5 animals with sensational senses

Discovery Place Nature

Did you know alligators have incredibly sensitive skin that can detect minute vibration changes in the water, or that snakes can smell with their tongue? Join us throughout the month of August as we explore our senses and learn how different animals (like the ones below) taste, touch, smell, see and hear through hands-on activities! Check out some of our top five favorite animal residents with sensational senses:

1.) Bats: Ever heard the term “blind as a bat”? Bats actually have perfectly good eyes for seeing in the daylight, but they do most of their hunting at night using ultrasounds -- high-pitched squeaks that bounce off of objects and reverberate back. This is known as echolocation. Talk about super senses. We think bats are undercover superheroes – not evil villains! To learn more about bat facts instead of bat fiction join us this month at Batty for Bats.

2.) Owls: Though rarely seen during daytime hours, elusive owls are among us. Most owls are nocturnal and some are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Their ears and eyes have the remarkable ability to help them locate prey at night. Search for owl evidence (and maybe event spot an owl) in Fort Wild this month during Owl Prowl.

3.) Bees: How many bees do you think live in a hive? A working hive can have anywhere between 10,000 to 80,000 honey bees. How do you get that many bees to effectively communicate? With their senses. These highly social insects use their antennae as communication with other bees during their bee “dance.” Bees also have highly developed senses of smell and taste. Their sense of smell is so defined it can detect the trace of a scent while in flight. Stop by our Observation Hive during Hardworking Honeybees to see their sensational senses in action.

4.) Snakes: We use our senses to taste food, smell a flower or hear music. Snakes use their senses to hunt prey, escape potential danger and to find a mate. Most snakes have poor eyesight and must rely on their other senses to help them out. Snakes can smell, but not with a nose like we have. Snakes use their tongue to smell their surroundings. They also feel the vibrations around them through their skin and can determine how large their prey or a potential danger is by their movements. We have many sensational snakes at the Museum and you can meet this month! Stop by to get up-close and personal and craft your own snake to take home during Sensational Snakes.

5.) Groundhogs: Spending most of their lives underground, groundhogs have muscular bodies and sturdy claws to assist them in digging underground burrows. They also have a keen sense of sight, smell and hearing. Their sensory organs are located near the top of their head and let them know when there is danger and when it is okay to pop out and take a look around. Come see Queen Charlotte, our resident groundhog, in Creature Cavern.

To learn more about our August events, click here

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