Thursday, November 23, 2017

Introduction to Cenezoic Animals

Introduction to Cenezoic Animals

     Hello guys! I am sorry for not creating blog posts as often, but now I am back on track with a Thanksgiving day post. Today I will teach you about the Cenezoic, so enjoy.

     Lets admit it, we all know what a dinosaur is, giant reptiles that practically define prehistory, but dinosaurs were not the beginning, nor the end of prehistory as we know it. Let's go back to the Triassic period, a time when everyones favorite creatures were evolving, the dinosaurs. During this time, you could peek in holes in the ground and probably see something like this, this is what the ancestor of all modern mammals, even us, looked like.

Picture by: Carl Buell

     When dinosaurs ruled the earth, small mice and shrews scuttled underneath them, until the end of the cretaceous period. That meteor we have all heard of hit the earth in new Mexico and wiped out anything larger than a foot tall, it was time for the mammals to shine. In the fossil record, this is called the K.T boundary. K.T stands for cretaceous / Tertiary boundary. The tertiary is divided into two distinct periods, the Paleogene, and Neogene, where the mammals diversified into what they are today.

Paleogene period

     The paleogene was a period where these small shrews and mice became all the distinct groups of mammals these divisions of time might be confusing, but I will explain it as best as I can. The paleogene period was divided into even more sections of time. These sections of time are called epochs. The Tertiary started with the paleocene epoch (it's important not to get the paleocene, and paleogene mixed up) the time when certain creatures evolved. Most of all the first horses evolved which were about the size of overweight guinea pigs. Most early paleontologists nicknamed them "dawn horses". One example would be Hyracotherium, a small ground dwelling creature that evolved in the late paleocene. Surprisingly enough, the first horses did not have hooves. They had paws like dogs and bears.

     The second epoch during the Paleogene was the eocene epoch this is the time when many more things happened in mammal evolution, including the evolution of the first rhinos, and the continued evolution of horses. An interesting one was the evolution of whales. Meet Ambulocetus, the "walking whale" this creature lived during the eocene epoch and was the ancestor of all whales and dolphins. it looked more like a crocodile than a whale, but this creature is amazing.

Skeleton of ambylocetus
By: Wikipedia

     It's back tail would have gone up and down as it used webbed feet to swim through the water. Another strange group of creatures evolved later in the eocene, the Titanotheres. These creatures evolved off of those dawn horses and died out in the Oligicene epoch which came after the paleocene, from a distance, you might mistake one for a rhino, but these creatures were bigger. they had strange forked bones on their skulls which were probably used for defense against their predators, killer goats. Wait a minute, what? Yes! You heard me right, killer goats. Evolving from Ambulocetus, and it's close relative, Pakicetus, andrewsarchus (ANN-droo-sar-kiss) was a terryfying carnivore that had the first hooves, like sheep and goats.

Andrewsarchus Mongoliensis
2001 Documentary/Movie, Walking With Prehistoric Beasts

     The final epoch in the paleogene period was, the Oligicene epoch. Many more amazing creatures sprouted from evolution. The first pigs evolved, which were called Entelodonts. Entelodonts are nothing like the pigs living today. They were hunters, and they fed on grass which made them omnivores. They had tough, bony skin and were about the size of modern rhinoceroses.

Neogene Period

     The Neogene period is divided into epochs also, although it has less. More amazing evolution happened here. Starting with the Miocene epoch, where we could see our (Great, great, great, great, etc.) grandparents. This was australopithecus, the first primate to stand up on it's hind legs on solid ground. 

     After the Miocene, came the pliocene, when most of the life we had today had evolved and during the pliocene, the earth slowly cooled to prepare for what was coming next, what we call the ice age.

Pleistocene epoch

     The Pleistocene was the most recent prehistoric time period. A time when many famous prehistoric mammals evolved, including Smilodons, Dodos, and Mammoths. It was also when many of the recent mammals talked about in this post died out. There are many reasons, for instance, the land bridge we know call Central America came into existence and a swap between animals from north america and south america took place. Humans also evolved and may have been an influence in these extinctions. Probably the biggest factor though, was the fact that the world became very cold and icy. That was the ice age. 

     Now that you know about the Cenezoic, you should understand the upcoming posts on the blog.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Meet Hawk

This is Hawk. He is a young horse. My Uncle Billy has ownership over the horse. Hawk is very cute. Horses need lots of exercise and  
 a large supply of water to sustain them. Horses can get a condition called colic where the stomach of the horse gets twisted because of sediment pollution, or a fight with another horse. My Uncle Billy gave us treats to feed to Hawk. They were made of apples, and Hawk loved them.

Sonoran Desert Museum

     For the third day of our vacation, we went to the Sonoran Desert Museum outside of Tucson. It is a natural museum with large botanical gardens, and everything inside is living.

The first picture is of a deer. Deer have thin fur and little white tails.  They usually are symbols of peace. In the next picture, we have a black bear. Black bears are among the smallest species of bears. They are fuzzy and black and are easily scared. If you yell at them or see them in the woods, they will go away. In the next picture, we have a western screech owl. These creatures are very tiny and only come out at night. They love hunting fish and moths. They are also very cute. Next, we have a prairie dog. They are adorable. They have dark, tan skin and live in burrows. They live in huge families of 10-20, and one always stands watch. They are one of the few animals that can stand on two legs. In the next picture, we have a bobcat. Bobcats generally look like big house cats. They have short tails and long, pointy ears with tufts on the end, and they are very good at climbing. The next picture is of a red fox. It is curled up and taking a nap and looks very cute. Unlike dogs, foxes are long, skinny and weasel-like. Next, we have a javelina (hah-vuh-lee-nuh). They are related to wild peccaries, but they live in the desert. They have specially designed mouths so they can eat cacti without getting hurt. The cacti applies lots of nutrients and water. Next we have a coyote. If you live in the United States, you have probably seen one. They are related to dogs and are brown and gray. Next we have a river otter. These are related to sea otters like the ones in my visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium post. Except these are from freshwater lakes and streams. Next we have an underwater habitat. Can you find the two minnows in this picture? There are transparent little fish in this huge underwater habitat. Next we have some big-horned sheep. These are very, very good at climbing and live on mountains. In this exhibit, there were four. In the same exhibit, we saw a large desert iguana, that is also a picture in this collage. Next we have a beaver diving underwater. Beavers have their own language that they speak by moving their tail. Next we have a large red flower. There is a hummingbird on the stem of this flower. These hummingbirds are really cute. They are blind to any color except red, so they love red flowers. We went inside an aviary which was filled with 12 different types of hummingbirds. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.                                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2nd Day Of Our Vacation

     Today we went to the Sonoran desert in Arizona. We stopped in a town known as Quartzite. There was lots, and lots of quartz crystals on the ground. There were also lots of strange plants. There was even a huge quartz slab that looked like a chunk of ice:

After 4 hours of driving, we made it to our destination in Tucson, Arizona. There we stopped at Saguaro National Park to see thousands of cacti dotting the landscape. There were ancient stone drawings from native americans. The three pictures shown below are: a huge panorama of the cacti, a native american rock drawing, and a close up of a cactus.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hauser Geode Beds

     Today we went to the Hauser Geode beds to look for agate and geodes. We drove 4 hours to get to Hauser. We saw two other rockhounds (people who dig for precious minerals and fossils). We also saw some amazing desert landscape with cacti and strange plants. Agate is a sparkly mineral that is orange, red, or yellow. If you turn it, it sparkles. To tell what stones are geodes, you must find a stone with greenish, bubble-shaped crystals on the outside then break it open. It will be filled with beautiful agate and quartz crystals. If you look somewhere else, you may find a amethyst geode with purple amethyst crystals inside. NO PICTURES YET.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Testing My dog's Food's Nutritional Value

This week, i'll be testing nutritional values of different foods. You can always send me a post on one of your favorite foods,  then I will reply with a little studying. I used some information from the back of my dogs food bag.

One of the ingredients is chicken and turkey giblets. this consists of a fowls organs. It has one gram of carbohydrates and one gram of fat. Next ingredient, beans. beans are very good for you and can prevent tummy aches.  LOTS of greens like celery, lettuce, and spinach. Some zinc. Zinc is a common element on the periodic table and is a natural metal that our body needs. Next up, seeds. there are at least five types of seeds in this food. Seeds are considered some of the most healthy parts of the plant. It also contains raspberry and sasparilla root. These are very healthy parts of the plant, but contain lots of natural sugars that charge you up. This must explain why my dog is so crazy. 
And on the healthy meter this food is..................

pretty good

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium

This weekend I went to Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA). We needed to take a long drive to get to Monterey Bay. On the way, we stopped at an elephant seal rookery. Many of the elephant seals were shedding their fur, others were sleeping, and others even scooched along the sand with their belly! There was even a female digging a hole.

It took all day to drive (not including the fact that we stopped at a taco stand- yum). By the time we made it, it was sunset. My Dad and I went out on the beach with our nets to see if we could catch anything. There was nothing on the beach to catch.

The next day we went to MBA. I created a collage out of the pictures I took at the aquarium. I created it on

The largest picture is a sea otter. Sea otters eat shellfish and break the shells open using rocks. The picture to the far right top is a picture of a school of sea nettles.  The picture below the jellyfish is filled with strawberry anemones (u-ne-mo-nees).  How many anemones do you think there are? The picture below the anemones is crabs crawling all over a rock. The picture left to the crab is a giant pacific octopus against the glass. It gives you a great look at an octopus' suction cups. The bottom picture left to the octopus is a garden of garden eels. A garden eel will burrow underground and stay inside a hole. Finally, above the garden eels there is one of the largest tanks in the world. It's the open ocean tank! A couple of open ocean creatures live in this huge tank like hammerhead sharks, yellowfin tuna, mackerel, mahi mahi, and even a huge school of 9,998 sardines (it started with 10,000, but the shark ate two).

Afterward, it took a whole day to drive home. But we got to drive along the coast. I read most of the way. The trip was an interesting experience.