Autumn is officially here – time for raking leaves, sipping pumpkin lattes, putting together Halloween costumes and trading shorts and swimsuits for pants and jackets.
But humans aren’t the only ones who prepare for a seasonal change. Our furry, feathered and scaly friends know it’s fall too.
Here are some changes in local wildlife behavior you might notice:
• Both farmers and animals are busy during fall harvest season. Hibernating animals such as groundhogs, chipmunks and bears feast on nature’s buffet of berries, apples, nuts and seeds to build up reserves of fat that will keep them warm during their long winter’s nap.
• Why did the snake cross the road? To get to its winter den! These cold-blooded animals have no way to keep warm... Keep reading.
Have you met our Museum’s newest resident?
Penelope, a striped skunk (Mephitus mephitus), moved into our Creature Cavern last week.
Did you know that a baby skunk is called a kit?
Our kit is four months old and weighs less than 2 lbs. but is growing steadily under the care of our naturalists. Adult skunks typically weigh between 2-8 lbs.
Striped skunks are native to North Carolina and commonly found in woodlands, meadows and grasslands. They’re omnivores, eating a diet of insects, small mammals, fish, fruit, grasses, nuts and crustaceans. Penelope especially enjoys crickets!
Like her neighbor, Queen... Keep reading.
August 29, 2013
Posted By: Charlotte Nature Museum
It’s that time of year! School is in session, and so are classes at Charlotte Nature Museum.
This fall, we will feature a variety of classes for preschool through second grade, with topics ranging from butterflies and arthropods to animal life cycles and everything in between.
One of our most popular classes is Fall and Winter Animals. In this class, students examine and study seasonal changes in weather patterns. They discuss how these changes affect human and animal behavior.
Through discussion and study, children will learn the amazing extremes that animals go through to survive during... Keep reading.
Just what lives in the water around us and where does water go?
Follow the current to the Museum this Saturday for Wild in the Water.
We’ll tap into a pool of knowledge on why North Carolina streams, ponds and lakes are important to our state’s ecology. Learn where the water you drink comes from and where it goes once it is down the drain.
Did you know that Charlotte’s municipal water system originates from Mountain Island Lake, just north of Charlotte on the Catawba River? Run off from the Museum flows into Little Sugar Creek, which connects to the Catawba River.
You’ll also be able to meet and greet aquatic animals that live in North Carolina from the mountains to the coast, including turtles, frogs, tadpoles, sunfish, salamanders, sea stars, sea... Keep reading.
July 29, 2013
Posted By: Ask a Naturalist
Mosquitoes have been out full force this year due to the extremely wet summer, so our naturalists have been fielding lots of questions about them. They are fascinating creatures!
Some mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, while others lay their eggs in damp soil where flooding will occur. Once they hatch from eggs, young mosquitoes need water to grow into their larval, pupal and adult stages. We’re most familiar with the adult mosquito, which does not reside in water but travels to find food.
Both male and female mosquitoes rely on nectar-producing plants and flower for their nutrition.
Mosquitoes do not actually bite; instead, they pierce and suck. Their mouth, called a proboscis, acts like a straw.
Only female mosquitoes require a blood meal and... Keep reading.
July 22, 2013
Posted By: Charlotte Nature Museum
Thanks to WCNC for joining us Saturday for Petapalooza!
Animal lovers of all ages came out to meet and greet rescued, adoptable and exotic animals including dogs, cats, parrots, rabbits and snakes.
Click here to view the WCNC slideshow of photos from our July Creature Feature.