Friday, July 18, 2003

Animal Factoids

We had our group picnic at the Seneca Park Zoo today. I was a docent (educational volunteer) at that zoo from about 1993 to 1998... It was alot of training, I had to learn about EVERY animal at the zoo and be able to spew factoids without a cheat sheet.

I also got to handle a few animals - hedgehogs, Rommel - a Fennec Fox, Daisy - an albino (yellow) Python, Shelly - a tortoise... along with other birds, mammals, and bugs. I hated the bugs - sorry, but I'll take a pass on letting a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach hang out on my shirt like a "roach broach" (another zoo-nerd docent I worked with used to do that!). As a matter of fact, I'm so skeeved by them, I can't even post a picture! UGH!

Sooo, though it's been over 5 years, I was just itching to share some of my useless animal knowledge with anyone who would listen..

"Did you know that snakes cannot hear your screams of terror, they are deaf"

"Do you know how to tell a seal from a sea lion? Sea lions have external ear flaps and articulating hips, which allow them to 'walk' on all fours, seals cannot and thus 'blob' along" (ok, I couldn't remember the technical term for how seals move)

"Did you know that Reindeer are the only deer where both the males AND the females get antlers?"

"Do you know the difference between an antler and a horn? An antler is made of bone and antlers are shed and regrown each year. Horns are permanent and are made of keratin - which is the same material as your fingernails!"

"Well actually, Polar Bears are great swimmers and have been spotted in the open ocean miles away from the nearest piece of land."

AAAHHH, it feels good to say it all again!

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