On Wednesday we attended the Snakes Alive! program at Ernie Miller Nature Center. Our interpreter, Amber, did a great job of introducing several different kinds of snakes (and a snake cousin), talking about their various characteristics, and dispelling some common myths about snakes.
During the program, the kids felt a snakeskin and learned that a snake’s scales are made out of the same material as human fingernails. We learned about certain kinds of venomous snakes, and how some non-venomous snakes use mimicry to avoid being eaten by predators. Miss Amber taught the kids a simple rhyme to remember which striped snakes are venomous and which are not (“Red touches yellow can kill a fellow. Red touches black is friend to Jack.”) We also viewed a snake skeleton to see all their vertebrae, and a snake’s skull with fangs still attached.
After the program, we had the privilege of visiting the new exhibit – Our Changing Landscape – that is opening later this year at Ernie Miller. It is shaping up to be an excellent addition to the nature center!
Here is what we saw at the program:
A Western glass lizard (legless lizard), cousin to the snake but not actually a snake
It is called a glass lizard because the tail can break off and continue moving to hopefully convince the predator to eat it instead of the main body. The tail can grow to be 1/2 to 2/3 of the total length of the body. Once the tail breaks off it will grow back eventually, but its new tail will never be as long as its original tail.
Many thanks to Miss Amber and to Ernie Miller Nature Center for a great program!