Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mammals with Elkhart County Parks

We learned about mammals with Elkhart County Parks not very long ago. This was a FREE program put on by the organization. I usually find these very informative and of high quality. Plus they are often FREE!

Here, Andy showed us several different types of mammal skulls and what we could learn about the mammals through the skulls, such as the type of teeth, where the eyes sit, size of skulls, etc. He also talked about the characteristics of mammals: live births, hair or fur, lactation, warm-blooded, etc.

Andy also talked about tracks in the snow. He told us how to tell the difference between rabbit tracks and squirrel tracks. To visualize it, my 7-year-old tried it out himself! Hop, hop, hop!

Andy told us about the beaver and where they can be found in the greater area. We've seen evidence in Ox Bow County Park, Shanklin Park, and then we hear there is a lodge at Leiber Nature Preserve.

There was a wide variety of mammals--bear, mountain lion, red fox, skunk, rabbit, badger, bobcat, grey fox, opossum, mink, etc. 

My son had just sketched an opossum earlier in the week. It was good to see one up close and personal to compare!


We also saw lots of SCAT! To be humorous, Andy took a bite! But, it was only fake rubber scat. 

After the presentation, we got to see the mammals up close! 


I think the mountain lion was my nieces favorite!

 Beaver skull! Those are big teeth!

This grey fox has retractable claws and can climb trees! 

Each child had to ask questions before we left. Hands went up! They had thoughtful questions to understand the characteristics of the animals better. 

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