Living Science

December 7, 2000

The 7-foot Queensland Carpet Python was considerably more comfortable in our room than most of us--except for Sarah, who had no apparent fear. Mom would freak out if she knew!

These Living Science people really believe in hands-on-education. Our 50-minute program, called the "Rain Forests of the World," will be something to remember for quite a while.

We really didn't know what to expect next when Mrs. Walker from the Living Science Foundation visited our classroom. She displayed a variety of animals from the tropical regions of our planet.

The African Grey Parrot didn't mind us petting his beautiful plumage. We were allowed to decide how much we wanted to interact with each animal. If we gave Mrs. Walker one thumb up, that meant we wanted to touch the animal.

If we gave her the two thumbs up signal, that meant we wanted to hold the animal--even if it was green and slimy.

Amphibians are the smallest class of living vertebrates. Jeffrey is amazed with the grip of the Waxy Tree Frog. Amphibian comes from the Greek "Amphibios", which means to lead a double life by living alternately on land and in water.

Kevin can hardly believe the size of this African Millipede. With four legs per body segment, this creature really gets a grip on things in the African grasslands. Like most giant black millipedes, this guy is quite harmless; but they do discharge a secretion which can create a mild burning sensation if it gets into a recent cut. Millipedes play an important role in the environment by feeding on decaying organic matter--not fingers.

 Sheldon is a beautiful Red-footed Tortoise who enjoyed a slow tour of our classroom.

Brigitte and Mario were fascinated by the color and texture of his shell. Sheldon is only 18 years old and could easily live another 60 years.

The Living Science Foundation provides science programs in Michigan and California schools.

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