Moody Gardens

Maid Appleton @ Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas

 

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“The Aquarium at Moody Gardens”

 

 

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“The Aquarium at Moody Gardens”

 

 

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“The Aquarium at Moody Gardens”

 

 

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“Fact: There are more plants and animals in rainforests than in any other habitat on Earth.”

 

 

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“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.” – Kenyan proverb

 

 

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“Pygmy Slow Loris – They may look cute and cuddly but beware, these primates protect themselves against predators with poison. They secrete a substance that becomes toxic when mixed with their saliva-their bite is definitely worse than their bark. Native peoples avoid this animal, since this poison can harm them too. Destruction of their home forests during the Vietnam War left the pygmy slow loris endangered.”

 

 

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“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eisley

 

 

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“Tree Top Trail – The rainforest canopy, or tree top, rustles and bustles with life, from swooping birds and crawling insects to leaping monkeys. Most rainforest animals live here – the canopy is rich in food so they don’t need to forage on the forest floor. Instead, they jump, glide, fly and climb from tree to tree in search of a meal or a place to nap. See how many kinds of birds and butterflies you can spot. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there when the fruit bats fly!”

 

 

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“Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) – Range: Papua New Guinea and Australia, Diet: small rodents and birds”

 

 

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“Orchids – Orchids are the second largest plant family, with 22,000 to 26,000 species. Many are grown for their strikingly beautiful flowers. You know one orchid by taste; the genus Vanilla, cultivated for its flavoring.”

 

 

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“Welcome to the Tree Top Trail ~ Rainforest have four layers – the forest floor, understory, canopy, and emergent. The canopy, represented by the tree top trail, is home to 90% of the organisms that live in the rainforest. The crowns of the trees create an umbrella, which blocks all but 2% of the sunlight from the forest floor. Keep your eyes and ears open as you explore the trail. While some of the animals may be brightly colored, others are camouflaged and more difficult to spot.”

 

 

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“Two-toed Sloth – Sloths live in super slo-mo. They sleep 15 hours a day, curled up in a ball, hanging from a tree branch. Sloths don’t move around a lot, and when they do, they take it slow. They nibble on fruit, shoots, and leaves of the tree they’re in, and switch trees only when they want something new on the menu. Try to find one of our tree sloths – look for a greenish ball of fur in the trees.”

 

 

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“Cotton-top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) ~ Cotton-top pops are tops! These tamarins are hands-on dads. Unlike most other male monkeys, the fathers do most of the childcare. This gives the mom more time to feed and forage, so she can keep her energy up. You may hear our cotton-top tamarins chirp and trill to each other as they move through the trees. | Hunting for the pet trade and biomedical research drastically reduced the numbers of these monkeys in the wild. And destruction of the forests where they live continues to be a threat.”

 

 

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“White-faced Saki (Pithecia pithecia) ~ Saki monkeys are champion leapers. They can jump as far as 30 feet from tree to tree-for humans that would be a world record long jump! Native peoples call sakis ‘flying monkeys’ for their jumping ability. But they can be shy. You may have to look hard to see them up in the trees. Females are grayish all over, while males are darker-colored, with white or cream faces.”

 

 

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“Prevost’s Squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) ~ Calling all squirrels! These Prevost’s squirrels talk to each other with trills and whistles. They also signal by raising their tails. Active at night, Prevost’s squirrels are good climbers and leapers, jumping from tree to tree. Look for this striking striped squirrel either sleeping in a ball or having a snack.”

 

 

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“Cloudless Sulfur | Pipevine Swallowtail | Mexican Blue Wing | Black Swallowtail”

 

 

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“Banded Orange | Orange Julia | Postman | Malachite | Giant Swallowtail”

 

 

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“Postman | Gulf Fritillary | Zebra Longwing | Blue Morpho | Tiger Longwing”

 

 

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“Zebra Longwing | Monarch | Glasswing | Cattleheart”

 

 

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“LIfecycle ~ A butterfly begins life as a tiny round egg. Once a caterpillar hatches, its job is to eat plants and grow. The caterpillar makes itself a hard outer case, or chrysalis-inside it morphs into a butterfly. Newly emerged adult butterflies rest until their wings harden and they can soar away.”

 

 

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“Camouflage and Color”

 

 

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“Chrysalis ~ A larval caterpillar becomes an adult butterfly inside a hard case, or chrysalis. The caterpillar attaches itself to a branch or twig, then sheds, revealing the chrysalis. Chrysalises vary in color and shape; some look like dry leaves, others like shiny jewel drops. How many different chrysalises do you see?”

 

 

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“Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis) ~ This tall evergreen tree, native to South America, has large round fruits that resemble cannonballs. Its leaves, fruit, bark, and flowers have medicinal properties and are used to treat colds and stomach aches. Juice from the leaves cure skin diseases. The inside of the fruit disinfects wounds, and young leaf buds ease toothache.”

 

 

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“Tabebuia Ipe Tree (Ee-pay)”

 

 

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“Medicinal Plants ~ Native rainforest peoples rely on shamans and rainforest plants to keep them healthy. Western science, too, depends on shamans’ knowledge of rainforest medicine. Their healing plants could be the basis of new drugs or even cures for cancer or AIDS. Rainforest plants are a vital resource, but we could easily lose them, as well as the traditional knowledge that can unlock their potential, if tropical ecosystems are not preserved intact.”

 

 

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“Mantella”

 

 

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“Poison Dart Frogs”

 

 

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“Life Cycle of a Frog: Day 1:Egg — Day 3-4: Tailbud — Day 6-12: Tadpole (with operculum, internal/external gills) — Day 70: Tadpole (with hindlimbs) — Day 84: Tadpole (with forelimbs) — Day 84+: Froglet (tadpole metamorphosis) — Day 84+: Young Frog”

 

 

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“Cloud Forests ~ Cloud forests are cool! These lush, green forests grow high in misty mountains, veiled in clouds, so they are colder than lowland rainforests. In the cloud forest, plants absorb water directly from mist and clouds. The canopy trees capture water from the surrounding clouds and mists through condensation, turning water vapor into liquid water. Cloud forests echo with the constant drip…drip…drip…of water from the leaves above. They are called ‘nature’s water towers’ and provide nearby farms, towns and villages with an abundant supply of fresh clean water year-round. | In our cloud forest, you’ll come across colorful-and poisonous!-frogs that live in rainforest trees. You’ll meet people who live in the rainforest, and see some of their hunting tools and mystical objects. Plus you’ll find out how vital rainforest plants are to their health – and ours.”

 

 

 

 

 

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“Poison Dart Frogs”

 

 

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“Emergent: 130-200 feet”

 

 

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“Canopy: 60-130 feet”

 

 

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“Understory: 0-60 feet”

 

 

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“Forest Floor: 0 feet”

 

 

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“Panamanian Golden Frog”

 

 

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“Mandarin Rat Snake”

 

 

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“Jackson’s Chameleon”

 

 

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“Palm Viper”

 

 

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“Nightfall ~ As night falls in the rainforest, the sun’s dappled light gives way to deep darkness. It’s hard to see the moon and the stars through the trees. The thick tree canopy and dense vines hold the day’s heat, acting like a quilt for the forest. But the rainforest doesn’t sleep-as daytime creatures find their beds, other animals wake up and are soon on the lookout for food. In fact, 80 percent of rainforest life is active at night. Nocturnal animals can smell and hear really well, and their large eyes help them see in the dark.”

 

 

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“Madagascar Giant Jumping Rat (Hypogeomys antimena) ~ These giant rodents are strictly nocturnal and found in a very small area of Madagascar off the coast of Africa. During the day they sleep in tunneled burrows underground. Extra long hind feet allow them to jump almost 3 feet in the air. They move around either on all four feet or by jumping like a kangaroo.”

 

 

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“Leaftail Gecko () ~ Can you glimpse the gecko? These lizards’ changing colors and leaf-shaped tails are great camouflage. When the gecko lies flat, it blends into trees and becomes hard for predators to spot. Leaftail geckos hunt at night, using their large eyes to find insects.”

 

 

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Komodo Dragon

 

 

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“Peoples of the Rainforest ~ Local peoples throughout Asia build sturdy rafts from bamboo. The dried stalks are light, yet durable and strong. Lashed together with rope or other fibers, bamboo poles make great boats. Many of the junks, sampans, and rafts that sail China’s vast waterways are constructed partly or entirely of bamboo. And in Taiwan, 40-foot-long seagoing rafts are crafted from bamboo.”

 

 

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“‘Joey’ Palm”

 

 

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“You can lean on a bamboo stick, but not a rope ~ As the Chinese proverb shows Asian peoples prize bamboo plants. They eat the young shoots and use the stalks to cook in. Houses and bridges, as well as paper, fabric, and musical instruments are made from bamboo. To the Chinese, bamboo represents long life; in India it signifies friendship.” | “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists – Japanese proverb”

 

 

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“Crocodile Monitor ~ These lanky lizards can grow to be more than eight feet long! They whip their strong tails in defending themselves against predators. Monitor lizards, unlike other lizards, have snake-like forked tongues. | The crocodile monitor is protected under C.I.T.E.S. (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). Native peoples hunt them for their meat and their skins, which they use to make drum heads. These lizards are also threatened by the pet trade and by loss of their forest habitats.”

 

 

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“Americas Trail ~ Now you’re in the forests of the Americas: Central and South America are home to more than half the world’s rainforests. The largest one of all is represented right here – the giant Amazon. It’s about the size of the United States! Jaguars and monkeys live here, as do many kinds of birds, including colorful toucans and parrots. There are more than 2,000 kinds of butterflies, and giant snakes slither across the forest floor and swim in the rivers.”

 

 

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“Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) ~ Spot the spots! Ocelot fur is marked with patches, rings, and spots. These patterns help them blend into leaves and shrubs, where they sleep during the day so predators can’t see them. What’s that smell? Male ocelots mark their territories to scare off other males. Ocelots once ranged from Louisiana through Texas and Arizona, into Mexico. Today, about 100 live in the United States, most in scrubland and in refuges in the lower Rio Grand Valley. The good news: conservation groups are working with landowners to preserve and restore habitats.” Range: Mexico, Central and South America, parts of Texas — Diet: rabbits, rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, fish

 

 

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“Old Man Palm (Cocothrinax crintia) – This palm’s most distinctive characteristic is the shag of brown fibers that envelop its trunk. Endemic to Cuba it is threatened due to its few numbers and restricted range.”

 

 

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“Egyptian Fruit Bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) – Bat chitchat? Egyptian fruit bats are chatty; you might hear their chirps and grunts as they roost. They use tongue clicks to navigate at night, judging distance and discerning what an object is from the echo that comes back to them. This technique, called echolocation or biosonar, is used by whales, too.” – Range: Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia : Diet: fruit, fruit juices, flower nectars

 

 

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“Axolotl”

 

 

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“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, and the trees.” – Chief Edward Moody, Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation

 

 

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“Carrion Flower-Starfish Flower ~ Stapelia species – Looks like a succulent or cactus, but closely related to milkweeds. Pollinated by flies. Star-shaped flowers have the aroma of rotting flesh to attract flies.”

 

 

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