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Animal Facts Recap By Theme

Welcome back to your weekly recap of fun animal facts. We have started doing weekly themes, and have covered Animals of New York, Obscure Creatures and Schools of Fish so far. This week, we are exploring Odd Animals Out, creatures that do not fit their families’ molds.

You know what’s not fun, though? Being critically endangered. When we were composing our list of obscure animals, we kept coming back to the same issue: they are not widely known because they are rare, due to loss of habitat and prevalence of hunters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, hunting, though everyone may not be a fan, proves to be a vital part of keeping species’ populations in check. Animals like deer can become invasive species if their populations get out of control. When that happens, their food sources and shelter are depleted, causing many of them, along with other animals that share their environment, to die of starvation and lack of resources. However, issues like deforestation and trophy killing are the kinds of things animal activists who know what they are doing are trying to prevent. So many species are on the edge of extinction because people are murdering them with no regard to their effect on the ecosystem. Remember, everyone, we are animals, too, and we all have much more of an impact on the world around us than we realize. We all need each other to continue surviving on this earth.

And with that chipper message, let’s get to the Fun Animal Facts:

School of Fish

  • Fish school & shoal. Shoaling is when they swim independently, but in a way that they stay connected, forming a social group. Schooling is when they swim, coordinated and in the same direction. Think of Shoaling as recess and Schooling as class time.FB_IMG_1472572407901.jpg
  • Fish use a variety of low-pitched sounds to convey messages to each other. They do not, however, have vocal chords, so they use various parts of their bodies to make noises.maxresdefault (1)
  • There are more than 165 species of freshwater fish in New York State.
  • Not every school of fish wants a photo finish! Plankton, for example, can easily be consumed by a Tripod Fish — a stationary, suspension-feeding fish that just stands in place, waiting for a meal to swim by.hqdefault (1).jpg
  • Salmon, arguably, are the fish that travel farthest in their lives — up to 3,800 km during migration!salmon
  • Some fish can swim backwards! Two examples of such talented sea life are the Triggerfish and Electric Eel.triggerfish
  • Flying fish propel themselves out of the water and into the air, where their wing-like fins enable them to glide.
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Crowdfunding On the Horizon and Again With the Brochures!

Hey, everybody and welcome back to Animal School’s blog.

Well, human schools are getting back in session, and we’re celebrating that fact with another tour of farmers markets around the Rochester, NY area. We hope to be at the Pittsford, Brighton, Churchville and Charlotte/Lakeside markets in the next week or two, so keep an eye out for our fuzzy faces.

Katie has updated our brochure (again) to include the various online and multimedia features Animal School produces. We will have printed copies Monday, but if you would like to look at them now, we do have the PDF available. Share it with anyone who might be interested! We work with all sorts of groups and schools, and people of all ages. Also, because we never want to deprive anyone of our unique educational program, we offer a sliding scale for prices, so we can work out something affordable for everyone. Remember: we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and, obviously, WordPress.

Speaking of our online presence, we are working on a CNN parody, so keep an eye out for that. Nick was also interviewed with Elope costumes recently, the group from which we got Howler’s, Inola’s and Swift’s heads, so we hope to share that article with you when it becomes available. Additionally, Katie has been fastidiously working on a logo specifically for Animal School, so we have that to look forward to, as well. Moreover, we’re working on our own banner, as opposed to the WEC one, for markets, and are in the process of putting a horse suit together for some collaborative projects with other local farm and wildlife groups. We also just started our Animals In Art History feature, in which we explore art throughout history that portrays and incorporates animals into its themes and compositions. These are exciting times!

Now, being part of a nonprofit group, how are we paying for this? Not easily, to be frank. That’s why we’re looking to Patreon to help us fund our program. We are entertainers and artists at heart, so it makes sense to have patrons. What has been delaying us, though, is a means of rewarding potential supporters. Again, we have no money, so we really do have to be creative here. We’re thinking of having newsletters, printable coloring pages of our characters, online origami guides, thank-you mentions in our videos, and a variety of family-friendly parodies or animal topic videos for patrons to choose from. We need to make sure we have something that people want (other than our content constantly improving in a way that entertains and informs our community) and is accessible to patrons online and ONLY the patrons, at least for early access. So, we are really perusing the site before we officially start a page. We were thinking of offering people who, 1) live in Monroe County and 2) donate x amount of dollars, a visit to their group or business, but frankly, that seems too sketchy. We were also discussing possible merchandise to give away down the line, like t-shirts and toys but, again, we are a new group in a poor city, so that is something that could take many, many years to come to fruition.

IOU Donate Jar
To be fair, EVERY educator deserves one of these


What do you think? What would you like to get back from Animal School if you were to support us online? What kinds of topics or themes would you like us to add to our in-person performances?

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Fun Animal Facts Recap: Aug 11-17

Another week, another torrent of creature tidbits. Here you go:

Continue reading “Fun Animal Facts Recap: Aug 11-17”

Posted in animal facts, animal mascots, animals, arctic foxes, arctic wildlife, Arts, biodiversity, bird mascots, birds, birds of prey, ecology, education, educational mascots, endangered species, Entertainment, environment, kestrels, nature, nature conservation, Omnivore, Predator, Prey, talking mascots, Uncategorized

A Bird’s Eye View

We recently filmed a series of videos with Braddock bay’s Barb French with our character Kele Kestrel. Our goal was to shoot between five and six short videos, focusing on what birds of prey live in our area, why they are important, why birds migrate, how and why bands are used to research bird migration, and some simple bird facts.  We shot on location at Braddock Bay’s public Hawk Blind in the Owl Woods in North Greece, NY.  It was a hot morning but the blind was sheltered; I was grateful to not be terribly hot in the kestrel suit.

Kele Kestrel originally was built years ago by two people: my friend Dan built the body suit and Erin from Keystone Mascots built the head.  She built the beak to be wide open so I could both see and speak clearly through it.  Our friend Casey made Kele’s scarf and leg band.  At some point, we will upgrade the body suit as the arms are a bit tight.

This series is the first in which we interviewed someone but it will not be the last.  We have plans on doing many more in the future.  But for now, here are all of the Bird’s Eye View! Enjoy!



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Fun Animal Facts Recap: August 4 -10

Here are this week’s Animal Facts:

  • Nudibranchs (NEW-di-bronk) are brilliantly colored, jelly-bodied sea slugs. There are at least 3,000 species of these guys!
  • Sitatungas, or marshbucks, Sitatungasare a species of antelope from Central Africa that dwell in swamps.
  • Lobsters shed their shells in order to continue growing throughout their lives, which can be upwards of 50 years!(Info from
  • Raccoons, despite sometimes digging through garbage, are fairly hygienic creatures. OpossumThey wash food in streams & dig latrines in areas they frequent.
  • Opossums are the only marsupials (pouched mammals) in North America. Opossums live here, Possums are from Australia.Photo by Steve Greer, featured on
  • There are at least 600,000 black bears in Black bearsNorth America, with more than 300,000 in the United States.Image from…/Septembe…/10-Facts-About-Black-Bears/

Those are our fun animal facts from this past week. Make sure you also check out our Bird’s Eye View series with Kele the Kestrel and BBRR’s Barb French if you haven’t had a chance to yet. We also made a special video for International Cat Day!

We’ll see you again soon. Keep your wild side thriving.

Posted in Amphibians, animal facts, animals, biodiversity, birds, ecology, education, Entertainment, environment, nature, Uncategorized, Wild Animals, wildlife, wildlife education

Fun Animal Facts: July 28 – August 3 Recap

Another week, another set of odd and intriguing animal facts. Here is the collection we have for you this time:

  • Babirusas are Indonesian pigs, or “pig-deer” in Malay, with slender, deer-like legs & multi-chambered stomachs.(Info from Wired,
  • The noises we associate with eagles from TV and nature documentaries actually come from Red Tailed Hawks. Eagles don’t sound ferocious:
  • peeperSpring Peepers are tiny chorus frogs that appear at the beginning of spring & chirp in large groups at night
  • The American Alligator specigatores is more than 150 million years old, meaning it was around back when dinosaurs existed! Talk about survival of the fittest! Photo from
  • Coyotes have their own unique language coyotewith simple sentences consisting of yips, barks and howls. Photo from
  • Pallas’ Cats, or Manuls, have the longest, most dense fur of any cat. These wild felines live in Central Asia.
  • Blue birds do not actually have blue pigment. Rather, microscopic structures in their feathers reflect and refract blue light.Information from the National Audubon Society,

That’s all we have for animal facts at the moment. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for more videos, photos, facts and updates!