Turtle Nest Time

It’s turtle nesting season. There’ve been numerous aquatic turtle sightings along the paths and outdoor exhibits in the past few weeks, this week especially so. Both sliders and painted turtles have been observed searching for suitable nesting sites. Some have been seen in the act of digging a nest and laying eggs. After a satisfactory site is chosen the turtle urinates on the site loosening the hard clay making digging much easier. Digging is done with the hind legs. OnceRead more

What You May Have Missed

Above, a large snapper basks on a warm rock in the bright early May sunshine. As you stroll along through the outdoor exhibits here at the museum there are many interesting sights for you to enjoy. Turtles are out basking, birds are exploiting the wetland’s lesser wild life, new blooms occur almost daily, and closer to the ground, you may witness an arthropod or two going about their daily routines. But you have to look, keep your eyes open toRead more

Young Is In The Air

As you most surely have noticed it is spring and it seems there’s much work being devoted to procreation. There have been several sitings of juvenile turtles making their way towards water. Some of these youngster have been in the nest for 250, 260, 270 days or more, first as eggs and then as hatchlings to finally emerge from their underground chambers and hightail it for the wetlands. If turtles hatch late in the year they will remain in theRead more

Things to Look for While Strolling the Outdoor Loop at the Museum of Life and Science

Yellow-bellied sliders are frequently seen out basking in the sun in our wetlands. Occasionally, and typically in spring and early summer, a snapping turtle partakes in the catching of rays. There are Colorado potato beetles and there are false potato beetles. Both eat plants in the nightshade (solanaceae) family, a group of plants of which both potato and tomato belong. This family includes many other species of plants including horsenettle or Carolina nettle (Solanum carolinense). We have much Carolina nettleRead more

Reptiles and Amphibians

It is spring, and rapidly approaching summer. The reptiles and amphibians of our wetlands are busy doing whatever it is they do at this time of year. Sliders and other aquatic turtles are out basking in the sun. Musk turtles are eating. American toad eggs have been hatching. There are 35 turtles on the logs in the banner at the top of this page. Among those is one of the largest, if not the largest, yellow-bellied slider in the wetlands.Read more

What’s Going On Outside

If you’re walking the paths on a regular basis here at the Museum, you’re likely to see all manner of creature, winter, spring, summer, or fall. All of the creatures pictured below were photographed within the last few weeks. Brown snakes are common in this area. They attain lengths of approximately 12 inches, although the record is just over 19 inches. The individual in the photos above and below is a young one and is 6 to 7 inches. It wasRead more

Potter Wasps, Glow Worms, and A Well Balanced Turtle

I noticed an odd growth on one of our juvenile leptoceratops on the Dino Trail. The growth was located just before the eye. Since our dinosaurs are not actually alive I reasoned the growth to be of “outside” origin, not arising from the dinosaur itself. In fact, I knew right away what it was. A tiny black and white wasp had built this equally tiny clay pot to protect its young within while it hatches from its egg, eats and grows throughRead more

Brief Report from the Wetlands

First, some ode news, odonata, that is. Great blue skimmers and slaty skimmers have emerged from their watery, pre-adult aquatic habitat.       Eastern amber wings have been with us for some time, although I never tire of looking at them.     Common whitetails are in the process of ovipositing (laying eggs) in the Wetlands.         On cooler days, yellow-bellied sliders stack up on any available perch. But, you probably won’t see many turtles out baskingRead more

A Fine Day…Week

The last several days have been quite pleasant. The local fauna have been responding to the uncharacteristically mild nature of our current meteorological situation. In other words, it’s been real nice outside lately and some of our resident wildlife are taking advantage of that niceness.         Come on out and enjoy some of this fine weather yourself, you never know when it’s going to rain, snow, sleet, or worse, so get it while you can. See youRead more

A warm winter day

After several rainy days at the beginning of the week, the past few days have been warm and sunny, days conducive to rest and relaxation.       While over at the Red Wolf Exhibit…     There’s nothing like a warm winter day to stretch out and soak up some sun.      Read more