Education Posts

by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

What is that?

September 12th, 2013

This happens to be a shark! Its called a Wobbegong and live in fairly shallow water in Australia and Indonesia. They are bottom dwellers that feed mainly at night on small fish and squid that might swim by them. There are different kinds of Wobbegons, this one in particular is a ” tasslled.”

Other kinds of wobbegongs are  found in different regions.

Photo

I learned about this Goblin Shark last week. They are found near Japan and sometimes Australia. They have the ability to extend their jaws when they grab prey and can retract them back into their head.

If you want to know more information about other unusual sharks there is plenty of information to find online. It seems that the oddest looking animals get a lot of attention. We have all grown up hearing about the Hammerhead or Megalodon, but there are lots of animals that still to be discovered or we need to be able to collect more information about the ones we know little about as well.

 

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Spider Identification

September 2nd, 2013

One of my favorite aspects of working in Explore the Wild is the wildlife, whether it be foxes, ground hogs, raccoons, snakes or spiders. I found this spider recently and was quite sure it was a crab spider so I checked with Leon from the Butterfly house, who is an expert. He said it was a Running Crab Spider, they are in the Thomisidae family. They can actually be green, orange, and yellow in color, he also mentioned that they are very quick!

 

A few days later while showing Ranger Greg some interesting growth on a tree near Lemurs, I asked him what the above spider was. It resembles my favorite spider- the Green Lynx. But this one is actually a Orchid Orb Weaver.

 

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

How does a rattlesnake make that sound?

August 18th, 2013

The first time I ever heard our Canebrake Rattlesnake shake its tail it sent the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I was behind the scenes working with some other snake when it went off. The other day when I was cleaning exhibits I wondered how exactly its able to make that sound with its tail.

I did a little research and this is what I came up with.

If you have ever looked closely at the end of a rattlesnake tail, you will see that is composed of segments

Western diamond-backed

The segments are hollow and are made out of keratin, the same stuff your finger nails are made of.When they are born, they have no rattles because the rattles develop after a shed. While it is true that after a shed a segment is produced, it will not tell the age of a rattlesnake (old wives tale)because the segments do come off in the day to day life of a snake.When the segments knock together as the snake shakes its tail, they knock together and that is how the sound is produced. It rattles  an average of 61 times a second!

Below is a slow motion video of a rattlesnake moving its tail. You will need to click the link inside the box and it will open up in YouTube

YouTube Preview Image

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

The Quick Difference Between Alpaca and Llamas

August 11th, 2013

A lot of the times when I am in the farmyard and next to our new Alpaca exhibit, I get asked whats the difference between an Alpaca and Llama.

EARS:

These are LLAMA ears

Photo

These belong to ALPACA

 

Photo

SIZE

 

A llama is about twice the size of an alpaca

Image

Even though they are in the same family Camelidae, they are used for different purposes by humans.

Alpacas are used for their fibers and Llama are used as pack animals to carry things or in meat production. Some llamas are bred genetically for different fiber qualities.

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

QuikPost-The Dire Wolf

July 28th, 2013

If you have read the series of books or watched the show “Game of Thrones”, you have heard of  a Dire Wolf.

Several of us in the animal department are heavily into the books or show and wind up discussing it a lot of the time. So, the Dire Wolf  is one of the major components of the story and I knew there once were REAL Dire Wolves, but didnt know much about them.

Canis dirus translated to “fearsome dog” existed in North and South America between 300,000 and 12 ,000 years ago. I was amazed to read that about 4,000 have been found in the LaBrea tarpits alone!

If you think that this wolf was humongous because it existed long ago,sad to say it wasnt :(

They were almost 5 feet in length and only weighed at the most 170lbs. They had shorter and stubbier legs then the modern gray wolf and weighed 25% more. Their teeth were slightly larger too.

Even though they hunted in packs like other wolves, it is believed they went extinct because larger pray started to become scarce and they were not able to out compete the other species of wolves they coincided with.

Photo

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Hi, I am a photo editor for Scholastic Inc. We are working on a book called “Prehistoric Predators”. I would like to know where you found your image of the Dire Wolf and Gray wolf skull comparison. My editor is interested in using it. Is the photo yours? Please email me if you have any information. Thanks! Emily

    Posted by Emily
  2. I will email you the details

    Posted by Jill

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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.

Rain Rain Go Away

July 2nd, 2013

As you know, the rain has been EXCESSIVE. Even our chinchillas, who reside indoors, are heading for cover.

Pepper heads for cover

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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.

Poetry and Identification

June 30th, 2013

Sarah, our resident poet, was asked to take photos of our painted turtles for  identification purposes. Below is what showed up on my desk. can you identify the turtles based on the poem and the photos? (The name of each turtle is underlined).

Oscar is oval. He’s first on the left. He’s the biggest we have And makes quite a mess.

Exhibit is round, She’s shaped like a dot. She matches her tank mate Who’s covered in spots.

Shelly is heart shaped, She’s the smallest we have. She once lived downstairs But is now in Biolab.

 Oval like Oscar, But smaller by far. Our last painted turtle Is at home in the RHR.

 If you have questions And can’t tell us apart, Look at our pictures Up here on the chart!

 

# 1

 

# 2

 

# 3

 

# 4

 

(You can click on each photo to learn which turtle is which)

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
Tags: ,

Who did that come from?

June 5th, 2013

In my last blog I told you guys I was going to focus on poop. I try not to break my promises.

So can anyone identify this lovely specimen?

Remember, this is not restricted to the farmyard so there are a lot of possibilities.

I would also like to add that I found this poop sitting up straight and I was impressed.

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    I’d like a reference point please please- like a ruler or a quarter next to the pile of poo.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. If you give me a hundred dollar bill for scale I could use that.

    Posted by Jill
  3. Pig poop!

    Posted by Erin
  4. Does the white ridged background provide a clue or is just a shovel?

    Posted by dj
  5. I cant tell you then it could give it away.
    The answer is coming soon

    Posted by Jill

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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.

QuikPic: Gecko’s old skin

May 12th, 2013

One of our Educators, Molly, Caught this photo of Gordon shedding:

out with the old (skin)… in with the new.

Join the conversation:

  1. She ate the skin too which a lot of geckos do.
    I made sure to look for it the next morning and it was all gone

    Posted by Jill
  2. Wow!! How often and why does Gordon shed her skin? And how long does it take for the entire shedding process?

    Posted by dj
  3. That’s impressive!

    Posted by Wendy
  4. Depending if its still growing it will shed more but usually every few months
    However, we dont really know because like I said a lot of the geckos eat their skin
    I noticed the day before though she was a different color then usual so that was one hint

    Posted by Jill

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
Tags: , , ,

p00p

May 6th, 2013

“Ewwwwwwww!”

That is one of the most popular words I hear being shouted by children as they watch one of the farmyard animals defecate. But, hey…. we all “do” it. There is that popular book entitled Everyone Poops (that just so happens to be sold in our gift shop) that explains how everyone and everything capable can and will poop.

Poop, can actually be an animal keepers best friend. Now, I don’t go to the movies with a scoop of Scout scat. I just mean that we keepers can tell A LOT about an animal just by looking at its poop.What its eating, if its dehydrated,if they have worms are just some of the benefits of getting close to poo!

In the near future I will be posting some more about poop and will be posting some pics for you guys to identify what animal it came out of!

Don’t get too excited.

 

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  1. I can hardly wait!!!

    Posted by Michele

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