Category: Just for Fun

Art to Save the Sea

There is a lot of trash in the ocean, and the problem is getting steadily worse. Some estimates suggest more than 1 billion pounds of debris enters the ocean every year. This debris can cause all kinds of problems for marine life and marine ecosystems—from wildlife entanglement to habitat destruction. So what can we do about it?

Meet the Scientists

One of the best parts of writing Marine Science for Kids (which officially releases tomorrow, June 1), was interviewing marine scientists, finding out what inspires them, and getting a glimpse into their cool careers. While we don’t want to give away all the fun tidbits we uncovered in these exclusive interviews, here’s a preview of the inspirational people we included in our latest book.

Animal-Style Parenting

We’ve got babies on the brain, maybe because it’s springtime, or maybe because we’re expecting a baby ourselves! As humans, we can all more or less agree on what it takes to raise a human baby. However, outside of our species, the parenting experience varies drastically.

Chasing Glowworms

We donned our striped thermals, rubber boots, and helmets and tramped down a muddy hillside to the entrance to Mangarongapu Cave. If we wanted to see glowworms in their natural environment, we were going to have to work for it. Most bioluminescent organisms live in the sea, particularly in the deep. On land, bioluminescent species include glowworms, a catch-all term that refers to luminescent insects like fireflies (winged beetles) and the fungus gnat of New Zealand, among others.

Penguin Fun Facts for Penguin Awareness Day

Penguins are flightless seabirds that get around by swimming and diving, waddling around on land, and, sometimes, slipping and sliding on their bellies. Scientists have identified more than a dozen penguin species, and each one has an outer layer of waterproof feathers, webbed feet, and flippers for swimming. Penguins frequently preen (groom) and spread an oil-like substance on their feathers, which helps keep their bodies dry and insulated against water and wind.

5 Ways to Use Less Plastic in 2017

Happy 2017! If you’re setting New Year’s goals to help keep you focused on positive action throughout the next 12 months, consider sharing our resolution to use less plastic. Just like committing to be more frugal, eat less junk food, or exercise more regularly, the quest to use less plastic in 2017 won’t be easy. However, it’s an opportunity to create life-long changes that will help the environment and set an important example for our children, families, friends, and coworkers.

‘Tis the Season: Wonderfully Wintery Creatures

‘Tis the season for freshly fallen snow, warm blankets, and holiday cheer (and scraping ice from car windshields). For humans in the northern hemisphere, it’s the time of year for sledding and ice skating, cookie baking and ugly sweater parties, and cuddling up by the fireplace to watch classic movies. Unlike humans, many animal species—particularly in Arctic regions—are simply built for wintery conditions. Some of them even seem to embody the season itself (ahem, reindeer). Grab a cup of hot cocoa, and let’s take a look at just a few of these wonderfully wintery creatures.

A ‘Fantastic Beast’ & Where We Found It

In the newly released film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a new beloved character, a bowtruckle named Pickett, captures the hearts of the audience. In the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Fantastic Beasts screenplay, Bowtruckles are small, twig-like creatures that guard wand-wood trees. Bowtruckles’ most notable physical characteristic is their natural camouflage, which helps them blend in with their forested natural habitats.

Celebrating Election Day Animals

Back in the 1800s, a cartoonist named Thomas Nast helped popularize the use of a donkey and an elephant to symbolize the two major political parties in America—Democrats and Republicans. Tomorrow is Election Day, and, to celebrate, we’re completely ignoring presidential candidates, political platforms, and scandals. Instead, we’re highlighting the animals that front the Democratic and Republican parties. Enjoy this break from the mayhem!