Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our trip to the Living Desert

Sheila said it's my turn to post, so I'm posting. Sheila's on Spring Break, so I took a mental Health Day and we went to the Living Desert. For those of you who have not heard of it, it is a zoo in Palm Desert, CA that specializes in desert species. It is a pretty cool place, but you have to be mindful of the heat. Right now it's still technically "moderate" meaning that it's 85 degrees in the shade.

Desert species amaze me. Deserts are one of the harshest environments, and these plants and animals are adapted to live there. Humans either leave or turn on the air conditioner. A Fennec Fox or a Desert Chemise plant can't do that, so they have adapted to this inhospitable biome. I really did not realize this until I took a Desert Ecology class at Cal State. Thanks for teaching me better, Dr. Fehn!

So, what did we see? All kinds of stuff. One of the animals that best represents the desert is the Roadrunner.

Deserts exist all over the planet, and the Living Desert has representatives from many deserts. The Striped Hyena is from Africa. A very impressive animal and the enclosure lets you get up close.

However, some of the best animals are not the big predators, but the smaller critters. There is a special enclosure that has butterflies and hummingbirds. We found a female Costa's Hummingbird sitting on her nest. She laid the egg about a week ago.

Feeding time came when we were looking at the small foxes. One took all of its "catches" and promptly buried them.

All in all, it was a great, if slightly warm, day!

At the bottom of this post, check out the bonus video that Sheila took in the butterfly enclosure!

1 comment:

  1. We too had a great time at the zoo. Wish we could have chatted for a moment. I would have yelled at you in the parking lot to stop if I saw you! You'll have to ask Drew about the trains, he was a little obsessed!