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1.  What you can do
2.  Water
3.  Ecology
4.  Amphibians
5.  Environmental Issues
6.  Keystone species
7.  Get Wet!-
     Field Study Ideas

8.  The Zoo Experience
9.  Frogs & Friends
10. Case Studies
11. Resources
12. Glossary


The Zoo collection is dynamic. It is not possible to anticipate all the answers that your students might have to the questions posed on the Activity Sheets but the following "answers" will provide some help to educators.

Note: These may not be the only answers your students find. You may have to check their answers with a reliable reference source.

8.2 Spotting Wetland Creatures -

  1. Animals with similar adaptations to hippos: False Gharial, Spectacled Caiman, Alligator (other members of the crocodile family), and the Surinam Toad.
  2. Webbed feet: various types of ducks, flamingos, beaver, Spiny Softshell Turtle and other aquatic turtles, several species of frogs, polar bears (yes, their front feet are slightly webbed like ducks!)
  3. Oil glands: ducks and other waterfowl, beavers
  4. Snorkel-nosed species can keep their bodies underwater while breathing air. They remain hidden from predators or their prey.

8.3 Animal Adaptations

  1. Camouflaged animals: Mata Mata Turtle, Emerald Tree Boa, stick insects and various insect species (see exhibits in the Americas and Indo-Malayan areas), Great Horned Owl (from a distance blends in with dead tree branches), Jaguar, Leopard.... look around for more!
  2. Bright Colours: Many tropical fish and bird species, Golden Lion Tamarin (a primate). Bright colours can be used to attract mates, as warning signals, and as means of communication.
  3. Giants: Cockroaches, Orange-kneed Spider, Elephants, Hippos, Giraffes, Aldabra Tortoise
  4. Animals built for life in the trees: Orangutans, White-handed Gibbons, Three-toed Sloth, various species of marmosets and birds, Sugar Glider.
  5. Animals that use hibernation or aestivation: prairie dog, ground squirrel, bats, frogs, toads, salamanders, bears.

8.5 Animal Communications

  1. For mating - treefrogs are tiny and well hidden by the forest environment. Trees absorb or muffle sound; a big voice allows the frog to be heard over the other sounds of the forest so that other frogs of his species know where he is.
  2. a) Fish need to communicate for the same reasons as other animals: to mark territory to find a mate, to warn others of its kind about danger.
    b) Fish communicate in a variety of ways: chemical, tactile, acoustic and visual. Fish can inform others of their territory by secreting chemicals from certain glands. Chemical communication also includes the use of pheromones. Female fish produce pheromones that tell a male fish they are ready for mating. Visual means of communication are unique to each species, but can include movements, shape, or colour patterns.
  3. Amphibians start to call later in the season as you move north because of the seasonal differences. By having different mating periods each species has its own niche, for example, early season breeders may be able to make use of temporary ponds that later breeders wouldn't have available to them, or their young may emerge at slightly early or later, therefore having access to a different type of food.

8.6 "Latin" Lurks at the Zoo

  1. Animals with similar scientific and common names:

    Camelus dromedarius, Dromedary
    Camelus bactrianus, Bactrian Camel
    Muntiacus muntjak, Muntjac
    Giraffa camelopardalis, Giraffe
    Rhinoceros unicornis, Indian Rhinoceros
    Lemur catta, Ring-tailed Lemur
    Gorilla gorilla gorilla, Western Lowland Gorilla
    Boa constrictor, Boa constrictor
    Hippopotamus amphibius, River Hippopotamus
    Alligator mississippiensis, American Alligator
    Caiman crocodilus crocodilus, Spectacled Caiman
    Python reticulus, Reticulated Python
    Osphronemus goramy, Jumbo Gourami

  2. Species with names that indicate a geographic region:

    Bufo americanus, Bullfrog
    Castor canadensis, Beaver
    Felix canadensis, Canadian Lynx
    Lutra canadensis, North American Otter
    Ursus americanus, Black Bear
    Alligator mississippiensis, American Alligator
    Bison bison athabasca, Wood Bison
    Ovis orientalis, Asian Mouflon
    Loxodonta africana, African Elephant
    Dromaius novaehollandiae, Emu

  3. Species with names that imply something about size or colour:

    Pongo pygmaeus, Orangutan
    Cebuella pygamaea, Pygmy Marmoset
    Geochelone gigantea, Aldabra Tortoise
    Felis rufus, Bobcat
    Phoenicopterus ruber roseus, Greater Flamingo

  4. Members of the cat (Felidae) family that you might encounter at the Zoo.

    Achinonyx jubatus, Cheetah
    Felis rufus, Bobcat
    Felis pardalis, Ocelot
    Felix canadensis, Canadian Lynx
    Felix concolor, Cougar
    Panthera onca, Jaguar
    Panthera pardus, Leopard
    Panthera uncia, Snow Leopard
    Pantheris leo, Lion
    Pantheris tigris altaica, Siberian tiger
    Pantheris tigris tigris, Bengal tiger

8.7 Wild Life at Risk

  1. Some of the Zoo species at risk:
    Clouded Leopard		Great Indian Rhinoceros
    Malayan Tapir		Lion-tailed Macaque
    False Gharial		Orangutan
    Great Hornbill		Wattled Crane
    Gaur			Malayan Bonytongue
    African Elephant		Grevy's Zebra
    Cheetah			Ngege (Lake Victoria Cichlid Fish)
    Desert Pupfish		White-tailed Gnu
    Pygmy Hippopotamus	Aldabra Tortoise
    Dwarf African Crocodile	Lowland Gorilla
    Siberian Tiger		Przewalksi's Horse
    Red Panda		Scimitar Horned Oryx
    Snow Leopard		Polar Bear
    Wood Bison		Golden Lion Tamarin
    Massasauga Rattlesnake	Grizzly Bear
    Brush-tailed Bettong		Leadbeater's Opossum

    Some reasons that animals become endangered:

    • Loss of habitat - mostly due to growing human populations -Giant Panda, Cheetah
    • Killed for pelts, skins, or feathers - spotted cats, snakes, birds
    • Killed for medicinal purposes or folklore - Tiger (bones), Rhino (horn), Black Bear (gall bladders)
    • Over collected for food - Ngege, Cod, Tapir, Whales
    • Killed for sport or trophy - Big Horned Sheep, Alligator Snapping Turtle
    • Poisoning and predator persecution, victims of pesticides or herbicides - (Bald Eagle, Black-footed Ferret, Jaguar, many birds
    • Competition with domestic animals for food or water, or transmission of disease from domestic animals (Prezwalski's Horse, Plains Bison, Desert Pupfish)
    • Introduction of non-native species (Marine Toads take over native amphibian habitat, Nile Perch in Lake Victoria)
    • Pet trade - Parrots, macaws and other tropical bird, fishes & small primates)
    • War - (Elephants, Rhinos, Gorillas)

  2. PCBs and other pollutants are carried on the wind and are deposited by rain and snow in the arctic. (See also Long Range Transport of Air Pollutants, this guide.)
  3. The students will generate many ideas. Unit 1: What You Can Do and Unit 5: Environmental Issues will provide background for this topic.


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