Wild Animal Surprises

Nature Lessons from Little Ray

Animals may not look as people expect. They may be bigger or smaller than imagined. Viewing them through swim masks and binoculars may distort dimensions or colors.

Wild animals may not be as predictable as tame ones. During beach or boating vacations, while camping at parks or in backyards, it helps to learn how to react around them.

Surprises are the nature of every beast. Carnivores on land and at sea are fast, strong, and wily. Claws, teeth, barbs, horns, toxins and/or electric shock improve their survival abilities.

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Did You Know?

Some birds and aquatic mammals continue to migrate long distances after they fall half-asleep.

Stingrays cannot see what they are eating. Their eyes are on top of their body. Their mouths are underneath. They smell the difference between food and non-food items.

Mudskippers largely live out of water. These fish walk on land and climb up trees or rocks in search of food and sunbathing spots.

Fish bark, burp, groan, grunt, hiss, hoot, moan, rattle and make sucking noises. The Gulf Corvina can be louder than a spot next to a rock-concert stage.

Greenland Sharks do not reach full maturity until they are over one hundred years old. These sharks get a late start with reproduction.

Mako and Great White Sharks can heat some of their body parts to improve their cold-water performance.

Each Whale Shark sports a unique spot pattern, like a fingerprint.

Large stingrays can lift and topple people from their backs. With luck, the stingers will graze rather than penetrate those who carelessly step onto these fish in the water.

Mantas have no stingers, venom, sharp teeth or special defenses. The ‘horns’ are not used for fighting. These filter-feeding parts unfold for food funneling.

Animal Needs

Animals do their best to survive and raise their young. Bold seagulls steal human food. Sharks are known to snatch the hand feeding them. The smell of food attracts them.

Wildlife needs to stay wild. Nature centers post warnings and maintain information for enrichment and safety. Reading raises awareness about animals sharing our world.

Safe behaviors should be explained to children. They may not appreciate natural places after endangering themselves. Tours present safe surroundings and information.

Safety tips are available on this website and on display or in print at most visitor locations.

Parks & Beaches

Animals are major attractions at national, state, and local parks. Parks present opportunities to volunteer, pursue a career or explore the wild.

Visitors come across rare animals that might not be seen, again. Rangers add facts about disappearing creatures that roamed lands and waters before people arrived.

Beach guards know the risks of animals, tides, and currents. They post warnings and are equipped to start rescue and treatment. It is safer to swim at guarded beaches.

Learn the Stingray Shuffle. It can be practiced on land and without music.

The Stingray Shuffle

This shuffling dance may prevent injury and pain. It scares away offensive angel sharks and defensive stingrays. Nobody wants to anger shark kin.

Steps to repel biters and stingers should not be performed around some sharks. Movements intimidating to flat sharks may attract their fierce cousins.

This dance has no part in any Little Ray tale. The animations were made from the original book. The tempo, progressions, and hooks present novel dance patterns in just 32 Seconds.

Transcript:

“Doing the stingray shuffle may improve our beach days. The vibrations scare off unfriendly rays. Let's make the surf pound and rattle the ground with your choice of sound for our next go-round. Fun begins with reading.”