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Below The Surface

Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Idea Blooms into a New Demo

One of the many perks of my job is getting to be an expert. Whether its training a new team of Animal Care volunteers or speaking to a crowd gathered for one of our Demos each day, I get to share what I know to people who are generally very interested in the natural world. More often than not, these experiences
Claire Trotter presenting
lead to many ideas, including prospects for bringing new information to our guests.  An exchange of ideas between myself and Claire Trotter, a seasoned Animal Care volunteer, culminated into an exciting new demo which she brought to ECHO for the first time this afternoon.

What looks like Claire sharing some recent mug shots is actually part of a new demo we call "Our Animals' Bodies: Male or Female?"  In it we talk about some of physical characteristics of some of ECHO's animal ambassadors that can be used to tell the sex of an animal.   Although the question of whether a particular animal is a boy or girl comes up all the time, its not always an easy one to answer.  Claire did research to find some of the most consistent and striking examples of sexual dimorphism (difference in appearance between guys and gals) that can be used any time of year, not just during breeding season.  The results are interesting and easy to practice while looking at our animals, but can be a bit of a dry topic.  So why not consider what it might look like if these same characteristics showed up on us?

You may just be surprised at the results! 

Brian and his "keel"
The carapace of a male map turtle has a ridged called a keel



















Its no surprise that Claire did an awesome job developing and presenting this new demo.  What continues to strike me is how fun it can be help others create demos and watch them be the expert.

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