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Fifth grade Critters Alive

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February 17, 2015

Written by:  Emily Berry, Stevie Box, Hannah Drake, Jamison Higgs, Aimee McCarley, and Sydni Middleton

            “Whoa, that looks cool!” blurted one of the Happy Elementary 5th graders.  Everyone was amazed by all the astonishing critters.  On February 10th the Discovery Center brought animals to be observed for the WOWW (Windows on a Wider World) Program. 

            The Discovery Center brought the following animals for the 5th Graders to observe: chinchilla, hedgehog, salamander, gecko, blue-tongued skink, bearded lizard, and the albino corn snake! The 5th graders had a great time in the Happy ISD auditorium with Whitney Creclius from the Discovery Center.

            Emily Berry learned the Chinchilla is quite rare because it has been harvested for fur coats.

           Hannah Drake learned that geckos have super sticky feet so they can climb almost anything.

           Stevie Box learned the Blue-tongued skink is worth up to $2000, and was donated by a family that could not care for it.

             Jamison Higgs said the Salamander must remain moist. Amphibians must remain moist to survive.

             Aimee McCarley learned that a hedgehog rolls into a ball for protection and its quills are made of material like fingernails.

            According to Sydni Middleton, albino means light-colored and sensitive to light. The albino corn snake was pale pink and light yellow as opposed to orange and dark pink.

           The 5th graders had an outstanding time! Obviously the teacher did too! Mrs. McCarley stated, “I thought critter day was a great experience because the Discovery Center brought animals that we have never heard of, and we got to touch them.”

Five Interesting Facts

  1.  Chinchillas are nocturnal.
  2. Hedgehogs have about 5,000 quills. 
  3. Some salamanders have neither lungs nor gills to breathe through.  In this case, they breathe through their skin which is known as valerian respiration.
  4. The fancy bearded dragon’s scientific name is Pogona Vitticeps.
  5. Crested geckos do not have eyelids and so they use their long tongues to moisten their eyes and remove debris.


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