Archive for September, 2009

by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Box turtles are territorial

September 29th, 2009

The Keepers got a call last week from someone trying to do a good deed by rescuing this turtle. It’s a box turtle, and if you look closely in the area of its back right leg you can see some shell missing. It appears to be an old injury that the turtle has long recovered from.
If you find a turtle in the wild, please let it be. If you find one wandering down the road, move it to the side it is traveling towards. Box turtles are believed to be territorial, so leaving them in the area where you see them is best for them!

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Opossum Trouble

September 27th, 2009

Katy was working in the vet room with both opossums and left to return a package to the gift shop. Cher was on the floor when Katy left, and on the counter when Katy returned. She got some photos of Cher opossum wandering around the vet room.

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  1. Pretty cute! Reminds me of a combination of our "free-range pig" (Guinea) and a cat!Thanks for letting her "explore" so that you could share her antics with us!

    Posted by Anonymous
  2. What great enrichment! Did she call anyone while she was resting her bum on the phone?!

    Posted by Marilyn

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: sleeping animals

September 25th, 2009

I was walking through the animal department yesterday and noticed lots of sleeping animals:

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  1. Are you sure Erin's sleeping? She looks like she's taking a more permanent kind of nap.

    Posted by Leslie
  2. I think it's her imitation of Lightning.

    Posted by Beck
  3. At first I thought Beck meant a bolt of lightning, not Lightning the Donkey–it works both ways, you know.

    Posted by edot
  4. Was she playing with the tranquilizer gun again?Mike

    Posted by Anonymous
  5. In my defense, Sherry doesn't give a lot of direction. I was just told to lie down on the ground…

    Posted by Erin Brown
  6. You know… good director's give their actors the freedom to express themselves without overstepping and ruining artistic freedom!

    Posted by Sherry

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Red Wolf Journal: Summer Edition

September 24th, 2009

Last week I received the Red Wolf Journal from our friends at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Take a look to see what’s been going on with the red wolf throughout the summer.

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  1. I like the red wolves howling here on that site: http://www.fws.gov/redwolf/rwhowlaudio.html

    Posted by Wendy A
  2. Hmmm – I'm unable to open the journal. Anyone else having that problem?

    Posted by Jeff Stern
  3. Sorry everyone- the link was working before and now it is not: be patient and I will get it working so you can read the journal

    Posted by Sherry

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPost: Bear pool is clean!

September 22nd, 2009

Come see the crystal clear water and spotless rocks at the bear pool.
After working Sunday ’til dark, and all day yesterday, the work is done!

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Bear Pool Cleaning coming up.

September 18th, 2009

This coming Sunday and Monday is when we drain the bear pool and begin the big clean. It is a time intensive and physically draining project, and kind of gross too.

Kent, Katy and Marilyn will be staying into the evening hours on Sunday. All the Monday Keepers are coming in early, and Erin is coming in on her day off to help.

Click here to read about what’s involved in this project and see photos from last year’s bear pool cleaning.

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  1. So sorry I will miss that this yearMike

    Posted by Anonymous
  2. I'll be working Sunday evening too (4-5 pm meeting onsite) so holler if you need an extra set of hands.

    Posted by Jeff Stern

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by , Keeper
I am most famous here in the animal department for "expanding" the barred owl exhibit, clogging the wolf pool, and splitting my pants. My other less notorious work, since 2003, includes keeping, purchasing our animal supplies, coordinating our volunteers, and managing our animal enrichment program.
Find me training the lemurs or in other various animal enclosures Monday through Friday, or at the grocery store on Wednesdays, when I shop for produce!

What’s Lightning dreaming about?

September 16th, 2009

Lightning Donkey is doing much better– his eye has cleared up and his hoof is getting better too, thanks to Dr. Cannedy and his much hated (by Lightning) Epsom salt soaks.

So don’t let the picture below startle you! Look closer and you will just see a very sleepy donkey completely konked out in the sun!

Lightning will often sleep in this bought-the-farm pose, and we get quite a few radio calls from the guest services desk letting us know a guest is worried about him. We always appreciate when visitors are looking out for the animals, and we always go check on them when we receive a concern, but we usually have to laugh when a donkey call comes in- just ’cause we know how Lightning likes to stretch it out and slumber!

Thanks to Ashlyn for the pic!

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  1. Poor baby.Mike

    Posted by Anonymous

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Lightning update: he’s sick

September 15th, 2009

The Keepers noticed that Lightning was lame (limping) Sunday night. He was still limping Monday morning so we called Dr. Cannedy to come take a look.

By the afternoon, lightning also had a runny eye.

If you come by to visit, you’ll see him looking pitiful as he has a hoof abscess and an ulcer in his eye. He’s on medicine for both issues.
Help us wish him a speedy recovery.

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  1. I love Lightning's playful, ornery personality. I'm sad he's sick.

    Posted by JenniferA
  2. Hugs for the boy.Mike

    Posted by Anonymous

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by , Keeper
Although a native tarheel, I came to the museum from Texas, where I taught Biology courses at a small college. In graduate school I studied the behavior and ecology of marine organisms (mostly crabs, lobsters and sea turtles).
You can find me in the Animal Department Monday-Thursday. Fridays I work for the Department of Innovation and Learning all day.

Big Word of the Month: suprachiasmatic nucleus

September 13th, 2009


I saw my first “V” formation of Canada geese of this fall and it got me thinking about migratory triggers. Here in North America the days are starting to get notably shorter, sunset is now about an hour earlier than it was in June. Most animals have circadian rhythms that are tuned to environmental cues like day length. In many species, the shorter day length along with cooler temperatures is the sign of coming winter and triggers migratory behavior.

Inside the brain of mammals like ourselves lies a tiny organ called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN for short). Despite being the size of a rice grain, the SCN plays a large role in the body’s biological clock. It exerts control over other regions of the brain through nerve signals and biochemical activity and research shows that individuals with damaged SCNs have difficulty with daily sleep/wake cycles. The SCN gets input from light receptors and thus able to adjust the body’s clock to match external light patterns. The adjustment of the internal clock is gradual though (why do think that is?) and it can take a few days to adapt to a rapid change in day length. We humans call this condition “jet lag”; do you think geese feel jet lag? Birds do have a SCN but the system doesn’t work exactly that of mammals and their brain anatomy is different.

I’ve posted two questions this month, you can write your answers in the comment section if you want some feedback from me.

Geese migration photo from Wikicommons

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  1. Isn't that kinda like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocis?

    Posted by Wendy A
  2. Seriously, is it the gooney bird that flies for months, then can't remember how to land? I seem to remember funny videos of these birds falling all over themselves after they touch ground. Does this have anything to do with the supra nuke?

    Posted by Wendy A
  3. Wendy,You might be thinking of the blue-footed booby. They are a seabird like the goony (Albatross) and have a particularly comical landing that looks like a controlled crash. Evolutionarily, they have traded landing stability for traits that make them more efficient at sailing aloft for months. Think of a glider vs. and airplane.

    Posted by Larry
  4. Hi!Congratulations! Your readers have submitted and voted for your blog at The Daily Reviewer. We compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 museums Blogs, and we are glad to let you know that your blog was included! You can see it at http://thedailyreviewer.com/top/museumsYou can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award hereP.S. This is a one-time notice to let you know your blog was included in one of our Top 100 Blog categories. You might get notices if you are listed in two or more categories.P.P.S. If for some reason you want your blog removed from our list, just send an email to angelina@thedailyreviewer.com with the subject line "REMOVE" and the link to your blog in the body of the message.Cheers!Angelina MizakiSelection Committee PresidentThe Daily Reviewerhttp://thedailyreviewer.com

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

(Me) Sink or (Bear) Swim…

September 11th, 2009

I am heading to a fancy wedding.
I never get dressed up.

I typically look like this. (actually, not usually even this good).
I was looking for other photos of me to share with you so you could get the idea. (Those of you who know me need not see any photos to get the idea).
While looking for photos, however, I came across this video of Ursula swimming and decided you would be much more interested in seeing this then “before” and “after” pictures of me.
Enjoy.
YouTube Preview Image

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