Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wonderful, Wild, and Amazing Animals - Days 3

 We were so fortunate to have Beverly from Wildlife Experience 
 visited our class for a third time
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.

We started today's lesson examining animal tracks!
Check out these tracks and guess what animals left them! At the bottom of the post, you will find the answers!

First, we looked at the tracks of a nocturnal animal that climbs trees. It is the only marsupial native to North America. Can you guess what animal left these tracks?

Second, we studied the tracks of another nocturnal tree-climber trees that often washes its food!
That's a good thing because sometimes it will even eat trash! Do you know who left these tracks?

Third, Ms. C. showed us the tracks of still another nocturnal animal. She said that it is one we rarely see it, but we usually know when it's been around!
Can you guess what animal left these "sweet" tracks?

The fourth animal's track were either from the dog family or the cat family. Ms. C explained that a dog's claws are always out, so they would leave a mark on the ground. She told us that a cat's claws are retractable claws and are not out when they walk. This means they would not leave a mark.
Are these tracks from cat or dog famly?
This animal is found in the Santa Monica mountains, is endangered, and mostly comes out at night.
What animal is it?

Lastly, we checked out these special tracks! The mammal that left them is found in and near mountains, is very large, sports antlers if it's a male, and has extra fur around its neck!
Do you know what it is?

(Remember: see the bottom of this post for the animals that left all five sets of footprints!)


We again had live visitors to our classroom!

Meet Punk, the Skunk!

Punk is a striped skunk. Skunks are mammals with a special "scented" adaptation!
Punk, however, has had her scent glands removed. That was a very good thing for us!
See how her tail is up? That means she's feeling a bit uncomfortable and is thinking about spraying!

Skunks are omnivores, who especially enjoy insects, bugs, and spiders in the wild.
However, they like fruits and vegetables too!
You can see that Punk is really enjoying that apple. Look at her claws and teeth, special adaptations
that help her grasp and devour her meal!

This closeup of  a skunk's skull allows you to really get a good look at its sharp teeth!

Here is a picture of Punk when she was just a little skunk.
When she first opened her eyes, she saw Ms. C., so she thought that Ms. C was her mom!
She has depended on Ms. C. to show her all about being a skunk!
When an animal recognizes another animal or person as its parent, it is called imprinting.


Meet Sally, the Salamander!

Salamanders are amphibians, along with frogs, toads, newts, and caecilians.  Amphibians are adapted to living and breathing on land, as well as in water.
Salamanders, like all amphibians, must stay close to water, like a pond,
a river, a stream, must stay in moist soil.

Sally is a tiger salamander.


What did you enjoy most about our third Wildlife experience?

What facts did you learn?

Do you have any additional facts about these animals to share?

(Answers to animal tracks quiz: opossum, raccoon, skunk, mountain lion, elk) 


  1. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I enjoyed learning about the amazing wild animals. I really enjoyed touching Sally The Salamander. She felt like wet rubber. I learned that salamanders have to live in wet and moist places, or they would die. I also learned that all spiders are not poisonous.


  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    How many times will Beverly come! You are right, we are fortunate to have someone like her coming to our class this many times!

    The part I enjoyed most about Beverly’s third visit was when I got to touch Sally, the salamander. Like Shawn described, Sally felt like wet rubber to me.

    I learned that the first person or animal that a baby animal sees when it is born is the one it follows. This process is called imprinting. I also learned that the Chinese Salamander is the largest salamander in the world.

    An additional fact I can share is that the horrid smelling liquid that a skunk sprays is called musk. I got this fact from World Book Web.

    I cannot wait to find out who the next two animals are!

    Your student,
    Ella ☺

  3. Dear Ella and Shawn,
    I'm so glad to hear that you have been enjoying and learning from our Wildlife Experiences!

    Beverly will visit one more time, tomorrow! I, like you, can't wait to see what animals she brings! Good job, getting on World Book and finding out more facts!

    Keep up the good work,
    Mrs. Ranney


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