We headed out to a little zoo on Friday. We've been searching for new field trip ideas for a while and we stumbled up on a few zoos that we had never heard of before. They all sounded small but they weren't so far away that it would be a total waste of a trip if we were disappointed in what we found. We decided to check one of them out and we were not disappointed at all. It was small and probably only took us an hour and a half to walk through but they had so many new animals and so many of our favorites that we had an excellent time. We just love learning about new animals and seeing new species. It's exciting to watch and make connections to other zoo animals we've studied in the past. We just love zoo trips since we learn so much!
- Did you know river otters can climb trees? We spent a lot of time watching the river otters and we saw an otter at the tip of a pine tree turning in circles and settling down as if in a nest. In no time both otters were back at the pond swimming around. They're so playful and fun to watch.
- Crowned pigeons; while looking like peacocks are not at all related to them. We got to see a crowned pigeon (up close too since it flew right at me and over my head!) and we assumed with it's pretty colors and crest of feathers that it was related to the peacock but they aren't. They really are a species of pigeon, just a much larger breed.
- Sloths can move more quickly than we ever thought. We've read so much about how slowly sloths move and yet as we watched a sloth moving around along the rim of the ceiling we couldn't help notice that they moved at a pretty even pace.
- That Ian is as tall as a lion. The boys had lots of fun getting in some math reviews with the various measuring things located around the zoo. They checked heights and "wingspan" against all the signs.
- Kangaroos live in groups called mobs. We knew lots of facts about the red kangaroo but we hadn't known what to call a group of kangaroos.
- What Species Survival Plan means. Most of the animals found at the zoo were part of a species survival plan. Basically it means the species is becoming endangered in the wild and the zoo has agreed to partner with other zoos to breed and try to help bring them back from the edge of extinction.
The pictures of the rhino (under the map) means that this animal is part of a species survival plan; we saw that pictures on many of the signs we saw
- About all the bears in the world. The boys all stopped to read the sign that talked about the different types of bears found all around the world. We read about their habitats, their behaviors, and their characteristics.
- Meerkats are as playful as prairie dogs. We had great fun watching the meerkats play scamper and run through the tunnels. They reminded us a lot of prairie dogs in many ways.
- Lemurs can't swim. They had an open enclosure with lots of space to run around and the only thing keeping them on their islands was the moat of water around them.
- The Japanese Macaque loves to swim or hang out in hot springs and have even been known to have snowball fights with one another. These playful monkeys are even called Japanese snow monkeys. Alec taught us all about it; teaching us far more than the zoo signs! He read all about these monkeys when he was doing his Japan study and remembered them since they sounded like they'd be fun to live with.
- Red Crowned Cranes are found in Korea. We found that a few different animal species they had were from Korea and we took note of that since Evan had studied Korea. Some of the animals we had read about were at this zoo!
- The Silvery Cheeked Hornbill is important for seed dispersal. These birds like to eat fruits with hard seeds inside. They will fly great distances and then regurgitate the seed unbroken.