New Year, New Tails: How Alligators Regrow Their Tails

Alligator from Amphibians and Reptiles by Katharine Hall

It is a new year! As the calendar flips, many of us are thinking of a new beginning and achieving new goals. Scientists are always on the path to discovery, and recently a group researching American Alligators discovered they can makeover their bodies in a unique way. They can regrow their tails after injury.

Learn more about lizards losing and regrowing their tails in Little Skink’s Tail by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein.

Tail regrowth is not a new concept for scientists. Until now, they thought this adaptation was limited to small lizards that can detach their tails and escape further injury. It takes some time, but these lizards regenerate their tails almost as if they were never gone.

A team of scientists from Arizona State University took a look at alligator tails that had once sustained an injury and found new growth. Juvenile alligators can regrow up to 18% of their body length. The regrowth tissue is different than the existing tail and contains cartilage, nerves, and blood vessels.

Researchers will continue looking into the details of how alligators regrow its tail in comparison with other lizards and regeneration by other animals. While this conclusion answers some questions, it brings up many others. Researchers will take this information and may begin to look into historic tail regrowth and medical research.

Compare and contrast the differences between Amphibians and Reptiles with Katharine Hall.

The American Alligator can be found in lakes, rivers, and swamps from North Carolina to the Texas Rio Grande. They have long “armored” bodies with four short legs and a long tail with a rounded snout that they can stick out of the water and breathe while they are submerged. They travel in a small area but can go further distances during mating season. Baby alligators generally hatch toward the end of August and make high-pitched noises before hatching. It is a long road to adulthood and stay with their mother for two or three years. Alligators are unique reptiles in this way as well as their ability to lie dormant underwater during cold weather.

Learn more about this scientific discovery and read the full article here!

Find more fun books about reptiles at arbordalepublishing.com.

Announcing new Fall Titles

Fall is Coming

The fall books have just arrived, and we are ready to share the shiny new covers with you! This week, we will highlight each of the titles and its creators individually, but get an overview today!

Teeth come in all shapes and sizes, just like their animal hosts. Some teeth are sharp to grab prey and tear apart the meat. Other teeth are flat to chew plants and some animals have both kinds to eat plants and animals. And That’s the Tooth delivers unique and fun facts about animal and human teeth through engaging riddles. With hints to help solve each riddle, children will be actively involved as they giggle, guess, and learn.


Just like humans, animals use their homes for shelter and to raise their young. Animal homes might be easy to see, or they may be hidden (camouflaged) for protection. Some animals are great builders and other animals borrow homes that other animals have made. Different animals might just use natural places like caves or holes in trees to make a home. And some animals might even carry their home on their back! Sticks, mud, leaves, cotton, and grass are all things that animals might use to build a home. Whether by digging, spinning, building or borrowing, animal homes are as varied as the animals themselves. This is a perfect sequel to Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series.


When a young river otter sneaks into a zoo, she wonders if she should be more like some of the other animals she meets. She wants a trunk like the elephant or be loud like the gorilla… By imitating and comparing herself to these other animals she learns to appreciate herself. Educational components are woven throughout this fun, read-aloud story and sidebar information complements and extends the learning, making it a perfect book for a wide variety of ages.


Weather changes daily. Sometimes it can even change from one moment to another—like a sudden storm. Weather affects our daily lives from what we wear to what outdoor activities (or lack thereof) we can do. Learning about weather and how to dress and prepare for it is an important skill to learn. Maybe even more important is the skill of observation. By asking simple questions, children become engaged and can start to observe and make correlations about the weather around them so they will understand how the weather impacts their lives.


You can learn more about each book and download the educational extras on the book homepages, and join us tomorrow for an interview with Terri Fields on writing And That’s the Tooth!

It’s Hot! But Nature is Cool!

people-pool

It’s no coincidence that we are sharing a book about summer on the Summer Solstice. That’s right, June 21 is the longest day of this year and therefore the day with the most sunlight. And what is the sun most known for? Keeping us warm, of course!foxes

It keeps animals warm, too, which is a good thing when it’s cold outside. But what
happens when it’s hot? Animals can’t turn on the air conditioner or drink a cold glass of lemonade. A Cool Summer Tail explores how several animals adapt to hot temperatures. For instance, just like dogs, red foxes pant to dissipate their body heat because their skin doesn’t sweat like ours.

squirrelsDid you know grey squirrels sometimes lick their forearms to cool off? This behavior has a similar cooling effect as sweating because when the saliva evaporates, their body heat is dissipated into the air.

Many birds stay cool by staying under the shade of tree leaves. This is one adaptation human animals can practice, too!chickadees

When the sun goes down at night, the temperature goes down, too. Some animals take advantage of the cooler air to find their food and move about. Imagine how our world would be different if humans slept during the day and were active only at night!

snakesOne way both humans and animals can stay cool is to take advantage of air blowing across our bodies. Whether it’s a lakeside breeze for a white tail deer or a circulating ceiling fan for humans, air helps dissipate body heat. While you are pondering this, make your own personal fan using the directions shared HERE by The Pinterested Parent.

Or make a paper plate mask of an animal featured in A Cool Summer Tail and encourage some pretend play. Directions HERE. While creating, discuss how animals adapt to summer heat and how these behaviors compare and contrast with how humans stay cool.

The next time you see an animal in its environment, take a minute to talk about how it adapts to the heat. Isn’t nature cool?

Pearson_Carrie[1]Carrie Pearson is the author of A Cool Summer Tail. The book is illustrated by Christina Wald. To investigate how animals stay warm when the temperature drops, check out another Arbordale book, A Warm Winter Tail, also written by Carrie and illustrated by Christina.

Book Launch: Compare and Contrast Books

It’s nonfiction Friday and we are featuring two new books that launched this week. Mammals by Katharine Hall and Sharks and Dolphins by Kevin Kurtz!

Written for young nature enthusiasts the Compare and Contrast Book series takes children into the wild with beautiful photographs and simple text to explain complicated concepts.

Katharine-Hall2014Author Katharine Hall began the series with Polar Bears and Penguins showing children that these animals live at opposite ends of the earth. Then she dove into plant life with Trees and flew to the sky with Clouds. Hall set her sights on slithering and slimy creatures comparing the similarities and differences in Amphibians and Reptiles even introducing the field of herpetology to young readers. This week Mammals joins the lineup comparing animals that live on land and in the sea along with two-legged and four-legged animals.

kurtz_kevinTeaming up with Hall, aquatic educator and expert Kevin Kurtz joined the Compare and Contrast Book series releasing Sharks and Dolphins this week. The no-nonsense facts will help young readers understand that although both of these animals live in the salty ocean each has a different way of life.

Extend the learning with great activities in our Teaching Activities Guide. This, along with author interviews and more information about the series is available on each book’s homepage. Visit Mammals or Sharks and Dolphins to learn more.

SharksDolphins_TA 1

Win your very own copy of each of these books on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mammals by Katharine Hall

Mammals

by Katharine Hall

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sharks and Dolphins by Kevin Kurtz

Sharks and Dolphins

by Kevin Kurtz

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Back-to-School Non-Fiction Reading List

Now that we’re all set with our fiction reading list, it’s time to get into some of our favorite non-fiction books, too!

ReadySet_cover2 DayDeep_187 DinoTracks_187
Ready, Set…WAIT! | A Day in the Deep | Dino Tracks

Ready, Set…WAIT!: Hurricane season lasts until the end of November. Although we humans are aware of oncoming storms by watching the news, how do animals know when they need to prepare for a storm? Read this story about how various types of animals are able to sense, react, and prepare for a hurricane.

A Day in the Deep: We learn about all of the animals on land all of the time. But what about some of the creatures that live thousands of feet below the sea? Read this book to learn about some of the crazy sea creatures that live underwater!

Dino Tracks: Impress all of your friends on the first day of school with your knowledge of fossils and dinosaur tracks after reading this dino book!

Carolina_187 AnimalHelpersRehab_187 PrairieStorms_187
Carolina’s Story | Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators | Prairie Storms

Carolina’s Story: Humans get sick often, but did you know that sea turtles can also get sick? Read all about Carolina and how she was treated at a Sea Turtle Hospital.

Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators: Do you love animals? Want to learn how you can help animals out? Check out our Animal Helpers series and learn the many facilities that you can work with to help animals!

Prairie Storms: This book tells you all about how prairie storms change over the months and how different animals are able to adapt to the climate changes.

Find out more about these books and all the others that Arbordale has to offer here!