Creatures & Critters: Bearded Dragon Edition

bearded dragon held in hand

Meet Steve! Steve is a bearded dragon and is the Nature Center’s newest animal ambassador! Bearded dragons are native to Australia. Therefore, Steve is named after Steve Irwin, the Australian wildlife expert and environmentalist. Bearded dragons live in a variety of habitats including deserts and woodlands. The average size of a fully-grown bearded dragon is…

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Creatures & Critters: Rabbit Edition

Nature Center's Rabbit

Meet Bindi! Bindi is a mini rex rabbit. Mini rex rabbits are domesticated rabbits with a calm and friendly temperament. This means that they are bred to be pets. Mini rex rabbits only grow to be 4.5 pounds and they can be litter trained. Bindi is! The mini rex has a rounded back with short,…

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Creatures & Critters: Snake Edition

close up of green and white snake

Meet Rosie, Courtney, and Olive, the Nature Center’s three snakes! Rosie is a corn snake and Courtney is an albino corn snake. The corn snake is slender with a length of 24 to 72 inches. They are usually orange or brownish-yellow, with large black-edged red blotches down the middle of the back. On the belly…

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Creatures & Critters: Toads Edition

Nature Center's Toads

Meet Al and Wally! Al and Wally are the Nature Center’s Great Plains Toads. The great plains toad is covered in red and yellow wart-looking spots that actually contain glands that secrete poison. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt if you touch them! The poisonous milky fluid makes them taste bad to predators, and it is…

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Creatures & Critters: Hedgehog Edition

Nature Center's hedgehog

Meet Luna! Luna is our African Pygmy Hedgehog. They are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, but not to Iowa. We got her from a breeder and she was born on October 24, 2019. A full grown hedgehog will grow to be between 6-11 inches long and weigh between 18025 ounces. A fun fact about…

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Creatures & Critters: Turtle Edition

turtle crawling on white background

Meet Ada, Darling, and Teddy! Ada and Darling are red-eared sliders and Teddy is a ornate box turtle. The Nature Center is home to these three turtles. Red-eared sliders are brightly marked and their carapace looks like a bowl turned upside down. The shell of a red-eared slider is divided into “scutes.” They look like…

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Creatures & Critters: Salamander Edition

Tiger Salamander

Meet Sy and Manny! Sy and Manny are tiger salamanders. Tiger salamanders are the largest and most wide-spread salamander in North America. They like to live in deep burrows, up to two feet below the surface. They can be found in forests, grasslands, or marshy areas, near ponds, lakes, or slow-moving streams. They are one…

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Creatures & Critters: Tarantula Edition

Nature Center's tarantula

Meet Pink! Pinki is a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas are exotic to Iowa and they would normally be found living in the dry grassland region at the edge of the desert in South American countries such as Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. They are the most common tarantula seen as pets in…

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