Creatures & Critters: Bearded Dragon Edition

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 Read More »

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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: Snake Edition

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 Read More »

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Creatures & Critters: Toads Edition

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 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: 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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Creatures & Critters: Tarantula Edition

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 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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