Island Wildlife

Those Terrific Terrapins

They are marvelous creatures and there are very few panhandle residents who know what they are. My wife and I were introduced to Diamondback Terrapins by George Heinrich in 2005. George was the president of a nonprofit, Florida Turtle Conservation Trust, and a member of the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, a national group of terrapin …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/10/02/those-terrific-terrapins/

Sea Turtles and “Leave No Trace”

In August of 2015 the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners adopted a new ordinance to address the issue of chairs, tents, coolers, and other debris left on the beach overnight. The issue with these items is that they impede sea turtle nesting and are a hazard for maintenance and safety crews working the beach …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/09/12/sea-turtles-and-leave-no-trace/

The World of Worms – the Annelids… Part 3 of 3

In the final segment of this 3 part series on worms we will discuss the largest, most commonly encountered members of the worm world… the Annelids.   Annelids differ from the other two groups of worms we have discussed in that they have segmented bodies. They are largest of the worms and the most anatomically …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/09/12/the-world-of-worms-3-the-annelids/

Do Constricting Snakes Really Kill Their Prey by Suffocation?

Most people, including myself, have been taught this. Snakes are in an unusual situation of trying to kill prey with no hands or claws. A few can inject venom, others either swallow it whole (such as an egg) or the coil around their prey “suffocating” it – or so we thought. It has been my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/08/14/do-constricting-snakes-really-kill-their-prey-by-suffocation/

The Mystery on Seahorse Key

First let me explain that Seahorse Key is not in the Florida Panhandle but the story is interesting and a similar phenomena could occur here. Seahorse Key is an isolated island 3.6 miles southwest of Cedar Key in Florida’s Big Bend. There is a science lab owned and maintained by the University of Florida and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/08/07/the-mystery-on-seahorse-key/

The Giant Banana Spiders – part of our panhandle summer

TELL ME NO!  Please tell me these huge spiders are not a part of our summer. People are afraid snakes… that’s a given – but there are just as many afraid of spiders.  Honestly, after years of leading field hikes into the north Florida environment, when we encounter a spider web on the trail I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/08/07/the-giant-banana-spiders-part-of-our-panhandle-summer/

Ghost Crabs… raiders of the night

  For locals along the coast ghost crabs are as common as mockingbirds and mourning doves. Before Ivan, when the dunes were larger and closer to the road, viewing the white crabs scurrying across the road at night in your headlights forced all into defensive driving maneuvers. And for those who have ever tried to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2015/07/31/ghost-crabs-raiders-of-the-night/