Where: Live in freshwater environments: ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, swamps, brackish environments Identification: Looks like a crocodile! Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: Alligators in wetlands increase plant diversity and create habitats for other animals during droughts. They prefer slower moving water (i.e. swamps, rivers). Alligators are able to see in low light areas. The special structure called tapetum lucidum, […]
Where: Everywhere, particularly on trees Identification: 3-6 inch lizard, wide color range Best Time of Year: Any Fun facts: The exotic brown anole has driven the native green anole higher up in the trees to eat and live. Florida is home to two special lizards, the Green Anole and Brown Anole. Their names refer to […]
Where: Common at the waters edge. Identification: Snail varies in size from ping pong ball to baseball. Pink (exotic) & white (native) eggs deposits can be found above the water line. The larger and more common snails are the exotic, invasive species. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: Tubular siphon allows the Apple Snail to […]
Where: In shallow water Identification: Coloration varies from light brown to reddish-black. Frequently mistaken for Copperheads, Cottonmouths, or other venomous water snakes. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: Non-venomous. Eats fish and frogs. Ovoviviparous- meaning they give birth to live young. Able to emit a foul-smelling odor if disturbed.
“Vultures — gross!” That or something similar is the typical reaction to birds that I have a growing affection for. Once you get beyond their bald heads, vultures are remarkable birds with astonishing abilities and surprising social lives. And one of the great things about being interested in vultures is that — if you live […]
The black racer is one of the more common constrictor snakes in Florida and is identifiable by its white chin. They will eat almost any animal they can overpower, including, rodents, frogs, toads, and lizards, and the racer is more likely to suffocate or crush its victim into the ground rather than coiling around it. They […]
Where: Throughout the park, but less common in dry areas. The Cabbage Palm is extremely salt-tolerant and is often seen growing near both the Atlantic Ocean coast and the Gulf of Mexico coast. Identification: The trunk can vary widely in appearance. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: The state tree of Florida! Sabal palmetto […]
Where: The double-crested cormorant is found near rivers and lakes and along the coastline. Identification: The double-crested cormorant is a large waterbird with a stocky body, long neck, medium-sized tail, webbed feet, and a medium-sized hooked bill. It has a body length of between 28–35 in long, with a wingspan of between 45–48 in). Double-crested cormorants weigh […]
Where: Freshwater Identification: The Eastern mosquitofish is a small, light-colored fish with semitransparent fins. The females usually have a black stripe near their eye area and light spots can be seen on the caudal and dorsal fins of both sexes. Due to its similar size, shape, and reproductive habits, it can easily be mistaken for […]
Where: Open prairies and at water’s edge for drinking. Identification: Typically black (or dark) ranging in size from piglet to boar. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: As of 2013, the estimated population of six million feral pigs causes billions of dollars in property damage every year in the United States, both in wild […]
Where: Found in and along waterways and coasts. It establishes a burrow close to the water’s edge. Identification: An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: The […]
Where: Often found basking on the banks of lakes and ponds. Identification: Distinct yellow stripes on head – often mistaken for sliders, which have a red stripe.
Where: Found in swamps, coastal swamps, and floodplain forests (hydric ecosystems) Identification: Small stature of a tree often has base submerged. Best Time of Year: Flowers in spring Fun facts: Undesirable for lumber: Wood is light and weak Native Americans (Miccosukee tribe) used pop ash wood for bows and arrows (light) and its bark for “women’s medicine”.
Where: Epiphyte that grows on forest trees or rocks (often found on live oaks). Can grow in full sunlight or partial shade. Identification: Fronds 25 cm high by 5 cm wide. Leathery yellow/green leaflet. Appears dead during dry periods. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: Can withstand periods of drought by curling up and rolling inward (exposes less surface area […]
Where: In shallow water Identification: Large pink bird with spoon-shaped bill. Best Time of Year: All Fun facts: The spoon-bill is used to forage and sift through muck for food. They present sticks to each other during courtship. Males bring materials for the nest and the female builds it. The oldest Roseate Spoonbill in Florida […]