Monday, June 4, 2012

Wonderful, Wild, and Amazing Animals, 2012! Part 2: A Bird of Prey and a Marsupial!

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.

Today we were visited by a seven-year-old Harris' hawk, a bird of prey.

One very special behavioral adaptation of a carnivorous Harris' hawk is that it, unlike other hawks, hunts with a group of hawks. This is called communal hunting. Together, they fly over a sagebrush, scare out a rabbit, and surround it, so it can't escape!

Do you see an important physical adaptation for this predator?

Harris' hawks live in the desert. Here is a photo of one with its young. 
You can see it is using a cactus as a nesting ground!

 The Harris' hawk that built this nest used twigs, animal hair (including horse hair), 
paper bags, newspapers, and even dryer sheets!


Our second guest was the only marsupial that lives in North America,
an opossum!
Opossums are nocturnal, so she had to wake our furry friend up for the visit!

 Since this omnivore had eaten some meat in the last class it visited,
Ms. C. gave it a banana in our class!

Check out this amazing physical adaptation, a prehensile tail!

Because opossums are marsupials, their babies, called joeys, stay in the mother's
 pouch until they are big enough....

to ride on Mom's back!


What other facts can you share about these creatures?

Do you remember how many razor sharp teeth
 an opossum has?

Can you explain the behavioral adaptation of the opossum that helps it stay safe from predators?

Do you remember a fact about the white tips on the tail of the
Harris' hawk?


  1. Dear Class,

    Opossums have fifty razor sharp teeth. Because they have really sharp teeth, they can act extremely ferocious. One behavioral adaptation is that it sends chemicals to its brain that make it play dead. They don't even know they do it! I hope you like the facts I have shared.

    Best wishes,

  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    Thank you for sharing yet another encounter with some wonderful animals. It set me thinking about some of Australia's animals.

    Here is a link to an extended comment I put together for your class and Mrs Yollis's class.

    Teacher, NSW, Australia


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