Natural History: The Short – beaked echidna

Natural History: The Short – beaked echidna

Natural History – The Short-beaked Echidna

Scientific name: Tachyglossidae
Order: Montremata
Higher classification: Monotreme
Family: Tachyglossidae; Gill, 1872

At the end of a year spent isolated, a little emblem of hope has emerged. A symbol of conservation, community, natural wisdom and curiosity, the echidna is the final of the 5 environmental ambassadors for our Natural History project.

Introduction

 

We are blessed to live on a continent abundant with native animals and plant species. Creatures live here that are found nowhere else. The earth here, stained red with rich mineral ochres, our coastlines immersed in marine national parks and our country inhabited by the oldest living culture on earth.   

Australia is not just, ‘the land down under’, it’s a rich and wondrous treasure trove of rare and beautiful creatures, that are sadly going extinct and the reality of this is unnoticed. With our minds taken hold by the uncertainty of our personal health, global economy, and relative future in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic, the natural world and the present global environmental crisis, has taken a back step in the media.  

It’s my hope this project, with its final ambassador ignites curiosity and passion for the natural world we are living in. It’s been a tough year for human beings, but an even harsher one for all the other life forms who are subject to the realities of climate change, habitat loss and human behaviour. 

We watched 17 million hectares of forest in Australia burned to nothing during the 2019, 2020 wildfires, and with the forest went billions of wild animals and insects. Koala, almost totally extinct, and habitat is gone for any animal that might have survived. 

As a nation we are known to rally in tough times when it concerns the human family, but not so much for the rest of our people, and by that, I mean all other living beings. Now is the time to put our curious and creative minds together and figure out a way to make life better for all living things before we all become – natural history.

By Emily Rack

 

Echidna’s are sweet, sensitive, curious, and loveable. Shaped like a fuzzy spiked four legged ball, with a long thin leathery nose, and big clawed feet. 

Soft and wonderful on the inside and very sharp and pointy on the outside. Living up to 50 years in captivity, the echidna is more than just a thorny curiosity. The echidna has an incredible memory, the ability to solve complex problems and they love to swim and play for fun, just like we do.

So why this little guy? 

Well, truthfully it was a dream I had rescuing animals from dehydration inside a large forest log that was the catalyst.
The dream was an inspiration to start a very satisfying, and very invested illustration – that as I write this is still in process.  

I knew from past knowledge that the Echidna is special, not only because it is a monotreme, ( half reptile and half mammal ), and that it has survived for 15 million years on the planet relatively unchanged, but that it has a unique ability that it, its cousin the platypus and sharks possess; the ability to sense the electromagnetic field of all living things through its beak.

Echidna’s, (also called a spiny ant-eater), live a really long time, some as long as 50 years in captivity. They are smart, curious, shy and slow moving, and often hide in a half dug hole with their spines sticking out in the daytime. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to step on their spikes, ouch!. 

Their spikes are what protect them from predators like wild dogs, eagles, domestic cats, foxes, and people. They aren’t all spiny though, Echidna have fur in amongst those spines too, and the colder the climate, the more fluff they have. Underneath all that savage armour is a very soft and squishy little fellow, and they really are super cute and cuddly, well I wouldn’t exactly cuddle one.  

Echidna are natural conservationists, like a lot of other wild animals they contribute to the health and wellbeing of the planet. They behave in ways much like a mini dump-truck as they turn over the soil all day foraging for food and building homes. This helps to improve the soil quality and keeps the earth healthy. They also have amazing hearing, and are sensitive enough to pick up the vibrations of termites and ants working underground 

Echidnas preferred diet are termites and ants but they will sometimes eat grubs and other insects too. They use their long sticky tongues to lap up their food, and have a beak to mash it with; they don’t have any teeth or a stomach like we do, they digest their food inside a weird sac. 

They lay eggs like reptiles, but feed their young milk like we do, have fur just like all other warm blooded mammals, except their body temperature is much lower than ours or any other warm-blooded, and they can thrive in the freezing temperatures of the Australian alps, and the intense heat of the Australian desert. Echidna are hardy, resilient and clever and for an animal so old in the evolutionary scale, incredibly well adapted . 

The stories and dreamtime from our indigenous landowners characterise the echidna as a symbol of community, sustainability, conservation, and wisdom. To me they represent home, comfort, self-care, taking your time and doing things slowly, self-awareness, intuition and fun.

 

What to do if you see an echidna

  • If you ever see an echidna, please leave it alone.

  • Never ever use a shovel to pick up an echidna, dig around it in the earth or move it.

  • If you find an echidna that is sick or injured call WIRES on +61 1300094737

  • If you have to pick up an echidna wear leather gloves or use a very thick blanket or towel.

  • Wild echidnas are not pets.

  • If you see someone harming animals of any sort call the RSPCA via their website, it’s a crime to injure or abuse animals.

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

A full moon illuminates the surface of the warm waters off the Hawaiian coastline. Bobbing just beneath the silvery light spray is a dumpling shaped squid that can hide itself in the light of the moon.

Glowing from the inside, The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, (Euprymna scolopes), is a cephalopod with super-powers. Cute and sparkly with big eyes, a plump body, a skirt of fins and a fist of tentacles exploding from its face, this little squid not much bigger than a lime, is like no other.

Links and Resources

 

Nat Geo WILD

What gives birth to a puggle? Covered in spines, Australia’s echidna is one of the rarest animals in the world: It’s one of only two known mammals that lay eggs. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/NatGeoWILDSubscribe

Platypus and Echidna

Echidnas and platypuses are unique, the only mammals in the world to share some traits with reptiles, such as laying eggs. Aaron Pedersen explains how they are highly-tuned to their environment.

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild-australians/series/0/video/DO1847H006S00

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild-australians

Disclaimer

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity but we do not hold responsibility for their accuracy. Although we do our very best to make sure we use top-notch resources, unfortunately, mistakes can be made.

We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources or for mistakenly including information sourced externally, that may prove inaccurate.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

A huge effort goes into creating each article, blog, activity, artwork and video, and the desire is to make sure the information included in our content is useful, meaningful and honest. If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021
All Rights Reserved

Kids Activity – “What’s Your Mood?”

Kids Activity – “What’s Your Mood?”

Colour your mandala to match your mood.

Colour your Octopus mood mandala to suit your mood. Imagine what it feels like to make each part of your body change colour and pattern to suit your vibes.

 

Kids Activity – What’s Your Mood?

Imagine if you could change the colour of your skin to match your mood, communicate in a language of light, and camouflage yourself into the chair you are sitting in when you want to become totally invisible?

Well, that exactly what an Octopus can do!.

From invisibility cloaks to complex problem-solving abilities, glowing colour-changing skin, shape-shifting bodies and smoky doppelgängers; the octopus, with their agile intelligence, alien bodies, and visual communication systems are spectacularly peculiar and brilliantly adapted to their liquid world.

Octopuses have feelings

From invisibility cloaks to complex problem-solving abilities, glowing colour-changing skin, shape-shifting bodies and smoky doppelgängers; the octopus, with their agile intelligence, alien bodies, and visual communication systems are spectacularly peculiar and brilliantly adapted to their liquid world.

Boneless, multi-talented, hypersensitive and smarter than a domesticated dog, the octopus is the closest we have come to alien intelligence. Octopuses can feel and think through their whole body, they have complex neurological systems, nine brains and the ability to edit their genetics.

Sensitive, inquisitive, shy and playful the Octopus-like it’s cephalopod relatives can change the colour, texture and pattern of its skin to camouflage and to express feelings. When an Octopus is white it is relaxed, red means stressed and blue and other marine colours are in play with their environment.

What colour are you?

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

Big Feelings – Understanding Emotions

Big Feelings – Understanding Emotions

There is a fun activity attached to do with your friends and family.
Print out the pdf sheet and with a marker or pen match the emotions to the faces.

* there is a cheat sheet at the end of the post if you get stuck

 

Big Feelings – Understanding Emotions

Emotions can be soft and fluffy, tingly and electric, heavy and gloomy, hot and sharp.

Emotions are felt in the body as energy, and we describe them as feelings. When we feel nervous, our body might be shaky, we might feel cold and sweaty and our words don’t come out easily. When we feel angry, our fists can get tight, our face gets hot and red and our nostrils might flare out when we breathe.

If we feel sad, we sometimes feel heavy and slow, tears might come out from our eyes and our heart might feel uncomfortable inside of our chest. Feelings are important to know and understand. According to experts around the. the world there are 35,000 different types of emotions.

If you know what your emotions are, how they feel and how best to describe them, you are more likely to control them. It is totally fine to have all sorts of feelings and emotions, but sometimes our feelings can take us over, hang around too long and make us feel lonely and uncomfortable when we would rather be out having fun with our friends.

Having emotions is part of everyday life, and sharing how you are feeling with others is important to your wellbeing. Learning to name your emotions, will help you understand them and realise they are similar to the weather, sometimes sunny and fun, sometimes cold and rainy and other times windy and fizzy. But just like the weather, they change.

 

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do To Change It

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do To Change It

ADHD on The Brain & What Mindfulness Can Do About It.

ADHD as described by world authority Dr Russell Barkley – a clinical psychologist and clinical professor of psychiatry at the VCU Commonwealth University – is not a disorder of inattention – but an inability to self -regulate and an executive function disorder. The brain regions designed for higher cognitive function are faulty and underdeveloped.

Written By – Emily Rack

 

ADD OR ADHD?.

 The definition of ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder and ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder are not distinguishable from one another. ADD is no longer used as a label for the disorder; there is only ADHD. The diagnostic name ADHD is under scrutiny from Clinicians and experts because it limits the perception of the disorder, which is much more than a deficit in attention.

ADHD is often mistakenly believed to be a behavioural problem in children that is characterised by an inability to concentrate, disruptive behaviour, aggression, inattentiveness, and emotional instability, as well as difficulties socialising and maintaining relationships.

People with ADHD are labelled lazy, careless and unreliable, and the added stigma that ADHD is a bad thing to have increases the anxiety and shame that sufferers feel.

Kids with the disorder often have trouble keeping up with classmates and are prone to emotional meltdowns which often isolate them socially. Parents often feel judged and insecure about their parenting, blaming themselves or being blamed for their child’s uncontrollable behaviours.

ADHD is a very distressing condition to have whether you are a child or an adult. Rarely understood and regarded as a trivial mental ailment, the disorder needs to be recognised as a severe impairment and treated with the respect other major psychiatric disorders are.

Widely Misunderstood

ADHD is one of the most misunderstood neurological disorders, says Dr Russell Barkley the world authority on the developmental disorder. He says that ADHD is a severe neurological condition that has enormous impactions on the lives of people who have it.

ADHD impairs the self – regulatory systems in the brain, so someone that has it finds typical day to day tasks difficult to achieve and more complex planning near impossible. The goals and aspirations of someone with ADHD are often inaccessible to them – not because they aren’t intelligent enough, but because they can not activate their acquired skills.

With an ADHD brain, there is a gulf between one hemisphere to another. Somehow the information from the back of the mind needs to leap into the front. Goodluck. That is why people with ADHD take stimulant medications. The medication boosts the neurotransmitters – dopamine and norepinephrine so the brain regions that struggle to adhere to each other – communicate.

 

The Emotional Roller – Coaster

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is that of emotional dysregulation – the inability to control one’s emotions or respond to situations appropriately. Most of us can self- regulate from the inside out, but someone with ADHD can become dysregulated by external factors, meaning their mood and behaviour is subject to the outside world.

Anger, aggression and destructive behaviour are often a result of intense emotional fluctuations and overload – and without the hardware inside their head to maintain equilibrium someone with ADHD can turn feral and lose their temper very quickly. These impulsive out-of-control bursts of fury, rage and tears are what defines the disease in the eyes of society.  

People with ADHD can not self soothe, and just like a newborn baby, require the nervous system of another human being to help regulate their own. The anger we see is coming from pain and fear triggered by an overactive fight and flight reflex. They are prisoners to their primitive mind, and losing control comes with embarrassment and shame – followed by guilt and resentment.

That is why someone with ADHD should be given adequate support from teachers, friends, colleagues and family to learn how to manage emotions and self – regulate behaviour. Helping someone with ADHD manage their time and priorities, identity goals and make plans to achieve them significantly reduce the sensations of anguish and frustration they feel.

There is No Cure

There is no cure for ADHD, and it doesn’t disappear as you get older – you might be less hyperactive, but the restlessness becomes internalised, and it creates anxiety.
Having the right support from doctors, clinicians and the community as well as learning how to self manage the condition makes a difference.

If ADHD was understood in more detail and respected as an acute developmental disorder, more interventions at an early age could be in place offering the sufferer and families are more significant opportunity to thrive in school, relationships, working life and the community. Cognitive and behavioural disorders are socially and emotionally isolating, so it’s important to share the facts, change our perceptions and create the right kinds of environments for everyone to thrive.

Mindfulness Practices Are Awesome for People With ADHD

Mindfulness is a blanket term for different brain training activities like meditation, mindfulness breathing, and yoga. The skills taught in mindfulness are designed to enhance one’s ability to stay focused and aware of the present moment. The strengthening of concentration and attention through mindfulness is fantastic for people with ADHD, and it helps when it comes to making the right decisions and planning for the future.

Mindfulness helps with mind wandering and unwanted thoughts, which free our mental space for more creative pursuits. Practising mindfulness improves our overall wellbeing. It encourages compassion, kindness, and self -care and with that a gentler approach to life. Understanding is the key to living a healthy and happy life.

We are all set with strengths and limitations, and it is through our experience and understanding of them that we learn compassion and acceptance of ourselves and everyone else.

Resources and References

(FYI how someone with ADHD experiences time is different from ordinary people and regular planners and diaries will not work in organising their life)

Check out Ryder Carrols Method in personal planning designed for people with ADHD. 

https://bulletjournal.com/pages/about

Bullet Journal® (or BuJo® for short) was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer and author living in Brooklyn, NY. Diagnosed with learning disabilities early in life, he was forced to figure out alternate ways to be focused and productive. Through years of trial and error, he developed a methodology that went far beyond the simple organisation. Now he focuses on helping others learn what the Bullet Journal method is truly about: the art of intentional living.

 

http://www.russellbarkley.org/about.html
Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (VCUMC), Richmond, VA.

Dr. Barkley is a Diplomate (board certified) in three specialties, Clinical Psychology (ABPP), Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, ABPP). He is also a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. A clinical scientist, educator, and practitioner, he has published 25 books, rating scales, and clinical manuals now numbering 43 separate editions. He has also published more than 300 scientific articles and book chapters on ADHD and related disorders. He founded The ADHD Report (Guilford), a clinical newsletter in its 28th year and on which he serves as Editor. He has created seven award winning professional videos on ADHD and defiant children. – 
https://youtu.be/sPFmKu2S5XY

 

 

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.

We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts nor do we support the views and opinions of third party sources included in our posts.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

Mindfulness Brain Break – Kids and Families

Mindfulness Brain Break – Kids and Families

Mindfulness For Kids – 5 Minute Brain Break 

If you are struggling to stay focused for a long time, are starting to feel irritable and frustrated and you need a bit of boost to keep the good vibes flowing, then this activity is for you. It is a quick five-minute mindfulness activity that will boost your brainpower, enhance your creativity and keep you feeling calm and centred throughout the day.

Mindfulness is a word that describes many different skills and activities that improve our cognitive, spiritual and emotional experience. Mindfulness is in itself the experience we have through an activity like deep breathing, relaxation meditations and yoga. This activity is designed to stimulate the brain and bring energy and vitality back into the body as well as improving concentration and internal visualisation.

Hot Tips for Your Mindfulness Practice

  • I would recommend learning this activity first and practising it a few times in a row until you get it.
  • Practising a few times each day boosts the effects of this simple technique.
  • Mindfulness is cumulative – which means the more often you practice the more noticeable the effects

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing. It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.
The views and opinions of the third-party source material, including videos that are present in our posts are independent of Horatio's Jar or the platform that this content is provided. We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity. We do not hold responsibility for their accuracy. We do our best to research all our content to supply truthful and supportive information. We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources used to create our posts.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2020
All Rights Reserved

Kids Activity – Mindfulness and Positive Thinking

Kids Activity – Mindfulness and Positive Thinking

Kids Activity – Brain Training for Positivity

Our minds play an active role in our actions and it is actions that create habits- if we are on autopilot we may not even realise that our behaviour and our thoughts could be affecting our lives in a negative way.

To help us to train our minds not to play a negative loop in the background of our day we can take time out to make a list of all the positive things in our lives. 

Or create a vision board with positive affirmations cutting and pasting pictures and words that inspire positive thinking and mindful living.

My Activity

Affirmations are like prayers; we say them to ourselves in order to feel positive, change our mental attitudes, and get smarter.

Below are some examples of affirmations that express ideas in self-love, gratitude and positive thinking. Cut out the designs and stick them into your mindfulness diary or use them as inspiration for your own designs.

This article is used as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.

It is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health we strongly advise you seek medical attention.

The views and opinions in the supplied source material, including videos are independent of Horatio’s Jar or the platform that this content is provided on.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and authenticity.

We, however, do not necessarily hold responsibility for their accuracy.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2018

All Rights Reserved