Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Whose Scales?

This is another variation on the "guessing game" entries posted in September, October, and November of 2011 (see "Guess Who? Part 1 & 2" and "Birds of a Feather Part 1 & 2" in my archives.)  Please note, instead of posting this entry in two parts, I've posted the answers at the end of this blog.

There are many types of scales.  And, no, I'm not talking about the kind you step on to weigh yourself!  As the body covering on several different types of animals, scales come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors.  Mostly, they serve as a protective outer layer--body armor of a sorts.  Do you know what kind of reptile these scales belong to?:
The next one is pretty easy--also from a reptile:
Reptile scales contain the protein keratin--the same stuff your fingernails are made of.  Look closely, you'll see that this reptile is shedding some of its scales:
Reptiles aren't the only kinds of animals with scales.  Can you figure out what animal has these beautiful scales?:
The last picture shows the scales of an animal you might see fluttering about in our Museum gardens mostly during the spring and summer:

Ready for the answers?....The first picture showed the scales of a yellow-bellied slider (a freshwater pond turtle.)  We have several kinds of turtles displayed in our Museum exhibits--I'll do a feature on them in a future blog.  Visitors can often spot wild turtles on the Museum grounds (we're adjacent to Deer Park Pond.):
 The second picture is of an alligator on display in our Cypress Swamp Habitarium:
The third photo is one of the copperhead displayed in our World of Darkness Gallery.  Look carefully--I was lucky enough to snap this photo as the snake was flicking its tongue in and out:
The fourth photo belongs to a brook trout in our Mountain Cove Habitarium.  The colorful brook trout is the state fish of Virginia:
The last photo showcases the brilliant scales of a tiger swallowtail butterfly.  In order to see its tiny scales you'll need a magnifying lens.  In our hands-on How Life Survives Discovery Center we have a variety of objects you can view with special magnifying scopes, including the scales of a butterfly.:
More off the beaten path in two weeks....

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