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Naturalist Notebook 

September 30, 2011

Who Pooped?

Photobucket
Replica Scat Photo: N. Sincero 2011, Scat Wrangler: S. Sumrall



This scat can vary widely in color but is most often black. You might find scat from more than one individual in a pile. But you would not want to touch or even smell this scat, particularly because it may contain a deadly parasite.



Who pooped?



Leave a comment below with your guess. We will reveal the answer in the comments section on Tuesday, October 4th.



If you have your own natural history mystery (an unidentified animal, plant or other specimen), send a photo or two to naturalist@calacademy.org. We’ll do our best to help out. Please include location, date and any other details that seem pertinent.



Source:

Scats and Tracks of the Pacific Coast, Including British Columbia: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species / James C. Halfpenny ; illustrated by Todd Telander. Helena, Mont. : Falcon, c1999. Naturalist Center Reference QL768 .H36 1999


Filed under: Who Pooped — nature @ 7:33 am

September 27, 2011

Science Story Adventures: Chameleons

chameleon
Photo:Chameleon (Furcifer balteatus) © California Academy of Sciences.

Click here for the Chameleons online handout.

Each week in the Naturalist Center, we take elementary school-aged children on Science Story Adventures. We look at a different theme connected with the natural world and the exhibits in the Academy, and explore it through stories, activities and crafts.

Now you can continue your adventure at home with this online handout. It includes the planned learning outcomes of the Science Story Adventure, which are usually drawn from the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools. Can’t remember the title of the books we read or how to do that craft? It’s on the sheet. We’ve also included a list of resources – books, DVDs or websites – for further exploration.


Filed under: Science Story Adventures Handouts — nature @ 4:03 pm

Science Story Adventures: Sea Otters

sea-otter
Photo:Sea otter (Enhydra lutris). Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences.

Click here for the Sea Otters online handout.

Each week in the Naturalist Center, we take elementary school-aged children on Science Story Adventures. We look at a different theme connected with the natural world and the exhibits in the Academy, and explore it through stories, activities and crafts.

Now you can continue your adventure at home with this online handout. It includes the planned learning outcomes of the Science Story Adventure, which are usually drawn from the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools. Can’t remember the title of the books we read or how to do that craft? It’s on the sheet. We’ve also included a list of resources – books, DVDs or websites – for further exploration.


Filed under: Science Story Adventures Handouts — nature @ 3:58 pm

Spotlight On…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!



(Pictured below, really close up!)



This one?
Photo: N. Sincero 2011



Can you guess what it is?



Here are some hints:

  • This animal is fairly sedentary.
  • This animal is effectively a hemophiliac.



Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us outside the Project Lab on Friday, September 30th at 11:30 AM for Specimen Spotlight in order to find out if you’re right.


Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 7:03 am

September 25, 2011

It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week!

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Photo: Robert Potts © California Academy of Sciences



Organizations across the world will be spotlighting what is perhaps the most adorable member of the weasel family, the sea otter. With fewer than 3,000 southern sea otters off our coast, we Californians should take some time to learn a little more about the threats to these animals and what we can do to help protect them.



This one?
Photo: N. Sincero 2011



Here at the Naturalist Center you can make a sea otter puppet or spend some time browsing through our sea otter books.



This one
Photo: N. Sincero 2011



We will also feature sea otters in our programs. Specimen Spotlight (all ages) will give you the opportunity to touch a sea otter pelt, examine some other specimens from our research department and learn some neat facts. It will be on Friday, September 30th, at 11:30 AM. Science Story Adventures (ages 4-8) is on Sunday, October 2nd, at 2:30 PM. We will read some sea otter books, look at some specimens and do a craft.



We hope you can join us this week in raising awareness about sea otters. In the meantime, check out Philippe Cousteau in a video from last year’s Sea Otter Awareness Week:




Filed under: News — nature @ 7:44 am
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