Dennis Dinwiddie, who is now the Topeka Zoo’s Education Director, brought a variety of animals to share with patrons of the library on Thursday, March 3.
The Blue-Tongue Skink is native to Australia and does have a blue tongue. Most animals in nature do not have blue tongues so this skink is able to fool predators that think he might be good to eat. His skin is made of a waxy substance which is good as a defense mechanism. If this doesn’t work he can detach part of his tail to further confuse his enemies. There are 800 species of skinks on earth.
The Tenrec is from Madagascar and resembles a hedgehog. He has soft quills and comes out at dawn and dusk. Therefore, he isn’t seen very often.
Dennis also brought a Kenyan Sand Boa that was about 18 inches in length. They like to burrow in the sand and live in Kenya and East Africa.
The last animal that was on display was the Eastern Screech Owl. They are small in size but their screech can be heard for many miles. They have a wing-span of about 22″, love to eat little rodents and are grayish in color. This grayish color helps them to blend in with the trees.