Archive for March, 2010
As winter winds down in the next couple of weeks, our live animals will begin to wind up for their favorite time of year… summer!!! Our reptilian friends prefer the warm temperatures of summertime. Reptiles are cold-blooded, so during the cold winter most of them would naturally seek warmth underground or hibernate in subterranean dens. As daytime temperatures rise and their favorite foods reemerge with spring, the animals prepare to eat, grow and breed!
Being cold-blooded puts reptiles in a group with fish and amphibians (like frogs and salamanders). Cold-blooded animals rely upon their surroundings to control body temperature. Unlike humans and other warm-blooded animals, reptiles must physically move to areas of warmth or coolness so they can moderate their temperatures. As reptiles ‘heat up’ after basking, their bodies work faster. They can run faster, eat faster and digest faster! Our resident Spiny Tailed Lizard loves to bask in the sunlight and is probably our fastest reptile in the collection!
As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, be sure to check out the changes in the great outdoors and watch for native reptiles basking in the mornings and late afternoons! A great place to observe the natural changes of spring is right in Fernbank Museum’s “backyard” at the Fernbank Forest!
We look forward to seeing your smiling faces as the seasons change! Join us most Saturdays and Sundays for an animal encounter in the Naturalist Center; check the activity sign when you arrive for the show times that day.
-Lynn Anders, Animal Care Coordinator