Nature Center's tarantula

Creatures & Critters: Tarantula Edition

December 13, 2021

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 Read More »

Southern Flying Squirrel

Winter Mammals of Iowa: Southern Flying Squirrels

December 6, 2021

The Southern flying squirrel is Iowa’s smallest squirrel. Although they live statewide, it can be difficult to spot them. The flying squirrel is nocturnal so they will sleep during the day. Usually they will sleep in tree cavities which can make it difficult to spot them. They are typically solitary Read More »


Winter Mammals of Iowa: White-Tailed Jackrabbit

November 30, 2021

The white-tailed jackrabbit can commonly be spotted in western and northern Iowa. It is the largest member of the rabbit and hare family. It weighs in the range of six to ten pounds. White-tailed jackrabbits have an interesting adaptation when it comes to the different seasons. Their fur can be Read More »

turkey head close up

Was the Turkey Almost Our National Bird?

November 22, 2021

Word on the street is that the turkey was almost our national bird. With Thanksgiving Day occurring this week, what better time to dig deeper into this question. Back when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were Read More »

Red Fox sitting with tail in front in winter

Red Foxes in the Winter

November 15, 2021

The weather is getting colder and winter is on its way. The red fox is one of the two species of fox that Iowa has. How do they survive the cold Iowa winters? Red foxes do not hibernate, but they are less active during the winter to conserve their energy. Read More »

squirrel in snowy forest

Nuts about Squirrels

November 8, 2021

Squirrels are one of the most common critters around, but how much do you know about this remarkable rodent? Here are 10 facts that will make you nuts about squirrels! The Indian giant squirrel is the biggest species of squirrels. It can grow up to be 36 inches long! The Read More »


How’d the Hedgehog Get Its Name?

November 1, 2021

There are 15 species of hedgehogs in the world. Each species is similar, but they each have small characteristics and habitual differences. The typical body length of a hedgehog is 5 to 12 inches long and the average length of the tail is 1-2 inches. They weigh about 1-2 pounds. Read More »

owl with fall background

What a Hoot!

October 25, 2021

If you give a hoot about owls, here are some fun facts you should know! Majority of Iowa’s nesting owl species primarily nest in trees. However, the burrowing owl usually will nest in abandoned badger dens. The short-eared owl nests on the ground in large grasslands. Short-eared owls have an Read More »

bats hanging from tree

Bat Appreciation

October 18, 2021

October is bat appreciation month! Overall, bats get a relatively bad reputation for their unique characteristics. While it is bat appreciation month, we should really appreciate them all year long. Bats offer a variety of benefits. Here are some of the great work they do for their ecosystems: They control Read More »

monarch on flowers

Fall Monarch Migration

October 11, 2021

Fall migration for Monarch butterflies is in full swing! Typically fall migration goes from September to October. Monarchs are the only insect that migrate up to 3,000 miles to find warmer weather. Unlike other insects, monarchs cannot survive the cold winter. The monarchs that are located west of the Rocky Read More »

fall colors - yellow tree

Fall Color Report

October 5, 2021

As we move into fall, we are starting to see a wide variety of colors among the leaves. The changes in the length of daylight and temperature causes the leaves to stop their food-making process. The leaves stop making chlorophyll which results in the green color starting to fade while Read More »

river with rocks

Where do animals go when it rains?

June 29, 2021

It may surprise you, but the rain doesn’t bother as many animals as we would think. With the rain we have finally gotten over the last couple of days, it made me wonder where animals went during the rain. I learned that it depends on the animal and the personality Read More »

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