Photo of Ding Darling

One of the Dickinson County Nature Center’s red-eared slider turtles is named Darling. Not because it’s a darling name — although it is — but because he is named after Iowa conservationist Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. Jay Norwood Darling was born in 1876 in Norwood, MI, but he moved with his family to Sioux City…

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Graphic that says what animals are thankful for

Every Thanksgiving, our naturalists speak at Harris-Lake Park Elementary for a grandparent program, and this year, our environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman discussed what animals are thankful for. I thought her topic was so creative that I decided to share her ideas with you. Many of the things animals are thankful for are what humans…

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Photo of a tiger salamander

Sy the tiger salamander is huge. The Dickinson County Nature Center has two tiger salamander animal ambassadors, named Manny and Sy, and they are members of the largest land salamander species in North America. Tiger salamanders usually grow 7-13 inches long, but Sy is around 14 inches in length from head to tail. That’s one…

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Photo of a prairie skink missing its tail

Prairie skinks (Plestiodon septentrionalis) are common in Iowa, but you may never have seen one before. They are so tiny, that they blend in extremely well with their prairie surroundings. Prairie skinks range from 5-8 inches in length typically. Schnoodle the prairie skink Some skinks are is a little smaller than a typical prairie skink…

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[wp_quiz id=”6319″] Are You Smarter Than a Naturalist? By kiley | April 13, 2020 Personality quiz: Which pollinator are you? By kiley | June 10, 2019 Earth Day trivia quiz By kiley | April 24, 2018 What animal ambassador are you? By kiley | February 26, 2018

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Close-up photo of claws

[wp_quiz id=”6260″] Are You Smarter Than a Naturalist? To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to cover a variety of topics and challenge you — are you smarter than a naturalist? [wp_quiz id=”9950″] Read More What kind of duck is it? [wp_quiz id=”9514″] Read More Earth Day trivia quiz   [wp_quiz id=”6653″] Read More What fish…

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It breaks my heart. Someone intentionally ran over two young raccoons a few blocks from my house. Kids at a day care were encouraged to throw rocks at a snake and hit a bat with foam bats. I heard both of these stories within the past day, and they just give me a pit in…

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Photo of a red-eared slider turtle

See more about the Dickinson County Nature Center’s other turtle ambassadors: Teddy the turtle looks for a friend Five facts you probably didn’t know about painted turtles 7 things Teddy the turtle wants you to know

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