July 10, 2014
Posted By: Ask a Naturalist
With school out for the summer, many parents are looking for fun, inexpensive activities to do with their kids. Why not give upcycling a try?
There are so many great projects people can do with old objects around the house, instead of recycling or throwing them away.
What exactly is upcycling? It is the process of making something useful, and often beautiful, from old or discarded materials.
During our recent Earth Day Play Date, we made musical instruments, a matching game, a bowling set and a birdhouse all out of "trash" found at the Museum.
Here's how we did it.
1. Take old coffee cans or tissue boxes and wrap different sized rubber bands around them. The different sized bands will create different notes when plucked or strummed.
2. Turn empty pla… Keep reading.
June 24, 2014
Posted By: Charlotte Nature Museum
Recently, I had the unfortunate task of dealing with the repercussions of someone's intentional and harmful actions against a yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) at Freedom Park.
A family of good Samaritans rushed into the Museum, worried about a turtle they said had been caught up in wire. Grabbing some wire cutters, thinking this was just a turtle who had found his way into trash, I hastily made my way down to the lake only to find something more.
This turtle had been made the object of a cruel prank.
Someone had drilled a hole into the bottom of his shell and attached a wire with a soda can to it. This way, when the animal swam, the prankster could follow his movements.
The turtle was in rough shape because he hadn't been able to move naturally. His claws wer… Keep reading.
Thank you to everyone who voted on a name for our new baby alligator through our blog and Facebook.
Based on your input, Reptar is the name of our Museum's newest resident, an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).
The recently hatched Reptar is about 12 inches long and came to us from Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which allows the Museum to borrow a juvenile alligator for a few years and return it for a smaller animal once it gets too large.
You can find Reptar swimming happily the Beginnings exhibit in the Great Hall. Plan a visit to meet Reptar today!…
Snappy, our American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), was homeward bound last week.
Museum Coordinator Gail Lemiec transported him back to Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he came from in 2011. We were sorry to see him go but he had grown too large for the exhibit in the Great Hall at Charlotte Nature Museum.
American alligators hatch out of their eggs at about 9.5 inches long and grow about one foot per year until they reach six feet long. Their growth slows down then, but females average 8-9 feet, while males get a little larger at 10-12 feet. In fact, the largest recorded alligator found in North Carolina was 12 feet, 7 inches long. But that is not the largest alligator recorded in the United States, which was found in Mississippi and was a whopping 19 fee… Keep reading.
One of the coolest animals I get to work with is the snake. We have lots of different species that live at the Museum, including pine, corn, black rat, yellow rat, copperhead, ribbon, northern water, king and garter snakes.
Most of the snakes stay on exhibition in Creature Cavern, but we have a few that we're able to bring out for Animal Encounters. This means you can touch them!
Whenever I handle a snake, the first question a guest usually asks is, "Will it bite?" This is a great question to ask because it's important to maintain the highest level of safety around any animal.
Anything with a mouth can bite — it's true — but people also have mouths and can bite. This doesn't mean we go around biting things all the time, and it's the same way with our snakes.
Snake mainly bite… Keep reading.
WCNC anchor Larry Sprinkle stopped by the Museum recently to give parents some ideas for entertaining their children this summer.
Check out the video below to see Larry pet an opossum, interview Grandpa Tree, explore the fairy garden in Fort Wild and more!
… Keep reading.