Archive | April, 2016

Pickpockets of the Savannah

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey’s are more than meets the eye.

Not all animals in the animal kingdom are as sweet and cute as they look. Monkeys are especially intelligent and devious animals. Many scientists have observed different monkey species over the years and have found these fascinating “distant relatives” to be very complex and often comical.

If you ever get the opportunity to travel to Africa or on a safari you may encounter one of these mischievous species: the Vervet Monkeys. Vervet Monkeys are considered “Old World Monkeys” which mean they are native to Africa–but they have also been introduced to other areas like Florida and Cuba.

These monkeys love tourists!

These monkeys love tourists!

Like many monkeys these Vervets have been studied in depth by scientists to understand genetic and social behaviors in humans! And these animals do have very “human-like” characteristics and diseases such as hypertension, anxiety and social dependencies. . . as well as a complicated sense of “trade.” This particular trait has caused many people who encounter these monkeys to think they are pests. . .

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Guest Blog: “Kid Friendly-Green Practices to Protect Wildlife”

Kid-Friendly Green Practices to Protect Wildlife written by Ryan Jones, Outreach Associate of

If your kids can’t get enough of animals, they may be interested to learn how green living can help save their favorite critters. With attention-grabbing books, discovery shows, and even video games boosting kids’ interest in wildlife, it’s never been a better time to use these teachable moments to incorporate green practices at home. At Modernize, we know that saving the world starts with all of us individually, so here’s how your whole family can get started.


Recycling protects our wildlife

The First Step

The easiest green practice to implement at home is recycling. You’ve heard the same “Reduce, reuse, recycle” slogan for years, but it’s more important now than ever. As each year passes, our modern society stamps a larger carbon footprint, uses even more natural resources, and disposes of too much waste. The urgency is certainly there, but what will be your kiddo’s motivation?

When it comes to protecting wildlife, recycling is a powerful tool. It’s bad enough that waste fills large landfills, but waste pollution is especially harmful to animals. Think of all the news articles you read about fish and turtles trapped in plastic. Envision Styrofoam cups and plastic floating through the ocean. The truth is, waste is just as harmful to our favorite critters as it is to us. You can help prevent the destruction of natural habitats by incorporating recycling into your home life.

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The Role of Animals in Our Lives

Horses play an important role in many cultures

Horses play an important role in many cultures

Throughout human history there have been great changes to human cultures and civilizations because of animals. All sorts of animals impact our lives daily. . . like the cows that give us milk, dogs that are friends and protect us, mosquitoes, rodents and many more. All these animals are part of a complex web of systems that influences our lives for better or for worse. Some we may respect and understand their importance in our lives but others impact us in less obvious ways. Animals have appeared in our art, our stories, our food and our homes for thousands of years! In France you can see cave paintings of ancient hunting, of wild horses and cattle and other animals that were important to the people who lived there.

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California Science Center Coral Triangle Lunch

Review of the luncheon by Marilyn T. Fordney:

We recently attended another “lunch and learn” at the California Science Center, in Los Angeles, because of our annual support of environmental education. Thanks to the hard work of the California Science Center Foundation, both children and adults can visit its incredible interactive and educational exhibits for free and learn throughout the year. The topic for the “lunch and learn” was “The Coral Triangle” and Dr. Paul Barber, a professor and evolutionary and conservation geneticist from UCLA was our speaker. The information we heard about the Coral Triangle is only just beginning to be introduced to the public but it’s importance to our planet is vital!


Founder Marilyn T. Fordney with Dr. Barber

If you’ve never heard of the Coral Triangle, you aren’t alone. . .  The Coral Triangle is a very special area on our planet. It is the largest and most biologically diverse marine system area of the earth and is known as the Amazon of the Ocean. It is the global epicenter. There is incredible biodiversity with over 500 hard coral species across an area encompassing 6 countries and covering 6 million km2Biodiversity means a variety of forms of life within an ecosystem, biome, or planet and the Coral Triangle is an incredible example of a biodiverse marine system! For example, in the Carribean, there are two coral species known as staghorn coral and elkhorn coral. In the Coral Triangle, there are over 100 species!

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