Label: Cool Photo

June 4, 2013

Today’s Cool Photo of the Week is of the smallest monkey in the world - the Pygmy Marmoset. This tiny animals lives high in the canopy of South American rainforests. If you saw one, you might mistake it for a squirrel, with its brown fur, long tail, and its habit of dodging between tree branches - scrambling, and then freezing in place.

A pygmy marmoset is less than 6 inches (15 centimeters) long, and weighs about as much as a stick of butter. This tiny monkey is always on the move because it has many predators, including cats, eagles, hawks and snakes. It uses its long tail to keep its balance as it skitters through the treetops. It is most comfortable living there, where there are many hiding places among the leaves and branches.

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, Rainforest   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 21, 2013

 

This sea bird is easily recognized by its bright-blue feet. Males display their feet to the females as part of the mating ritual, lifting first one foot, then the other to show off the color. Both males and females show a preference for mates with brighter colored feet. And wouldn’t you? Look at that splendid turquoise!

 

 

Photo: Cory Randell

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: birds, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 15, 2013

Using Rich Vocabulary is the goal of today’s Writing Wednesday. Look at this funny-looking creature, commonly known as the "piglet squid."

Could I have used richer vocabulary to describe this photograph? What if I described it as a "roly poly, rubber-nosed Cephalopod"? Do you hear the difference in these two descriptions, "funny-looking creature" and "roly poly, rubber-nosed celephod"? Both describe the animal in this photograph, but the second description uses much richer vocabulary to help the reader understand what I am seeing.

Click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog and write your own description of this cute animal. Take your time and come up the richest vocabulary you can to help your reader imagine the animal in this photograph. Happy writing!

 

Photo: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium/Gary Florin

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(10) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 14, 2013

 

We were in Washington, DC all weekend for a family graduation, and one of the places we decided to visit was the United States Botanical Garden. What a beautiful place to walk through! The huge glass greenhouses enclose all different habitats - desert, rainforest, medicinal herbs, etc. We found these amazing orchids in the jungle section, where it was one magnificent blooming plant after another. They were so perfect that it was hard to believe they were real!

Like most of the museums in our nation’s capitol, admission to the US Botanical Garden is free. Next time you are in Washington, be sure to pay a visit. I promise you’ll love it! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 30, 2013

         

 As April 2013 comes to a close, so does our month-long celebration of Earth Day on this blog. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts about what we all can do to help care for and protect our home planet.

In honor of Earth Day, today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is of the Northern Lights over Iceland. Can you imagine a more magnificent sight than this? 

 

 

Photo: Iurie Belegurschi     

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, Earth Day 2013, Northern Lights   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 16, 2013

As beautiful as a painting! That’s what I feel when I see this magnificent photograph of a section of our planet Earth, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Can you tell what we are seeing in this photograph?

If you guessed that these are farmlands, you were correct. We are looking at an agricultural landscape in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. These fields are just outside of the city of Perdizes, which means "partridges" in Portuguese. Farmers are growing sunflowers, wheat, potatoes, coffee, rice, soybeans, and corn in the green fields, while the sections that are violet, reddish and tan are fields that are lying fallow - not planted this year while they restore their minerals and other nutrients. You can even see small streams, extending like silvery fingers through the landscape.

I never tire of looking at all the amazing photographs that are beamed back to Earth from space. How about you? 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, space, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 2, 2013

 

 

Hooray! SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME OCEANS is being published today by Chronicle Books.

 

In honor of publication day, we decided to choose our "Cool Photo of the Week" from this amazing book. This is a photograph of the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Do you see, at the top right in the photo, the size of the human snorkeler compared to the whale shark?

A whale shark can grow to be 50 feet (15 meters) long and can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds (36,288 kilograms). It has a huge mouth and approximately 3,000 very small teeth. Fortunately, the snorkeler has nothing to fear from this huge fish, which does not have much use for its tiny teeth. The whale shark swims with its mouth wide open to collect seawater, then pushes the water out through its gills and eats the small sea animals that are trapped inside its mouth.

Barbara A. Ward, writing in IRA’s Reading Today wrote of EXTREME OCEANS: "The text and photographs in this engaging nonfiction title are sure to appeal to middle grade readers, especially those attracted to anything extreme, in this case, ocean extremes. The book contains twelve short chapters that explore oceans that are extremely warm and those that are extremely cold as well as the life-threatening enormous waves and tides that sweep in from the ocean’s depths so swiftly. In his usual straightforward style replete with interesting details, this nonfiction maven also covers tsunamis, hurricanes, and sea creatures so incredibly dangerous that no diver wants to encounter them, even briefly. Even those who know plenty about the world’s oceans will still be able to add to that knowledge after reading this photograph-filled book. It has an ocean of interesting facts for readers to share with others."

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, New Books, Oceans, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 19, 2013

Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is high up on my list of the cutest animals ever. 

And I learned something. Otters sleep holding hands so that they don’t drift away from each other. Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 5, 2013


Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is a magnificent shot taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been sending us photographs from Saturn for almost nine years. This one is particularly beautiful because we can see Venus - a tiny, bright speck - shining in the distance.

We often see Venus in the early morning here on Earth, shining like a bright "morning star." This is an entirely different view, since Venus is seen here from a distance of 884 million miles (1.42 billion kilometers) away from Saturn.  If you want to try to imagine how far 884 million miles is, it is TEN TIMES the distance our planet Earth is from the sun. That’s quite a camera on the Cassini probe!

The early Romans named the dazzling white planet Venus, after their goddess of love and beauty. Gazing at this lovely image, you can certainly see why.

Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI


You can read more about both VENUS and SATURN in my newly updated eBooks, which are part of the StarWalk Kids streaming collection of digital books for schools and libraries. These "Read and Listen" books have top quality, professionally-recorded narration and come with "Teaching Links" to support Common Core use in the classroom. Educators: Click here to sign up for a free, 30-day trial for your school.

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: eBooks, Cool Photo, Solar System, Common Core, Exploration, Saturn, NASA, Venus   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 12, 2013

In honor of Valentine’s Day, our Cool Photo of the Week is this shot of a Pygmy Seahorse.

 

 

 

These tiny creatures are found in the waters off Southeast Asia. They live on soft corals or grasses which they use as camouflage.

These are some of the smallest seahorse species in the world - most are less than 2 centimetres (0.79 inches) tall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This second photo, published by Ali Watters on TravelBlog, shows just how tiny  the pygmy seahorse is - about the size of the fingernail on his pinky finger!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers! 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Coral Reefs, Oceans, Cool Photo, Holidays   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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