Sam's Friends

Lenny the Lizard

Lenny is very cunning.  He is always getting in trouble, 
but also able to talk his way out!

Fun Facts

  • Social interaction varies between lizards, with many species defending set territories. Some live in large colonies, while others lead a solitary existence.
  • Many lizards, such as iguanas, can see in color. Their colorful body parts allow them to communicate with each other and help them tell which are male and which are female. 
  • Lizards smell stuff with their tongues! Just like snakes, a lizard sticks out its tongue to catch scent particles in the air and then pulls back its tongue and places those particles on the roof of its mouth, where there are special sensory cells. The lizard can use these scent “clues” to find food or a mate or to detect enemies. 

Ellie the Elephant

Ellie's strength helps Sam continue on his journey.

Fun Facts

  • Touching is an important form of communication among elephants. Individuals greet each other by stroking or wrapping their trunks.  Older elephants even use their trunks to guide and discipline younger ones.
  • Elephants produce several sounds, usually through the larynx, though some may be modified by the trunk. Perhaps the most well-known call is the trumpet which is made by blowing through the trunk. Trumpeting is made during excitement, distress or aggression.
  • Elephants can recognize themselves in mirrors. Scientists believe this is a sign of greater self-awareness. In one study, an Asian elephant called Happy repeatedly touched an ‘X’ painted on her forehead while looking in the mirror, an indication that she knew she was looking at her own reflection. Most animals will assume that a reflection is another animal, and look for it behind the mirror. 
Olivia the Owl

Olivia helped Sam realize he already was wise and to listen to his own wisdom.

Fun Facts
  • A group of owls is known as a parliament.
  • They can turn their heads as much as 270 degrees and are farsighted.
  • Owls are zygodactyl, which means their feet have two forward-facing toes and two backward-facing toes. Unlike most other zygodactyl birds, however, owls can pivot one of their back toes forward to help them grip and walk

Sarah the Pelican

Sarah helps Sam get over his shyness by being nice to him.

Fun Facts
  • Pelicans breathe through their mouths. The nostrils of all eight species are sealed off, buried under the beak’s horny sheath.  The hidden nostrils house special glands which remove excess salt from the blood stream.  Since pelicans ingest sea water these glands help them survive.
  • They can comfortably hold up to three gallons of water in their throat sac.
  • Pelicans have four webbed toes, whereas most birds only have three.

Sam's brothers and sisters all loved to fish with him.

Fun Facts
  • Seagulls are very clever. They learn, remember and even pass on behaviors, such as stamping their feet in a group to imitate rainfall and trick earthworms to come to the surface.
  • Seagulls are attentive and caring parents. The male and female pair for life and they take turns incubating the eggs, and feeding and protecting the chicks.
  • Young gulls form nursery flocks where they will play and learn vital skills for adulthood. Nursery flocks are watched over by a few adult males and these flocks will remain together until the birds are old enough to breed.
Hono the Turtle

Hono explains to Sam about the mythical Pelican Island.

Fun Facts
  • Turtles see in color
  • While typically thought of as mute, turtles make various sounds when communicating. Various species of both freshwater and sea turtles emit numerous types of calls, often short and low frequency, from the time they are in the egg to when they are adults. These vocalizations may serve to create group cohesion when migrating.
  • Contrary to popular belief, a turtle cannot come out of its shell. Just like your bones, a turtle’s shell is actually part of its skeleton. It’s made up of over 50 bones which include the turtle’s rib cage and spine.  The turtle’s shell grows with them, so it’s impossible for them to grow too big for it! 
Harley and George the Dogs

Harley helped Sam by being kind to a traveling stranger.

Fun Facts
  • Dog’s shoulder blades are unattached from the rest of the skeleton. This allows for greater flexibility when running.
  • Out of all of the sense, touch is the first one that dogs develop. Their entire body is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings.
  • Dogs are as smart as two year olds.  Most dogs can understand up to 200 words. Border Collies are the cleverest dogs, followed by Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Dobermans.
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