Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wonderful, Wild, and Amazing Animals - Days 2

Beverly  from Wildlife Experience 
 visited our class again
with animals that are native to North America!

 They are a non-profit wildlife education organization that brings native and exotic animals to schools and teaches children about the importance of our natural world.

The subject of this lesson was super senses. 
Humans have five senses: hearing smelling, feeling, seeing, and tasting. Animals do too. 
Some have super senses!

A bush baby's super sense is sight. If an animal has huge eyes, it tells you that it can see well at night.

Here is a picture of a naked mole rat. It has no hair, and like a mole, it spends all of its time underground. Since it is underground, this rat doesn't use sight. I just has skin where there should be eyes. It has a strong sense of  smell, touch, and can hear really well. 

 Below is a picture of a fly taken under a microscope and with added color. Notice the mouth part and  the big red eye sockets.  Each tiny dot sees an image, so a fly sees many images at the same time. 
A fly can  see all around!

Our first live visitor was Ocho, the tarantula!
 Ocho is a female, rose-haired tarantula. These spiders are found in Mexico, so Wildlife Experience  gave her a Spanish name! Ocho means eight!

Spiders are arachnids, so they have two body parts, eight legs and live on land. They have an incredible sense of sight. In fact, this tarantula has eight eyes! It also has two spinnerets  on the abdomen. Tarantulas have a tiny gland on the abdomen, which when touched and  mixed with oxygen, makes silk. Like raptors, female tarantulas are larger than the males. 
Arachnids give birth to about 250 eggs!

Here is a shed from Ocho. Notice the fangs!

This is a shed from a red-kneed tarantula.

Next, we were visited by Ripper, the turkey vulture!

Vultures have a great sense of smell. In fact, they  can smell something dead that is two miles away! Most birds do NOT have a good sense of smell. 
If you look closely, you will see Ripper's nostrils.

Unlike the owl, a turkey vulture's talons are not that strong. 

 They use their beaks to rip and tear at their meals. Vultures eat dead things, called carrion. When they find something dead, the devour it. Beverly said that a vulture  fills a part of its throat called a crop, and if a car comes by, it vomits the meal so it's light and can fly away. 
When the car passes, the vulture comes back to eat the vomit. Yuck!

What did you think of our two newest local animals?

How are tarantula, turkey vulture, gopher snake, 
and barred owl alike?

How are they different?


  1. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I think it is really amazing that we got to see all those awesome animals.

    I think the snake felt like an orange to me. My favorite animal was the turkey vulture. It is cool that when it is a baby its head is black, and when it is an adult its head is red. I also liked the animals she brought today.


  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney

    I enjoyed having Beverly show us all the interesting animals.

    The snake felt like a basketball to me. My favorite animal was the snake. I learned that the girl vulture is bigger then the boy vulture.


  3. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I can’t believe that Beverly came again! I don’t know how to predict which animals will she bring next, so it’s always exciting.

    I think that these two astounding animals were breathtaking. I never saw a bird that can bend its head back so far. I also never saw spinnerets on a spider’s abdomen before.

    The gopher snake, Hoot, Ocho, and Ripper are alike because they are all carnivores.

    They are different because they each have different adaptations to help them survive in their environment.

    Your student,
    Ella ☺

  4. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    When we saw Ocho, we saw her rose colored fur. We also enjoyed learning that tarantulas don't have any poison.

    Then, we stared at Ripper the Vulture. Beverly told us that a vulture can rip off your skin. We were scared that Ripper would rip off our skin!

    Since it's the last day of school, we will miss you very much.

    Aidan and Edo


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