Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Guess Who? Part 2

Hope you enjoyed the last entry of close up "animal parts."  Were you able to guess which animals they belong to?  Here are the answers:

The first photo was pretty easy--it was the tail of a raccoon.  I took this picture of one our exhibit raccoons as it was climbing a tree--they are excellent and fast climbers!

The second photo was the tail of a five-lined skink (a kind of lizard) that was sunning itself in our outdoor amphitheater--they would only let me get so close before skittering off under the amphitheater seats and nearby shrubbery.  The bright blue tail will fade as a skink gets older.  Also, if grabbed by a predator, the tail can break off, hopefully giving the skink a chance to get away, and eventually the tail will regrow.

The third photo showed off the beautiful scales of a box turtle spotted by my colleague, Judy Molnar.  The turtle was traipsing its way across one of our outdoor paths.  We occasionally find wild turtles such as these wandering through our museum grounds--not surprising since our grounds provide an excellent natural habitat for many kinds of wildlife.

The last photo of an animal's ear was perhaps a bit more difficult to figure out, so, I'll give you another clue--it has a tail with an interesting texture:

Think you have it figured out?  We have two of these marvelous creatures on exhibit on our Outdoor Trail.  A favorite of many of our visitors, these animals are the largest type of rodent we have in North America.  Sporting many adaptations for an aquatic lifestyle--webbed hind feet, a broad tail, dense water-repellent fur, and the ability to close off their nose and ears while swimming underwater--they are excellent swimmers.  They are famous for their ever-growing teeth used to eat their food, as well as to cut down trees in order to make lodges and dams.  If you guessed this animal is a beaver, you are correct!

More "off the beaten path" photos in two weeks....

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