The Kickstarter Animal of the Day: Glyptodon!, one of our favorite prehistoric animals. It came into North America from South America, and it resembles other animals that it's not related to. That's called convergent evolution. Because of the way the environment impacts evolution, animals that aren't related can develop similar physical characteristics. In millions of years there may be an animal that looks like an elephant, but isn't...because of whatever vegetation and environmental pressures there will be then.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Megafauna of the Day: Giant Ground Sloth. They were vegetarian, but would still have been formidable to encounter. They were called Megatherium, and they could be twenty feet in length and weigh up to four tons. They lived until approximately 10,000 ago, and perhaps went extinct from human hunting. Jefferson was given a gift of giant sloth bones that he first mistook for a giant lion. Monticello has an interesting article on Jefferson's involvement with the bones: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/megalonyx-jeffersonii-fossils
Today we reached our Kickstarter goal! Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! And we're announcing a STRETCH GOAL to cover parts of the program not already included, such as documenting the choreography with photography and film, and a learning dance mat with map components on it.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Today's Kickstarter Animal is the American cheetah! North America has had many animals that we don't think of as North American: the camelops, a form of camel; the American cheetah; the American lion (resembling an African lion more than a cougar); and the mammoth. North America has also had many forms--at one time there was a sea in the middle of it called the Western Interior Seaway. We'll be teaching about these animals and about North American geological history at Earth Day 2015.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Pronghorn! The Pronghorn is a wonderful link between today's animals and prehistoric animals. It is the fastest animal native to North America --it evolved its speed to escape the American cheetah (yes, we had cheetahs once upon a time). It is the last of its kind; the other eleven species lived in prehistory. Today is our final feature of the migratory animals that will show up in our Kid*Vention Migration Station Feb. 21st. Tomorrow we move on to the prehistoric mammals that will appear for our Earth Day booth on the Downtown Mall! Be prepared for Megafauna!