Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Native Animals: Turkey Vulture and a Tiger Salamander

As part of the animal adaptation science unit,
the group from Wildlife Experience will bring ten local wild animals to Mrs. Yollis' class for careful scientific study.

Here are some images and facts from our first experience!

All of the animals are native animals. That means they are found naturally in our area.

Did you learn any other facts about turkey vultures or salamanders?

Have you seen either of these animals in the wild?


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Seeing the animals was really exciting! My favorite part about it was when we got to touch the salamander. I also liked it when Ripper spread out his wings.

    Here are some facts I learned that you did not mention. This is a fact about turkey vultures. They can smell from two miles away! Here is a fact about salamanders. The tiger salamander is the largest in the United States, and the largest in the world is the Chinese giant salamander.

    Which animal was your favorite? Why?


  2. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I thought the wildlife expierience was cool. During spring break me and my family went to Ojai. We saw an animal show just like this one except it was not in a classroom, it was showed morethan two animals,andonly got shown once.
    I agree with Kendall I thought Ripper out his wings was preety cool.I am happy the animal wildlife expirience comes 5 times instead of one time so we can expirience all diffrent kinds of animals and how they live. I wonder how can a bird family can live in such a small nests. Sam wasa vewry excited about the wildlife expierience.

    Your friend,

  3. Dear Mrs Yollis and your students,
    wow how lucky are you all to be able to get up and close to these wonderful native animals.
    I must say I loved the fact you were be able to study Ripper and his features so closely. One thing that I did pick up is that Ripper head seemed smaller in porportion to the rest of his body. Also I always thought that Turkey Vulture beaks where all one colour but to my suprise it is an ivory coloured beak.
    Thankyou for this wonderful lesson
    from your friend down under AA.

  4. @ Kendall,

    I loved seeing the animals up close as well. The salamander has such an interesting texture. It felt rubbery to me. I was surprised at the wingspan of the turkey vulture...five feet!

    I'm glad you added that fact about what a keen sense of smell the vulture has. Those big nostril holes in its beak really help him smell. You are can smell things that are two miles away!

    Thanks for sharing the fact about the Chinese giant salamander. Did you see a photo of it when you Googled it? It's huge!

    You asked me which animal is my favorite. So far, I like the skunk the best. The fur on Punk the Skunk was so fluffy and pretty.

    Which animal is your favorite and why?

    @ Julia,

    We have been enjoying the Wildlife Experience program too.

    You asked about the bird nest that she brought. She said that a house finch lays eggs in that nest.

    Which was your favorite animal and why?

    @ AA,

    We feel so fortunate to get to see these local animals up close. It really makes a difference. You are very observant. Yes, the tip of the beak was ivory colored and not completely red. I hadn't noticed!

    Mrs. Yollis

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am sorry to say that I was unable to see any pictures of the skunk, owl, vulture or salamander. I could hear the music and read the commentary, but I received a "not found" where the pictures were supposed to be. However, it was interesting to hear about the native animals. Animal adaptation is a fascinating topic because we learn how we all have a part in the structure of our environment. Of these animals my favorite is the turkey vulture. While some people are revolted by the vultures' choice of food sources, they certainly do us all a big favor by being a sort of "clean-up" crew for our environment! I am so glad your students are learning some engaging scientific facts!
    Marsha Cooke
    (Kendall's grandmother)

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I am so impressed to see how everybody shares their animal experience to each other.

    In my opinion, turkey vultures are not good looking birds, but have very interesting characters.

    The facts that I know about turkey vultures are: They can glide for over six hours at a time without flapping a wing. They also urinate on their legs because in the summertime. It makes them cool as the urine evaporates and also the urine contains strong acid which kill any bacteria that remain in their legs from stepping in their meals.

    Best wishes,

  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I can tell that it is fun to get close look at the native animals. Many of us are not that familar with the fact that who are our native animals and their features. Of course this lesson will provide the kids to fill this gap. If there is chance, we would like to take Paul to see the wild animals in Africa some day. We had friends who just came back from Africa and told us it is wonderful experience.

    Matthew (Paul's dad)


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