It’s National Pollinator Week! ?

Post written by Alexa Leinaweaver, Live Animal Husbandry Coordinator.

?It’s National Pollinator Week!

June 22-28, 2020, is the 13th annual National Pollinator Week!

What Are Pollinators?

Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another flower of the same species in the first step toward the plant reproducing. While pollinators are primarily insects (bees, beetles, flies, moths, butterflies), there are also some birds and small mammals that pollinate plants too.

More than 70% — and possibly as much as 90%! — of flowering plants are dependent on pollination for creating seeds and fruit. It is estimated that one out of every three bites of food you eat was made possible by animal pollinators!

Many of the animals that pollinate are in decline. Pollinator habitats are shrinking or getting destroyed so they have no space to live or feed. In addition, overuse of pesticides, environmental pollution, and climate change are all adding risks to these animals.

Pollinators in Colorado

In Colorado, we have a wide range of habitats and extreme changes in altitude – different bees will thrive in each area. Because of that variety of habitat, Colorado is home to more than 900 species of bees! There are more than 200 bees in Larimer County alone. The smallest bee in Colorado is the Miner Bee (Perdita salacis) at 3.5mm/0.1in; the largest is the Nevada Bumblebee (Bombus nevadensis) at 26.5mm/1in. Colorado bees are colorful, too! Different species may be the usual yellow and black, or range to red, orange, green, blue, or brown.

Most bees in Colorado (and the rest of the world too) are solitary bees that don’t live in a colony like the familiar honeybee. Most of these solitary bees are ground nesters, digging burrows in the soil or using abandoned rodent burrows. Some of the bees here are cavity nesters, finding holes or cavities in twigs or logs.

In Colorado, bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the crops in our state.

In addition to bees, other pollinators in Colorado include approximately 250 species of butterfly and more than 1,000 species of moth. There are also 11 species of hummingbird that migrate through the state from April through September.

How can you help pollinators?

Learn more about the pollinators in the space where you live. Spend some time outside and observe the animals that are visiting your garden. What kinds of animals do you see? What colors are they? How do they behave as they visit flowers?

Create good habitats for pollinators around your home. Whether you have acres of land or just a window box, you can help pollinators by offering them food and shelter. Plant a variety of flowering plants (preferably native – CSU has a great example list of native plants for pollinators) that offer food and nesting space. Provide several different kinds of blooming plants near each other, and use plants that have different bloom times, so that flowers are available to pollinators from early spring through late fall. Plant in sunny locations that are protected from the wind.

Don’t “clean up” your yard in the fall. Leave all the dormant or dead plants alone rather than trimming them back for the winter season — cavity nesting bees and other pollinating insects will use them as a safe home during the cold weather. Leave some leaf litter around for butterflies and moths to use as insulation over the winter, rather than raking it all up and dumping it in the landfill. If you can include materials in your yard such as logs or wood nesting blocks, you provide space for species that nest in wood to survive the snow. Leave some of the ground uncovered (i.e. don’t put mulch everywhere) for the native bees that nest in the bare dirt for the winter.

Reduce use of chemicals for controlling weeds and pests, as these can hurt or kill beneficial pollinators as well.

Protect natural habitat.

 Share what you know. Talk to your friends and family about what you have learned about pollinators and how and why you are helping them. Talk to your local and state government about how important it is to protect pollinators.

 

 

 

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Musicians from Colorado/ Músicos de Colorado

Post written by Eisen Tamkun, Music Programming Lead.

Musicians from Colorado

Colorado has produced some amazing musicians. Explore these groups and individuals! Learn where they are based, interesting tidbits, and more!

Pretty Lights

Band Members (current): Derek Vincent Smith- Born Nov. 25, 1981, Fort Collins, CO

Formed: Boulder, CO 2004

Genre: Electronic

Top Album: A Color Map of the Sun

OneRepublic

Formed in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2002, OneRepublic has won several music awards with many nominations. Including nominations for American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, World Music Awards, and Grammy Awards.

Band Members (current): Ryan Tedder,, Zach Filkins, Drew Brown, Brent Kutzle, Eddie Fisher, Brian Willett.

Genre: Pop Rock, Pop, Alternative Rock.

Top Album: Native

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Currently based in Denver, Colorado. Nathaniel Rateliff grew up in Missouri. When he came to Denver he first formed Born in the Flood (2002-2008), which transitioned into a more stripped down solo focused effort called Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel (2007-2014). In 2013, while still preforming in earlier bands and groups, Rateliff began a more upbeat and soulful project with longtime collaborator Joseph Pope III and other collaborators. Thus Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats was born.

Band Members (current): Nathaniel Rateliff, Joseph Pope III, Patrick Meese, Like Mossman, Jeff Dazey, Mark Shusterman, Andreas Wild.

Genre: Soul, Gospel, Folk Rock, Blues Rock, Americana

Top Album: In Memory Of Loss

Gregory Alan Isakov

Currently based in Boulder, Colorado, Isakov originally lived in Johannesburg, South Africa. He and his family immigrated to the US in 1986 and was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He draws influence from Leonard Cohen, Kelly Joe Phelps, and Bruce Springsteen.

Band Members (current): Gregory Alan Isakov

Genre: Contemporary Folk, Indie Folk, Country Folk

Top Album: This Empty Northern Hemisphere

The Lumineers

Based in Denver, Colorado. The original two founding members Fraites and Schultz began writing and preforming music together in Ramsey, New Jersey in 2005. They were influenced by musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty.

Band Members (current): Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites

Genre: Indie Folk, Folk Rock, Americana

Top Album: The Lumineers

30H!3

Duo from Boulder, Colorado. They took their name from the area code of Boulder, 303.

Band Members (current): Sean Foreman, Nathaniel Motte

Genre: Synth-pop, Crunkcore, Trap, Electronic Rock, Alternative Rock

Top Album: Streets of Gold

DeVotchka

Denver band, formed in 1997. They take their name form the Russian word devotchka (девочка) meaning “girl”.

Band Members (current): Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder, Shawn King.

Genre: Gypsy Punk, Dark Cabaret, Indie Folk, Indie Rock

Top Album: A Mad and Faithful Telling

Big Head Tod and the Monsters

Formed in 1986 by three Columbine High School students. Began

touring clubs in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder until they built up a following across Colorado and the West. Started touring extensively dubbing their van the “Colonel” who drove over 400,000 miles.

Band Members (current): Todd Park Mohr, Brian Nevin, Rob Squires, Jeremy Lawton.

Genre: Rock, Blue Rock, Alternative Rock, Funk Rock, Southern Rock, Country Rock, Folk, Jass-Fussion, Jam Band.

Top Album: Sister Sweetly

Tennis

From Denver, Colorado, Tennis formed in 2010. The husband-wife duo debuted their album Cape Dory in 2011.

Band Members (current):Patrick Riley, Alaina Moore

Genre: Indie Pop, Dream Pop, Surf Pop, Lo-Fi

Top Album: Yours Conditionally

Yonder Mountain String Band

Formed in Nederland, Colorado 1998 this progressive bluegrass group played their first show at the Fox Theater in Boulder.

Band Members (current): Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston, Adam Aijala, Allie Kral, and Jake Jolliff.

Genre: Progressive Bluegrass, Country, Jam Band.

Top Album: Elevation

The Fray

The Fray originate from Denver, Colorado in 2002. They achieved worldwide fame with their song “How to Safe a Live”.

Band Members (current): Isaac Slade, Joe King, Dave Welsh, and Ben Wysocki.

Genre: Rock

Top Album: How to Save a Life

 

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Músicos de Colorado

¿Sabías que muchos músicos increíbles y famosos han salido de Colorado? Explora los grupos musicales y artistas de nuestro estado, conoce en dónde se basan, algunos datos curiosos y más, mientras escuchas estos géneros musicales diversos.

Pretty Lights

Artista actual: Derek Vincent Smith, nacido el 25 de noviembre de 1981 en Fort Collins, Colorado.

Inició en: Boulder, Colorado, en 2004.

Género: Música electrónica.

Álbum más exitoso: A Color Map of the Sun.

The Fray

La banda The Fray se originó en Denver, Colorado, en el año 2002. Alcanzaron fama mundial con su canción “How to Safe a Life.”

Miembros de la banda (actualmente):

Isaac Slade, Joe King, Dave Welsh, y Ben Wysocki.

Género: Rock.

Álbum más exitoso: How to Save a Life.

Yonder Mountain String Band

Este grupo se formó en el año 1998 en Nederland, Colorado, tocando su primer concierto en el Fox Theater de Boulder.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston, Adam Aijala, Allie Kral, y Jake Jolliff.

Género: Bluegrass, Música country, Jam Band.

Álbum más exitoso: Elevation.

Tennis

Originalmente de Denver, Colorado, Tennis se formó en el año 2010. La pareja casada debutó su álbum Cape Dory en 2011.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Patrick Riley y Alaina Moore.

Género: Música pop/independiente (Indie Pop, Dream Pop, Surf Pop, Lo-Fi).

Álbum más exitoso: Yours Conditionally.

Big Head Tod and the Monsters

Formado en el año 1986 por tres alumnos de Columbine High School, este grupo empezó a tocar música en discotecas y clubs hasta que alcanzaron popularidad por todo Colorado y partes del oeste. Les gusta viajar en su vehículo extensamente, y por lo tanto nombraron a su camioneta “La coronel.” Han manejado más de 400,000 millas recorriendo Estados Unidos.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Todd Park Mohr, Brian Nevin, Rob Squires, y Jeremy Lawton.

Género: Música Rock (Blues Rock, Rock alternativo, Funk Rock, Country Rock, Folk, Jazz-Fusion, Jam Band).

Álbum más exitoso: Sister Sweetly.

DeVotchka

Un grupo de Denver formado en el año 1997. Su nombre viene de la palabra rusa devotchka (девочка), que significa “niña.”

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder, Shawn King.

Género: Punk gitano, música cabaret oscura, Indie Folk, Rock independiente

Álbum más exitoso: A Mad and Faithful Telling.

30H!3

Dúo de Boulder, Colorado. Tomaron su nombre del código de área de su ciudad, 303.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Sean Foreman, Nathaniel Motte.

Género: Synth-pop, Crunkcore, Trap, Rock electrónica, rock alternativo.

Álbum más exitoso: Streets of Gold.

The Lumineers

Basados en Denver, Colorado, los fundadores Fraites y Schultz empezaron a escribir y tocar música juntos en Ramsey, Nueva Jersey en el año 2005. Son influenciados por músicos como Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan y Tom Petty.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Wesley Schultz y Jeremiah Fraites.

Género: Folk y rock independiente, música Americana.

Álbum más exitoso: The Lumineers

Gregory Alan Isakov

Actualmente basado en Boulder, Colorado, Isakov originalmente vivió en Johannesburg, Sudáfrica. Junto con su familia, emigró a los Estados Unidos en 1986 y fue criado en Filadelfia, Pensilvania. Se inspira en la música de Leonard Cohen, Kelly Joe Phelps, y Bruce Springsteen.

Artista: Gregory Alan Isakov.

Género: Folk contemporáneo, Folk independiente, Country Folk.

Álbum más exitoso: This Empty Northern Hemisphere.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Actualmente basados en Denver, Colorado. Nathaniel Rateliff creció en el estado de Misuri. Cuando se mudó a Denver, formó el grupo Born in the Flood (2002-2008). Eventualmente se volvió un proyecto diferente nombrado Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel (2007-2014). En 2013, mientras todavía tocaba en otros grupos, Rateliff empezó a colaborar con Joseph Pope III y otros miembros. Así nació Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Nathaniel Rateliff, Joseph Pope III, Patrick Meese, Like Mossman, Jeff Dazey, Mark Shusterman, y Andreas Wild.

Género: Soul, música góspel, Folk Rock, Blues Rock, música Americana.

Álbum más exitoso: In Memory of Loss.

OneRepublic

Formada en Colorado Springs, Colorado en el año 2002, la banda OneRepublic ha ganado varios premios musicales y muchas nominaciones, incluyendo algunas para premios de Billboard Music Awards, Premios American Music, World Music Awards, y los premios Grammy.

Miembros de la banda (actualmente): Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Drew Brown, Brent Kutzle, Eddie Fisher, y Brian Willett.

Género: Pop Rock, Pop, rock alternativo.

Álbum más exitoso: Native.

 

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Bohemian Foundation.

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The Pollinator You Know: The Honeybee!

Post written by Alexa Leinaweaver, Live Animal Husbandry Coordinator.

The Pollinator You Know: The Honeybee!

When most people hear about pollination, the first thing they think of is the honeybee.

The oldest bee that scientists have found so far was in Myanmar, encased in amber and dated at 100 million years old! Bees that old were hunters, eating other insects. At some point they started visiting flowers for nectar and pollen, changing into the honeybees that we know and love.

Honeybee colonies have been kept in man-made hives since Ancient Egypt and have been important throughout human history. In addition to being delicious as a sweetener in food, honey can be used to make mead (an alcoholic drink), which works as an antiseptic. It has even been used to embalm mummies! Beeswax can be used in making many products, such as candles, soap, cosmetics, and waterproofing. Honey and bees are so important that people have named their children after bees. Deborah and Melissa both mean “bee” in different languages; Pamela derives from a word for “honey”.

When Europeans colonized the Americas in the 17th century, there were no native honeybees. Native Americans tribes at the time kept and traded other kinds of bees. European settlers brought the Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) along with their familiar crop plants when they moved to the Americas. As we have expanded across the planet, humans have deliberately expanded the range of the Western Honey Bee, and it is now found on every continent in the world except Antarctica.

Healthy Honeybee Colonies

In a healthy honeybee colony, you can see thousands of individual bees. Most of what you see are the worker bees, which are females that cannot lay eggs. There are usually 10,000-50,000 workers per colony. The workers care for the queen and young, defend the hive with their stingers, build comb for the young honeybees and the honey, and collect food. There are also drones, which are the male honeybees. There are about 1,000 drones in a given colony. Drones have no sting, do not forage for food, and cannot defend the hive. Their only purpose is to mate with the queen. There is only one queen bee in the colony. She is larger than all the other bees, and usually has a circle of worker bees around her (her “court”) that take care of her, bringing her food and cleaning her. The queen is the only individual who can lay eggs, and can lay as many as 2,000 eggs per day!

The worker bees leave the hive and may fly up to two miles away from their home to find food. They seek out flowers and collect nectar, which is a sugary solution that flowers produce in order to attract pollinators. The worker bee then returns to the hive and performs a dance to indicate to her fellow workers where she found food. The collected nectar is transformed into honey and may be consumed by any of the adult bees or fed to the young who cannot yet fly to find their own food. The honey can also be harvested by humans.

Honeybee colonies normally survive for several years, going dormant in the winter cold and then becoming active in the warmer months. During favorable conditions (an abundance of food), the hive will create “daughter queens,” and the old queen and much of her colony will relocate to make room for the new queens.

What is happening with the FCMoD colony?

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has had a bee colony in the Animal Encounters exhibit for our visitors to watch and enjoy since the exhibit opened. However, our colony has collapsed several times since then. Each time we have obtained a new colony from our professional beekeeper.

There are a lot of environmental factors that can negatively affect a honeybee colony, and a lot of colonies around the world are struggling and collapsing right now. There are some pesticides that are worse for bees, especially the class of pesticide called neonicotinoids. There are diseases and parasites that can affect a colony. Climate change may also be playing a factor with bee colonies dying.

What our beekeeper thinks may be happening to the honeybee colony here at FCMoD is that the bees may have found a flower source in the area that has been sprayed with a certain kind of pesticide. They collect the nectar and pesticide, then carry it back to the colony and tell their sisters where to find more. The bees eat the poisoned nectar and honey, and die.

How can we stop honeybee colony collapse?

There are a lot of different pesticides that people use to control weeds and to get rid of bugs they don’t like. But since we do like the honeybees and the honey they make, we need to make sure that we use pesticides that won’t hurt the bees. Pesticide application can be done at night when bees are not foraging. Additionally, making sure not to apply pesticides to blooming plants will help prevent bee deaths.

Like all animals, bees need good quality and abundant food. We can plant native flowers at our homes so honeybees and all the native Colorado bees have healthy and nutritious food sources.

We should also look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment around us, improving the lives of all animals that we share our environment with. Find reusable products instead of single use items you throw away. Turn off the lights in empty rooms. Compost. Take shorter showers. Each of us can have a huge positive impact on the wild animals that live around us.

Learn more about how pesticides can affect bees and other wildlife:

EPA Tips for Reducing Pesticide Impacts on Wildlife

National Pesticide Information Center: Protecting Wildlife from Pesticides

Learn about native plants you can use in your garden:

Colorado Native Plant Society plant lists

Find out how to reduce your impact on the environment:

World Wildlife Fund’s Tips for Reducing Your Environmental Impact

Can you spot the queen bee in this picture? She is larger and a slightly different color.

The FCMoD honeybee colony, in Spring of 2018.

Photos courtesy of Alexa Leinaweaver

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Daily Discovery: Celebrate our State Fossil- Build Your Own Stegosaurus/ Descubrimiento en casa: Celebrando el fósil oficial de Colorado – Crea tu propio estegosaurio

Post written by Angela Kettle, School Programs Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Celebrate our State Fossil – Build Your Own Stegosaurus

Did you know that the Stegosaurus was named Colorado’s state fossil in 1982? Build your very own Stegosaurus using household materials. Then, discover a little bit about how the Stegosaurus lived!

Supplies:

All supplies are optional. Use what you have!

• Air dry clay or play-doh for the Stegosaurus body
• Cardboard or paper plates for the Stegosaurus plates
• Construction paper for the Stegosaurus spikes
• Glue or tape
• Markers
• Paint

Instructions:

1. Build your Stegosaurus! Be innovative with your materials, and use the graphic to help guide you! Here is one way you could build your stegosaurus:

  • Did you know that the Stegosaurus was around 21 feet long and 30 feet tall in real life? Since we’ll be making a model in this activity – or a smaller version of the original — decide how big you want your Stegosaurus to be for this purpose.
  • Use play-doh to make the body. The Stegosaurus is known to have a small skull, short upper limbs, broad feet, and a  relatively long tail.
  • Use the cardboard to make the Stegosaurus’s plates. The plates are mostly triangular. Press these cardboard plates into the Stegosaurus body in an alternating pattern. (Fun fact: did you
    know that no two plates from the same Stegosaurus are  identical?)
  • Cut down your construction paper. Use the pieces to make 4 spikes. Press these spikes into the Stegosaurus tail.
  • Paint or color your Stegosaurus if desired.

2. Behold your 3D Stegosaurus creation!

Questions to Ponder:

1. How might a Stegosaurus use its plates? What about its spikes?Why do you think?

2. Stegosauruses have very small, flat teeth. What other animals have flat teeth? What do you think Stegosaurus was eating based on its teeth?

3. Study the picture of the Stegosaurus, along with your 3D creation. Based on its anatomy (how it is structured), how do you think a Stegosaurus would look when it moved?

4. Research your answers here.

References and Additional Information:

Povid, K. (n.d.). A Stegosaurus brought to life. Natural History Museum. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/stegosaurus-brought-to-life.html

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). Stegosaurus. In Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/animal/Stegosaurus

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Fort Fund.

 

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: Celebrando el fósil oficial de Colorado – Crea tu propio estegosaurio

¿Sabías que el estegosaurio fue nombrado el fósil oficial del estado de Colorado en el año de 1982? Crea tu propio estegosaurio utilizando materiales que ya tienes en casa, y ¡descubre un poco más sobre cómo vivió este dinosaurio asombroso!

Artículos necesarios:

Todos estos materiales son opcionales. Puedes usar lo que tengas disponible en casa.
• Arcilla o plastilina (para el cuerpo de estegosaurio)
• Cartulina o platos desechables/de papel (para las placas)
• Papel de colores (para las púas)
• Pegamento y/o cinta adhesiva
• Marcadores
• Pinturas

Instrucciones:

1. ¡Construye tu estegosaurio! Sé innovador/a con tus materiales y utiliza la imagen a continuación como guía. Sigue estos pasos para construir este dinosaurio único:

  • ¿Sabías que el estegosaurio medía 6.2 metros (21 pies) de largo y 9.1 metros (30 pies) de alto? Para esta actividad, tú decide el tamaño que quieras. Tu dinosaurio puede ser pequeño, mediano o muy grande.
  • Una opción es utilizar arcilla o plastilina para moldear el cuerpo del estegosaurio. Esta creatura es conocida por su cráneo pequeño, extremidades delanteras muy cortas, patas anchas, y una cola larga y rígida.
  • Utiliza la cartulina o platos desechables para formar las placas. Estas son mayormente triangulares. Presiónalas contra el cuerpo de tu estegosaurio en dos hileras. Dato curioso: ¿sabías que ningunas de las placas de un estegosaurio eran idénticas una de la otra? ¡Todas eran diferentes!
  • Corta tu papel de colores en formas puntiagudas para hacer cuatro púas, y presiónalas contra la cola de tu estegosaurio.
  • Si quieres, pinta o colorea tu modelo. Como mencionamos antes, todavía no se sabe de qué color eran estos grandiosos animales, así que puedes pintarlo y decorarlo con tus colores favoritos y de la manera que quieras.

2. Cuando esté completamente terminado, ¡admira tu propio modelo de estegosaurio en tercera dimensión hecho por ti mismo y muéstraselo a tu familia!

Y hablando de estos dinosaurios, ¿puedes contestar a estas preguntas?

1. ¿Para qué crees que un estegosaurio usaría sus placas? ¿Y sus púas? ¿Para qué servirían?

2. Los estegosaurios tenían dientes relativamente pequeños con facetas planas. Basándonos en la estructura de sus dientes, ¿qué crees que este dinosaurio comía? ¿Hoy día, cuáles otros animales tienen sus dientes así?

3. Estudia la imagen del estegosaurio que está más arriba, y también tu propio modelo. Observando su anatomía (su cuerpo/estructura) ¿cómo crees que estos animales se movían?

4. Investiga tus respuestas aquí (enlace en inglés para el National History Museum): https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/stegosaurus-brought-to-life.html

Referencias y más información:

Povid, K. (n.d.). A Stegosaurus brought to life. Natural History Museum. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/stegosaurus-brought-to-life.html

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). Stegosaurus. In Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/animal/Stegosaurus

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

Para encontrar actividades, ideas y mucho más descubrimiento en casa, ¡síguenos!

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Daily Discovery: “If You Love Honey” Bee Headband Craft

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Storytime in the Home – If You Love Honey  Bee Headband Craft

Follow along with FCMoD’s live stream Storytime in the Home: If You Love Honey: Nature’s Connections. Then gather all your supplies to create this adorable honeybee headband. Buzz Buzz!

Supplies:

  • Yellow and Black craft paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Place all your supplies on a clear surface with plenty of room to create.
  2. Cut a long strip of yellow craft paper.
  3. Cut a second strip of black craft paper and cut that into small bee stripes.
  4. Glue the black bee stripes to the yellow strip of craft paper leaving some yellow bits in between.
  5. Punch a hole in the ends of the strip and thread the yarn through to use as a tie.
  6. Curl one end of each pipe cleaner to make a small ball.
  7. Tape the pipe cleaners to the inside of the headband where you want each antenna to go.
  8. Tie your headband on and do a honeybee dance! BUZZZZZzzzz!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: Drawing Music/ Descubrimiento en casa: “Dibujando” música

Post written by Eisen Tamkun, Music Programming Lead.

Daily Discovery: Drawing Music

Music has the power to influence our emotions. Have you ever gotten a chill or thrill while listening to your favorite music? Listening to music is an easy way to alter your mood or relieve stress. Gain a deeper understanding of how music influences us by drawing!

Supplies:

  • Drawing Paper
  • Favorite drawing utensils: pens, pencils, paint, etc.
  • Listening device: iPhone, Computer, etc.

Instructions:

1. Take your paper and divide it into four sections. Label each section 1-4 in the top right corner.
2. Once you are ready to start drawing in section 1, begin playing Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan. Be sure there are no noises besides the song (works best with headphones). Continue drawing until the song is completely over. Listen and let the song guide your drawing. It can be shapes, images, or anything in between. If need be play through the song a second time (or more if you want!)
3. Move to section 2 on your paper and play Für Elise by Beethoven. Repeat Step 2 and listen to the whole song through letting it guide your drawing!
4. For section 3 listen to Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. Repeat Step 2.
5. Lastly, for section 4 play Take Me Home, Country Roads by John D. Repeat Step 2.

Now see if one of your family members can guess which one of your drawings match each song!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Bohemian.

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: “Dibujando” música

La música tiene el poder de influir en nuestras emociones. ¿Haz sentido alguna sensación de alegría o emoción mientras escuchas tu música favorita? Esta puede cambiarnos el humor y aliviar el estrés. Aprendamos cómo la música nos puede inspirar ¡mientras dibujamos!

Artículos necesarios:

  •  Hojas de papel
  • Utensilios para dibujar: plumas, lápices de color, pinturas, marcadores, etc.
  • Algún aparato para poder escuchar música: teléfono, computadora, radio, etc.
  • Opcional: audífonos

Instrucciones:

  1. Divide un papel en cuatro secciones. Numera del 1 al 4 la esquina superior derecha de cada sección.
  2.  Comienza a escuchar tu canción favorita, asegurándote de que no haya ningún otro ruido a tu alrededor (esta actividad funciona mejor con audífonos), y utilizando la sección número 1 del papel, comienza a dibujar lo que quieras mientras la escuchas. Deja que la música te guíe. Puedes trazar figuras, imágenes o cualquier cosa que sientas. Escucha la canción las veces que quieras mientras continúas expresándote por medio de lo que dibujas.
  3. Para el papel número 2, pon otra canción. Repite lo que hiciste anteriormente y escucha la canción entera mientras esta te guía para crear arte.
  4. Para los papeles números 3 y 4, escucha otras canciones que te gusten.
  5. Estas son algunas recomendaciones de nuestras canciones favoritas:
    • Foo Foo por Santana
    • Octopus’s Garden por The Beatles
    • Etude Op. 25 No. 11 (Winter Wind) por Chopin
    Tu rumba por iLe
    • Tu canción preferida.
    Para terminar, podrías ver si alguno de tus familiares puede adivinar las canciones que representan tus dibujos.

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

Para encontrar actividades, ideas y mucho más descubrimiento en casa, ¡síguenos!

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Bohemian.

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Daily Discovery: Meet the Amphibians! / Descubrimiento en casa: Conoce al animal – ¡los anfibios!

Post written by Hannah Curtis, Education Assistant.

Daily Discovery: Meet the Amphibians!

Metamorphic, ectothermic, and ecological indicators! What kind of animal has these terms in common? That’s right, amphibians: toads, frogs, salamanders, and newts! Meet FCMoD’s amphibians, and become a herpetologist in your own backyard!

What are Amphibians?

Amphibians are characterized as ectothermic (cold-blooded) vertebrates. They require water or moist environments to survive and for laying eggs. The skin on amphibians is very thin and permeable, so liquids and gases are absorbed through their skin, allowing them to breath underwater! Some small frogs and salamanders don’t even have lungs and rely only on this adaptation to breathe through their skin!

Almost all amphibians go through the process of metamorphosis. Adult females lay their eggs and once the larvae hatch, they have gills and resemble fish. Through metamorphosis they grow four legs and air breathing lungs!

At FCMoD we care for a variety of amphibians. Check out a few of their individual life histories!

Threats from Water Pollution

Amphibians play an important role in their wild ecosystems, but they – and their water-based habitats – become threatened due to water toxicity and pollution. Because frogs, toads and salamanders spend most of their time in or around water environments, they will come into contact with any toxic chemicals in the water or abnormal rising temperatures.

Amphibians are like sponges! They absorb and breathe in whatever is in the water. Due to their easy susceptibility to unhealthy water conditions, they are a great indicator species for an ecosystem; they can be used to infer conditions in a particular habitat. If there is clean, fresh water, frogs and toads are going to be healthy. If there is trash, chemical waste like pesticides or oil spillage, or food processing waste in the water, the animals breathe in these bad, unhealthy things and are at high risk of dying.

You can help amphibians in the wild by remembering a few things:

  1. If you see a frog or toad, try not to touch it without gloves or clean hands (no hand sanitizer), as you could expose them to germs and chemicals.
  2. Always remember to dispose of your trash properly; if you see trash in a natural area or in a body of water, set an example for others in your community by cleaning it up!
  3. Buy and eat organic food. This reduces the use of harmful pesticides and insecticides that can leak into water sources, and don’t use pesticides on your own yard or garden.
  4. If you have a pet amphibian, protect them from noise and disturbance from other pets in your house.
  5. Share with others about what you learned about amphibians, and all the ways we can protect them!
  6. Remember that if you take care of the earth, the earth will take care of you and all the wildlife too!

Observations in the Backyard!

Whether it is in your backyard, neighborhood or at a Natural Area, animals can be observed just about anywhere! Herpetologists are scientists who study amphibians, as well as reptiles. They study and observe these animals in the wild to learn about their behaviors and identify their role within the ecosystem. Be a backyard herpetologist and observe animals similar to the museum’s amphibians and record what you discover!

Supplies:

  • Writing utensil
  • Paper
  • Computer and internet access (optional)

Instructions:

  1. If you created an observational journal, write down your animal observations in the “explore your world” section. If not, create your own observational chart, using the provided guiding questions.
  2. Head out to your backyard or take a walk to a natural area with a water source to explore amphibians and their habitats.
  3. Check out FrogWatch USA to learn about the frogs and toads native to Colorado and listen to their unique croaks and calls!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

 

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: Conoce al animal – ¡los anfibios!

Son metamórficos, ectotérmicos e indicadores ecológicos. ¿Cuáles animales comparten estas características? ¡Los anfibios por supuesto! Estos incluyen sapos, ranas, salamandras y tritones. Conoce a los anfibios del Museo del Descubrimiento de Fort Collins (FCMoD) y ¡sé un herpetólogo en tu propio patio!

¿Qué son los anfibios?

Los anfibios son ectotérmicos y vertebrados. Esto significa que tienen sangre fría y una columna vertebral. Por resultado, necesitan vivir en el agua o en un ambiente húmedo para poder poner sus huevos y para sobrevivir. La piel de un anfibio es muy fina y permeable, por lo tanto, los líquidos y gases de su ambiente se absorben fácilmente a través de su piel. Esta peculiaridad les permite ¡respirar bajo el agua! La adaptación de “respirar” por medio de su piel ha logrado una evolución en algunas ranas y salamandras a tal grado, que algunas de ellas ¡no tienen pulmones!

Casi todos los anfibios experimentan el proceso de metamorfosis. Las hembras adultas ponen sus huevos en el agua y, cuando las larvas o los renacuajos salen del cascarón, estos nacen con branquias y parecen peces. Pero con el tiempo, y a través de la metamorfosis, ¡les nacen cuatro patas y dos pulmones que les ayudarán a respirar aire fresco!

En el museo, cuidamos a una variedad de anfibios.

La contaminación del agua y sus daños

Los anfibios poseen un rol importante en el ecosistema, pero ellos, al igual que sus ambientes acuáticos, son amenazados por la contaminación y la toxicidad del agua. Debido a que las ranas, salamandras, y los sapos pasan la mayor parte de su tiempo dentro o cerca de ambientes acuáticos, absorben los contaminantes en el agua o sufren con sus temperaturas anormalmente altas.

Los anfibios ¡son como esponjas! Absorben y respiran químicos presentes en el agua. Su susceptibilidad a condiciones insalubres sirve para ser una especie indicadora para el ecosistema. Los científicos usan esta clase de animales para determinar la condición de un hábitat particular. En agua fresca y limpia, las ranas o sapos vivirán sanos. Si hay basura, residuos químicos como pesticidas, derrame de petróleo, o desechos de residuos de alimentos, los animales respirarán estos contaminantes y estarán en alto riesgo de morir.

Tú puedes ayudar a los anfibios en la naturaleza simplemente recordando algunas cosas:

  1.  Si ves alguna rana o un sapo, trata de no tocarlos con manos sucias o sin guantes. No uses desinfectante de manos, porque este puede exponerlos a gérmenes o químicos.
  2. Recuerda eliminar tu basura apropiadamente. Si ves basura en un área natural o en un cuerpo de agua, recógela y ¡sé un ejemplo para otros en tu comunidad!
  3. Trata de no usar pesticidas e insecticidas en tu jardín debido a que estos químicos pueden filtrarse en cuerpos de agua y dañar a los anfibios. Otra manera de ayudar es consumiendo comida orgánica.
  4. Si tienes una mascota anfibia, protégela de los ruidos o molestias de otras mascotas en tu casa.
  5. Comparte con los demás lo que has aprendido sobre los anfibios, incluyendo las maneras en las que los podemos proteger.
  6. Recuerda que si cuidamos a nuestro planeta, ¡el planeta nos cuidará a nosotros y a toda la vida salvaje!

Observaciones a tu alrededor

Los animales se pueden observar en un patio, en los jardines, en un área natural o en cualquier sitio. Los herpetólogos son científicos que estudian anfibios y reptiles, observándolos en su medio ambiente para aprender sobre sus comportamientos e identificarsu rol en el ecosistema. ¡Tú también puedes ser herpetólogo! Observa animales similares a los anfibios del museo ¡y documenta lo que descubres!

Artículos necesarios:

  • Algo para escribir (lápiz, pluma o marcador)
  • Papel y/o cuaderno
  • Computadora y acceso al Internet (opcional)

Instrucciones:

  1. Crea una tabla de observaciones usando la guía de preguntas que puedes encontrar más abajo. Anótalas en un cuaderno, un diario o en hojas de papel.
  2. Da un paseo con tu familia por los alrededores donde haya algún cuerpo de agua (lago, río, etc.) y busca algunos anfibios. Observa sus comportamientos y medio ambiente. Si quieres aprender más sobre las ranas y sapos nativos de Colorado, haz clic en este enlace: FrogWatch USA ¡Ahí también puedes escuchar los sonidos que hacen

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

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Daily Discovery: Storytime in the Home – The Prairie That Nature Built Black-Footed Ferret Puppet

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Storytime in the Home – The Prairie That Nature Built Black-Footed Ferret Puppet

Follow along with FCMoD’s live stream Storytime in the Home: The Prairie That Nature Built. Then work together with an adult to make this Black-Footed Ferret puppet! Black-Footed Ferrets (BFFs) are an endangered species and an important part of the prairie ecosystem. You can learn more about them here!

Supplies:

  • A popsicle stick
  • Black or green beads
  • Glue
  • Craft paper (White, Black, Pink, Green)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Place all your supplies on a clear surface with plenty of room to create.
  2. Ask an adult to help you find some pictures of BFFs on the internet for inspiration!
  3. Use a pencil to draw the shape of your BFFs head and ears on the white paper then cut it out. (This one is about 2 ½ inches from ear to ear and 1 ¾ inches from top of ears to chin.)
  4. Cut out a mask (an upside down U shape) and a nose (a rounded triangle shape with the point down) from the black paper and glue them down.
  5. Use the pink paper to cut out ears (half circles) and a small pointy mouth (a very small flat triangle) and glue them down.
  6. Use black or green beads for eyes. A BFF’s eyes appear green at nighttime.
  7. Glue your BFF to the popsicle stick.
  8. Cut out a round burrow for your BFF to live in! Make a small slit in the burrow to let your puppet pop in and out. Decorate your burrow with grass or other prairie features. Have fun!

BONUS: Here are some activities from Dawn Publishing that relate to The Prairie that Nature Built. Here is a coloring page! Build your own bird feeder!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Educational opportunities like this are supported in part by Buell Foundation. Their support helps make access to early childhood education at FCMoD possible for everyone in our community.

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BFFs: Black-footed Ferrets or Best Friends Forever

Post written by Kim Fraser, Black Footed Ferret Program Coordinator.

BFFs: Black-footed Ferrets or Best Friends Forever

The Black-footed Ferret (BFF) (Mustela nigripes) is the only ferret native to North America and lives on the short grass prairie of the Great Plains. BFFs are members of the Mustelidae family which is often referred to as the weasel family, and includes mink, badger, marten, otter, weasel, fisher, wolverine, and domestic ferret. They are nocturnal, solitary, require large expanses of landscape, and spends their whole life on prairie dog colonies. In the prairie dog burrow systems they seek shelter from predators and weather, eat, sleep, and raise their young. Over 90% of their diet is prairie dog and they eat over 100 per year. BFFs are called fossorial predators, meaning they hunt underground. Their home range is in 12 Western states including Canada and Mexico. Considered one of the most endangered mammals in North America it has been federally protected for over 40 years.  The BFF Recovery Program is one of the most successful recovery programs with over 50 State, Federal, Tribal, NGOs and private landowner partners that all participate in recovery efforts.

Why should we protect black-footed ferrets?

In 1974 when the Endangered Species Act was enacted the Black-footed Ferret was in the top 10 species listed for protection. No one knew then how difficult or easy saving a species from extinction would be. Today, we know recovering an endangered species involves many partners, time, and effort. Since the ESA became law some species have had survival success and some have not. Many people have asked is it worth it?  Is preventing the extinction of an iconic species like the black-footed ferret worth the effort? The answer is yes, it is worth it, and here’s why. The BFF is an important member of the prairie ecosystem and their presence indicates a healthy habitat that supports many other species. Without black-footed ferret conservation efforts, prairie dogs and other associated species such as burrowing owls, swift fox, mountain plovers, ferruginous hawks, prairie rattlesnakes, and many others could easily succumb to current threats. So by conserving black-footed ferrets, we have to conserve prairie dog habitat and that saves an entire ecosystem and its inhabitants that call the short grass prairie home!

  

Why should people care and help save this species from extinction?

Maybe it’s because BFFs capture the imagination that there’s this rarely seen and secretive animal living on the short grass prairie underground. And even though it is one of the most endangered mammals, most Americans will never have the opportunity to see a live BFF.  It’s like a fairytale character of the prairie that represents the wild, and people are passionate about the wild and fascinated about the animals that live there.  When folks learn about BFFs they are amazed that something so cool lives right in their backyard- in America.  We all know about other species that are in trouble across the globe, like elephants, tigers, chimpanzees and rhinos. And it is good to care about what happens to all species on our planet because we are a global living place. Every day we hear about how these other species are doing and how we can help them and that’s important.  But here is an animal that makes its home right here, it belongs to us as Americans as one of our native species. We should care and protect BFFs so they will remain part of the wilds of North America.  One way to help save BFFs is by learning all you can about them.  Because by learning you will come to care about them, and when you care, you will want to help save them. So you see by caring and helping to save them from extinction you are being a BFF or Best Friend Forever not just to black-footed ferrets but to future generations so they too will have BFFs living wild and free on the prairie.

 

The museum is proud to have two black-footed ferrets on-site in partnership with the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center. You can see what our BFFs are up to while we’re closed via our Ferret Cam: fcmod.org/ferret-cam!

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Amazing Amphibians

Post written by Willow Sedam, Live Animal Husbandry Team Member.

Amazing Amphibians

Did you know that amphibians were the first animals to live on land? Or that they swallow by blinking and pushing the backs of their eyes into their throat?

Today, we’re looking at the amazing world of amphibians!

What is an amphibian?

Toads, frogs, and salamanders are all amphibians. While amphibians are a wide and varied class of animals, they all have a few things in common.

Amphibians have slimy skin which they can breathe and drink through and has to be kept damp at all times. Amphibians lay squishy, shell-less eggs in water. And they all start out life as aquatic larvae, later metamorphosing (like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly) into their adult form, growing legs and shedding their tails!

Because water is so important to amphibians, they are often found around ponds, streams and marshes. But spending so much time in water means they can often be the first animals affected by a change in water quality. Amphibians can be the first warning that something is wrong with an environment, as they are very sensitive to pollutants, and a decline in amphibian populations can be a clue to scientists that something is wrong. But when amphibians are doing well, that means the environment around them is, too – which is why they are such important animals to learn about and protect!

At the museum, we have four species of amphibians on display, two of which are native to the US, and one that can be found right here in Colorado!

Fire-bellied toad

Despite being called toads, these Eurasian amphibians are technically frogs – you can tell by their long legs and preference for swimming.

These amphibians display two interesting types of coloration at once: camouflage, which blends them into their environment, and aposematism, which warns predators that they might be dangerous. Much like poison dart frogs, fire-bellied toads are brightly colored to warn predators that they are toxic. However, while poison dart frogs are bright all over, fire-bellied toads limit their bright warning coloration to their bellies. When a predator looks down on a frog, it sees only the green and black camouflage on its back, and might not notice it. But if the frog is threatened, it can rear up on its back and show off it’s bright belly that acts just like caution tape and says: stay away from me!

This behavior, called an unken reflex, actually gets its name from fire-bellied toads and the German name for their species, Unke.

Southern toad

Our southern toad is actually more of a southeastern toad, hailing from the warmer and wetter parts of the American east coast, from North Carolina to Mississippi. These amphibians are true toads – warty, with short legs ill-equipped for swimming and jumping but built perfectly to dig. They actually have claw-like spurs on their back legs that help them build burrows to stay safe and moist when the weather gets too hot, too cold, or too dry for them.

Like all amphibians, they lay their eggs in open water – about 3,000 of them per season! After only a couple of days, these eggs hatch into tadpoles, which undergo metamorphosis when they’re barely half an inch long!

Tiger salamander

These salamanders are a Colorado native and can be found in marshes and ponds right here in Fort Collins! But they’re not picky about where they live – they’re actually the most wide-spread salamander species in North America, ranging from Canada all the way to Mexico! Their name comes from the yellow and black splotches on their skin, which look a little bit like tiger stripes. Like tigers, they are also ferocious predators – even if they don’t look like it. When they emerge from their burrows to hunt, they look for anything they can eat – worms, spiders, and beetles, even frogs and smaller salamanders are all fair game!

Our salamanders at the museum get so excited during feeding time, that sometimes they’ll even try and bite their caretaker’s fingers! Unlike frogs, salamanders actually have teeth – lucky for the people feeding them, they aren’t very sharp.

White’s tree frog

These Australian frogs are very popular in the pet trade because of how calm they are around humans – even wild frogs will find their way into people’s sinks, laundry roo

rooms, and bathtubs, no matter if they’re occupied!

Unlike some frogs, White’s tree frogs do not have long sticky tongues that they use to catch prey. Their preferred method of hunting is close-range. Once they’re close enough to a bug or other tasty morsel, they lunge at it with their mouth open wide and scoop it up into their gob with their hands.

These frogs are also very unique for the way they protect their delicate amphibian skin. They secrete a goo from their skin that is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, allowing them to stay safe and free from disease even when they’re living in places that are mucky and full of germs. The virus-fighting ability they possess is so impressive, it’s even being studied for use in human medicine!

Amphibians are amazing animals, coming in so many different shapes and sizes. From legless, soil-dwelling caecilians to flying tree frogs, they all play an important part in our ecosystem!

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