Maryland Zoo is working to promote public awareness of bushmeat and to encourage people to take action against its trade. Visit the Maryland Zoo’s website for more information about what you can do to help chimps and other animals in need!

We’re very closely related to chimpanzees— over 98% of our DNA is the same. And we’re not just genetically similar species. We act a lot alike too. The Maryland Zoo’s website has all kinds of great facts about these amazing animals, and the more you read, the more you’ll see how much we have in common. For instance, chimpanzee parents nurture their babies for a long time, just like humans do, and grown chimps still stay close to their parents.
Even though we have a lot in common with chimps, that hasn’t stopped humans from causing them a lot of harm. There were between one and two million chimps in 1900, and now there are only 150,000. They are the victims of habitat loss, human-introduced disease, and poaching. One of the major dangers to chimps is being hunted for their meat. Chimpanzee meat, called “bushmeat,” is sold in Africa and around the world.
The Maryland Zoo is working to promote public awareness of bushmeat and to encourage people to take action against its trade. Visit the Maryland Zoo’s website for more information about what you can do to help chimps and other animals in need!

Ein juveniler Schimpanse isst eine Frucht im Gombe Stream National ParkChimpanzees aren’t monkeys—they’re great apes, like gorillas and humans. And not only are we closely related to chimps, but we have a lot of behaviors in common with them too. They are some of the only animals to make and use tools—they “fish” for termites with sticks. Chimpanzees are also highly social, just like humans. They live in close family units and take care of their babies for years.
Unfortunately, some of chimps’ similarities to humans have led to trouble for them. Many chimps are captured for use in medical experiments. But the biggest threat to chimps is that they live on land that humans would like to use for logging. The destruction of their habitats has led to chimpanzees becoming endangered, and if things don’t change for the better, they could become extinct in the next hundred years. It’s important for us to find ways to share our planet with all of our fellow animals!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

This month, our Zooworks winners have shown us that bats don’t have to be scary—these often misunderstood animals are extremely cool, and pretty cute. They also drew lots of different kinds of bats—do you recognize any from the pages of Zoobooks?

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