After the Zoo Animals Live program ended in June, Jennifer Grammer (TSCPL) and Rachael Rost (Topeka Zoo) thought of a short list of red, white and blue animals we could feature during today’s pre-July 4th Zoo Animals program. What fun!
Rachael kicked it off with three Blue Death Feigning Beetles, herbivores that reside in the desert environment of the Southwestern U.S. They are actually black, but secrete a blue waxy substance that serves as a sunscreen. Their behavior includes rolling over and “playing dead” as a defense against predators.
Next we were introduced to the beautifully calm and poised Mexican Redknee Tarantula and an explanation of exoskeletons, which was followed by the White‘s Tree Frog and a discussion of their magnificent toe pads.
Everyone got close-up views of Brian the Blue-tongued Skink who, along with today’s other featured animals, lives at the Zoo. He is 21 years old and his residence in the wild would be Australia. Did you know there are 1,500 species of skinks in the world?
Finally, we got to touch another reptile, the huge Red-tailed Boa named Patrick, who we discovered is not slimy. Rachael explained that if he lived in the wild he would hunt at night and grow up to 13 ft. long.
Thanks Rachael for another terrific afternoon! Mark your calendars for the next Zoo Animals Live at 4:00 p.m. on August 7th!
photos by Kim Sain