Creatures & Critters: Rabbit Edition

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, Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Hedgehog Edition

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 Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Turtle Edition

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 Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Hissing Cockroach Edition

Meet the Fabulous Five! The Fabulous Five are the Nature Center’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches. These cockroaches are one of many fascinating animal species to hail from the island of Madagascar. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are shiny brown and are oval-shaped. They do not have wings and they have a single pair of antennae. Male hissing cockroaches Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Fish Edition

Meet Speedy! Speedy is the Nature Center’s bluegill. The bluegill is a species of freshwater fish that is sometimes referred to as a “brim,” “sunny,” or “copper nose.” It is native to North America and lives in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Bluegill fish prefer lakes and slow-moving streams. Even though they are a freshwater Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Salamander Edition

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 Read More »

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Winter Mammals of Iowa: Southern Flying Squirrels

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 animals during the summer, however, Read More »

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Winter Mammals of Iowa: White-Tailed Jackrabbit

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 a different color depending on Read More »

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Was the Turkey Almost Our National Bird?

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 given the task to design Read More »

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Red Foxes in the Winter

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. They will usually just curl Read More »

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