Peeper is a kinkajou (kink- a -joo) a.k.a. honey bear because of its soft, fluffy, golden-brown fur. They are nocturnal which means they sleep all day and play all night in the Central and South American rainforest. They are arboreal and have a long prehensile tail that can hold onto objects like another arm. They also have a 6-inch tongue that they use to get nectar from flowers. That would be like a human with a 2-foot tongue. A kinkajou can make a soft peeping noise and can also have its peep travel for miles. Although a kinkajou eats mostly fruits it will also eat nectar, honey, eggs, insects, small reptiles, small birds, and small animals. They even hang upside-down when eating fruit so they don't lose any nectar. Another interesting fact is that they are the only meat-eaters that are pollinators.
Nocturnal - An animal that sleeps during the day and is awake through the night. They usually have big black eyes that allow them to see in the dark.
Arboreal - An animal that lives mostly in the trees.
Prehensile tail - A tail that can grasp on to things. This can help an animal balance and hold itself into position. Some animals can hang by their prehensile tail.
Pollinators - Creatures that carry pollen from flower to flower which helps them produce.
Flash is a bottlenose dolphin that lives in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world. Some dolphins migrate south to warmer waters in the winter. A bottlenose dolphin's sense of touch is well developed as well as enhanced vision in dim light. Dolphins have a well-developed sense of hearing that takes place in their lower jaw. Dolphins are air-breathing mammals, not fish. There is a fish called a dolphin that people eat. Bottlenose dolphins live in groups called pods.
Echolocation is an ability that Dolphins (and some other marine mammals and most bats) have that help them to "see" with their ears by listening for echoes. They echolocate by producing clicking sounds and then receiving and interpreting the resulting echo.
*When you see dolphin on the menu, don't worry. It's not a relative of flipper. It is the dolphin the fish or mahi mahi.
Winston is a pug. He's not only mans best friend, but the best man at Peter and Lesley's wedding. The pug is known for their constant snorting while awake and loud snoring while sleeping as well as the trademark curly-Q pig like tail. His life revolves around food. He shows no interest in other animals or dog toys, but prefers to hang out with people.
Howie is a mutt. Meaning he is mixed. He may be part shepard or doberman and take your pick. Howie was found in a dumpster, then we rescued from death row at the humane society and has rewarded us with unconditional love. Howie enjoys playing with other animals as well as Frisbees, tennis balls, and all other toys.
*There are many dogs like Howie at the HUMANE SOCIETY that are great dogs and need your help. I couldn't have asked for a better dog.
This is a picture of Howie from 98 after we saved him from death row.
Manny T is a manatee also called a "sea cow", which is the distant relative of the elephant. Manatees live in shallow, calm rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. Manatees move from fresh to salt water with no problem. The Florida manatee frequents most areas of Florida. During the summer months a few travel as far north as Virginia. Full-grown can grow to be as large as 3,500 pounds and 13 feet. Manatees can hold their breath for approximately 20 minutes. They are slow moving mammals that swim the water's surface where algae are abundant making the manatee's back ideal for algae to grow. The algae acts like sun-block for manatees. A baby manatee is called a calf.
Manatees may not look like mermaids to us, but many years ago sailors mistook manatees for legendary mermaids.
*Many manatees are injured by boats and by becoming tangled in discarded fishing line so please throw your fishing line in the trash not the ocean and watch out for them while boating.
*Polarized sunglasses help you see into the water.
Max is a Great Hammerhead Shark, which is gray with an off-white underbelly and lives in warm and relatively warm waters in coastal areas. These sharks can be up to 11.5 feet in length, and some have been known to become as long as 20feet. They can weight anywhere from 500-1,000 pounds.
The teeth are set in rows, and are triangular in shape with hundreds of serrations on each tooth. Hammerheads are fierce predators that use their great sense of smell to find prey. They eat fish, including rays and other sharks, as well as octopuses, squid and crustaceans. They have even been known to eat other hammerheads. Stingrays seem to be a favorite meal. They use their "hammers" to pin the ray down to the ocean bottom while they take bites from it's wings.
The Great Hammerhead Shark usually lives between the ages of 20-30 years.
Do you know how they got their name?
Peter & Lesley live on Sugarloaf Key, which is about 14 miles from Key West with Winston(pug), Howie(mutt), Peeper(kinkajou), Maggie(2-toed sloth), and Boomer(lavender skunk). Peter writes children's books and they tour together educating children and adults on unique animals and their ecosystems as well as conservation issues. They wok with many wildlife organizations, which you can see under the "links" button and they also own a private investigation agency, where they are both licensed private investigators www.soginv.com. Peter loves to flats fish for tarpon, permit, and bonefish while practicing safe catch and release for these fish and Lesley loves to snorkel on the reefs.
If you would like Peter to come to your school district with Peeper & Maggie check out the school visits link.
Shelly is a sea turtle and is found in warm and temperate waters throughout the world. They migrate hundreds of miles between nesting and feeding grounds. Sea turtles eat jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp, snails, algae and mollusks.
Sea turtles spend most of their time in the water. When they do come to the shore, to lay eggs, for example, traveling on land is awkward. They are threatened with capture, harvesting of eggs, destruction of nesting beaches, ocean pollution, oil spills and entanglement in fishing and shrimp nets.
Sea turtles are closely related to ancient species dating back 130 million years to the Cretaceous Period. Some may be more closely related to dinosaurs than our present day reptiles.
*Sea turtles are endangered and need our help. They have been severely injured and died from fishing line and trap rope entanglements, fishing nets, boat collisions, and swallowing human waste such as plastic bags, balloons, and fishing line and/or hooks.
* Please throw your fishing line and garbage in the trash not the ocean and watch out for them while boating.
*Polarized sunglasses help you see into the water.