(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
You asked and our scientists answered! In today’s newsletter, we’re answering some of your most common questions. Have other questions? Be sure to drop us a line and maybe we’ll include it in our next Frequently Asked Questions roundup!
“How do geese take care of their babies?”
Mother geese do a lot to take care of their babies (goslings). They select the nest site, build the nest, and incubate the eggs. They also brood the babies during bad weather and while they sleep. The goslings stay with their parents constantly, and often remain with them for their first year of life! Curious to learn more about birds? Check out our friends at the Chicago Ornithological Society and their upcoming webinars.
Guiding Question: What other animals have we talked about that have a similar family structure? Ducks? Turkeys? Sandhill cranes? What’s similar about them? What’s different?
“How often do snakes eat?”
(Disponible en español)
Not all snakes are the same size, so they can’t all eat the same thing. Click here to watch Rebecca explain how often snakes eat!
Teaching Tip: See if your scientist can answer their own questions by doing some investigating! Click here to get the instructions on being an image investigator!
“Where do turtles sleep?”
Different species of turtles sleep in a variety of places! Most freshwater turtles, like painted turtles or softshell turtles, will sleep underwater. Sometimes they bury themselves in mud or sand at the bottom of the water. Occasionally, they float at the surface of the water. Other freshwater turtles, like mud turtles or musk turtles, may sleep partially underwater in shallow marshy areas. Terrestrial turtles (turtles that live on land), like box turtles and tortoises, can draw their head and legs completely into their shells to sleep. Some also dig burrows and may sleep inside them for additional protection.
“What are snake scales made of?”
Scales help protect snakes from lots of different things, so they have to be tough. What you might not realize, though, is that they have a lot in common with our fingernails! Snake scales are made of keratin, the same material that’s in our fingernails. Turtle shells are also made of keratin!
Guiding Question: Feel your fingernails. How are they similar to a snake’s scales? Or a turtle’s shell? How are they different?
“Are there any insects that are good parents?”
Believe it or not, earwigs, burying beetles, and treehoppers are all known for providing care for their babies. But bumble bee queens are particularly incredible! A bumble bee queen overwinters by herself and in the spring has to find a location to make a new home, start the building of a nest, collect nectar and pollen for food, lay eggs, and care for her first set of brood all on her own! How amazing is that?
What’s in the bag?
We’ve been answering your questions…now we’ve got a question and challenge for you! See if you can guess camp director Nicole’s mystery object before she reveals it! Click here to check out the video.
Guiding Question: Did you guess correctly? What clues helped you? What clues didn’t? What clues would you give instead?
Behind the Scenes
Scientist Allen snapped a quick pic with one of our atlas moths while he was working in the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven last week! Lots of people are discovering these cool critters because of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” These beauties have been one of our Museum favorites for a long time.