Let’s take a look back at some of the goings on in the Animal Department. Some of these critters have moved on to further their careers and education, some of them have retired, some of them have passed away and some of them are still with us in the Animal Department, just older and wiser now! I have 10 years worth of memories and pictures of all the happenings in the Department… here are a few of my favorites! Keep your eyes peeled for many more to come!!!
A lot of times I go and check on the animals in Carolina Wildlife. When I walk out I hear a lot of comments adults make to children. Some of the comments are correct and some of them are very false. One that drives me crazy is hearing people over at the snakes warning kids to avoid snakes with triangle heads because they are poisonous. Now, I do agree in avoiding the snakes, but 2 things wrong with the advice is snakes aren’t poisonous, they are venomous and a lot of snakes have triangular shaped heads…not just the venomous kind. I found this excerpt in the herpsofnc website.
” there is no simple way to distinguish between a venomous snake and a non-venomous snake. The best possible advice one can follow is that any snake that cannot be positively identified as harmless should not be handled. Many people believe that all snakes with triangular-shaped heads are potentially venomous. Although all pit vipers (rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths) in the eastern United States have broad triangular heads, so do some non-venomous species such as water snakes (Nerodia). In addition, a non triangular head does not signify the absence of venom: the two species of coral snakes in the United States, both venomous, have slender heads with little distinction between head and neck. Another over generalization is that venomous snakes have elliptical pupils, whereas all harmless snakes have round pupils; however venomous coral snakes also have round pupils. Unfortunately, no single rule separates all venomous species from all of the harmless ones.”
It might not be award worthy photography, but I thought you might like to see my favorite photo of Styx. We have three Eastern Screech-Owls living in Carolina Wildlife: Badeye, Robin and Styx.
Come visit them next time you’re here!
A few weeks ago I wrote a little post about animals dreaming. I included a picture of what I thought our woodchuck Henry possibly dreams about. A nice individual who reads our blog granted Henry’s dream come true.
Here are 2 pictures.
Have you ever wondered if animals dream? There’s no doubt in my mind they do and a while ago MIT did research and found out that animals do indeed dream. Here is the article.
Often I wonder what our animals could be dreaming of. Below is a guess of mine:
We’ve got some new birds that will be heading to the Aviary in Carolina Wildlife soon. All the birds were found injured in Tennessee and could not be released to the wild with their injuries. They arrived at the Museum in January and have been behind the scenes in quarantine. None of them can fly, so look low in the Aviary in the next few weeks to see our new residents.
The Super Bowl is coming up and happens to be on Ground Hog Day. We’ve done several posts on Ground Hog day because of Henry. Previously, we did Super Bowl predictions a few times. Henry managed to make his choice again for 2014, when the Denver Broncos will be playing Seattle Seahawks.
If Henry happens to guess wrong, I know a few people who will be VERY disappointed!
If you’ve been to a Meet the Keeper program at Lemurs, you may have heard someone ask if the Red Ruffed Lemurs have “thumbs” or “fingers” on the ends of their tails. The answer is “no”; the little bit of naked tail that sticks out in varying lengths from the normally furry tails of our lemurs is a by-product of over grooming. The Red Ruffed lemurs will occasionally groom their tail tips by licking, chewing or rubbing at them with their fingers and subsequently, have removed tufts of fur from the ends. The naked bit of tail can bend and curl just like the rest of their tails, but it isn’t prehensile.
So what exactly is “prehensile”?
It’s defined as an appendage or organ found on a vertebrate animal that has the ability to grasp or hold.
Though the definition seems simple enough, it’s not always so black and white. Think about the tail of a Virginia Opossum or the lips on a rhino or donkey. They have the ability to grasp or manipulate objects, but can’t really hang on tightly. In those cases, the appendage is considered “semi-prehensile.”
Here are some examples of prehensile appendages in the animal world: new world monkey tail (like Spider Monkeys), octopus arms, chameleon feet, prehensile-tailed porcupine tails, Giraffe tongues, primates with a thumb have prehensile hands and sygnathidae tails.
Here are a few more “semi-prehensile” appendages: elephant trunk tip, camel lips and snake tails.
Every morning Henry, the woodchuck, gets an Efa Capsule to keep his skin and coat looking good. Usually he takes his medicine very well especially if you put it on banana, a piece of bread or if he is really lucky on a Henry sized peanut butter sandwich. This morning when I opened Henry’s door to give him his medication I was greeted by him sitting in his bed, staring at me, patiently waiting for his medicine. Upon closer inspection I noticed he had a walnut shell placed just perfect over the tip of his nose, just like Rudolph, but instead of a red nose he had a walnut nose! No words can explain how adorable this was and how bummed I was to know I wasn’t carrying a camera! So instead of that adorable picture of Henry I leave you with these.