Posted in Uncategorized

Fun Animal Fact Recap: Close, But No Babar

  • Though they all look similar, cheetahs, leopards and jaguars have a few distinct features.

    Cheetahs are found mostly in Africa and have solid, evenly distributed spots.

    Leopards, found in Africa and Asia, have a large number of flower-shaped spots, or rosettes, that are a slightly different color than cheetahs’. Some of their spots have brownish centers and thick, black outlines.

    Jaguars, which reside in the Americas, have larger rosettes than leopards. Their spots have lighter centers and thick, dark outlines.

  • Buffalo don’t actually live in America. Our buffaloes are American Bison. There are also European Bison, which live in isolated parts of Poland. The two main species of buffalo that exist are the African cape buffalo and Asian water buffalo.

  • A snake is one type of legless lizard. Based on observable physical characteristics, though, legless lizards tend to have eyelids, external ear openings, long tails, and lack broad belly scales. Legless lizards’ tongues are also generally thicker and less forked than snakes’.

  • The biggest distinction between monkeys and apes is that, in general, monkeys have tails and apes do not. Apes also have a longer lifespan, larger body size, larger brain-to-body size ratio and higher intelligence than monkeys.

  • There are a decent number of differences between frogs and toads, but did you know that all toads belong to the order Anura, and are actually a subset of frogs?

  • Viceroy butterflies, unlike their monarch counterparts, can be identified by the black lines across their hindwings. They are also smaller than monarchs. Moreover, monarchs are toxic, due to their diet of milkweed, while viceroys are nontoxic.

  • Ravens and crows can be told apart by their size, social structure, tail patterns and calls. Ravens are larger and travel in pairs, compared to crows’ larger groups. A crow’s tail opens like a fan, whereas a raven’s opened tail is wedge-shaped. Additionally, crows caw and ravens croak.

Posted in animal facts, Animal Kingdom, animals, biodiversity, ecology, education, environment, nature, Sexual Dimorphism, teaching, Uncategorized, Wild Animals, wildlife, wildlife education

Animal Facts Recap: Girls Versus Boys

By Katie Gill

Posted in animal facts, animal mascots, animals, Arts, biodiversity, ecology, education, educational mascots, Entertainment, environment, foxes, Multimedia, nature, Nonprofit Groups, red fox, Small Business, storrytelling, talking mascots, Uncategorized, vulpines, Western New York Organizations, Wild Animals, wildlife, wildlife education

Animal School Fall Roundup


Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the Animal School blog. We have been busy behind the scenes, getting ready to transfer apartments, so Animal School has taken the back burner for a few weeks. Fortunately, we’re almost moved, so our creature features are back in action, and my pun game is back on point.

First off, we had a marvelous time at the 7th Annual Harvest Moon Festival in Walworth yesterday. Swift the Fox was out, teaching skulks of kits — or groups of kids — about gekkering and other lupine and canine noises. We also crafted a display of fox faces that shows people the different species of foxes around North America, as well as an info sheet that highlights details about those species. We had so many enthusiastic art students at our coloring station! It was truly a great time, and we look forward to returning next year.

In case you missed the event and would like share our handouts with your kids or students, we have:

Fox Face_Coloring Handout

Fox Facts

Swift Gekkering

And don’t forget our Vulpinology series on YouTube! Down the line, we do want to get better recording equipment and mics, but we are working with what we have for now.

Other good news: Fun Animal Facts return today! This week’s theme will be Girls Versus Boys, in which we explore the similarities and differences among species in the Animal Kingdom. Next week will be Close, But No Babar (a pun of “close, but no cigar,” with an homage to the cartoon elephant). In there, we will look at animals that have several overlapping features but are not the same. Think cheetahs and leopards, buffaloes and bison, snakes and legless lizards, etc.

Now, on the flip side, we’re going to have to take a hiatus from Turtles Around Town. Scouting out areas and driving around for a new picture every week has taken too much time and money. We considered Photoshopping the turtles into pictures, but we wanted to keep the shots authentic. We may continue with the feature sporadically, but, for now, the upkeep is too great for us to handle.

However, that doesn’t mean we’re calling our operation quits! Quite the opposite. We have a vulture character, Stinky, in the works, and Nick recently acquired a buffalo mask, so our family of furballs is growing! A horse costume and skunk costume are also on deck. Stay connected with us to see the work we’re doing. We’re on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

In the meantime, remember that both the Wildlife Educators Coalition and our Animal School program are available for events and programs around Western New York throughout the year. School visits, library programs, community center activities, bookstore readings, scout meetings, birthday parties, senior center enrichment activities — you name it, and we can craft a customized program for your group! WEC has the live animals for demonstrations, and Animal School has the talking animal characters (mascots and puppets). You can also have both the live animals and mascots show up to your event. We offer a sliding price scale, so no one gets denied our unique, hands-on educational experience because of his or his income or location. We are always eager to work with other groups, so join in on our animal antics, already!

For more information about booking us, contact Nick Hadad at for Animal School and Karin Fires at for the Wildlife Educators Coalition (our parent group with the live animals).

We’ll see you all soon!