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It’s amazing how animals change as they grow up! While some are born looking a lot like their parents, others go through a huge transformation. Even wilder, some babies are on their own from the moment they hatch! Let’s learn more about some baby animals and their parents.
What are froglets?
Have you ever heard of a froglet? A froglet is a tiny frog that has recently developed from a tadpole. This photo features several wood froglets. Like other amphibians, wood frogs go through several life stages. Click here to explore this life cycle in more detail!
Guiding Question: What differences can you see between the tadpole stage and the froglet stage? What about the froglet stage and the frog stage?
This is a painted turtle hatchling. Although painted turtles can grow to about 7 inches long, they’re only about the size of a quarter when they hatch. From the moment they hatch, they’re on their own. Mother turtles take their time and find a safe place to lay their eggs, but don’t stay to help raise their young. We often see these young turtles crossing the walking paths near the Nature Museum.
Want to make your own tiny turtle? Check out this guide to creating your own turtles out of egg cartons! Then, be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
A leap of faith
This spring, be on the lookout for wood ducklings. Just one day after hatching they take an incredible leap of faith. Watch this video to learn more.
Guiding Question: How are human babies and wood ducklings similar? How are they different? What did you notice as the duckling was jumping? Why do you think the ducklings jump out of the tree?
How do smooth greensnakes care for their young?
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Smooth greensnakes are one of the species that Dr. Allison works with. But how do they take care of their young? Click here to download our worksheet and explore this topic with your scientist.
Teaching Tip: You can find more background information about smooth greensnakes in this young reader-focused article, featuring Dr. Allison.
Do turkeys take care of their young?
Like some other birds, young turkeys stick close to their parents for several weeks. The babies, or poults, actually learn to respond to their mom’s alarm call before leaving the nest. Within the first few hours after hatching, they start learning to peck at food by mimicking their mom.
Guiding Question: What local birds can you think of that have a similar family structure? Do we see baby geese (goslings) with their parents? How about baby ducks (ducklings)?
Behind the Scenes
Did you know that young sandhill cranes stay with their parents for almost a year? Typically, they stay with their parents for 9 to 10 months, and even migrate with them. Check out this video of some sandhill crane parents and their young that Dr. Allison captured while doing fieldwork!