Babies on the Way!

Our Texas Spiny Lizard has laid a clutch of eggs, so hopefully we will have baby spiny lizards in about 30 to 60 days after isolated incubation. Baby spinys, about 2-inches long, emerge ready to fend for and care for themselves.

Texas Spiny Lizards breed in spring and can lay up to 4 clutches of eggs during the summer. Clutches can contain anywhere from about 10 to 20 eggs.

We are excited about our potential babies. Be sure to watch for updates on their hatching.

Wildlife on River Legacy Trails

You never know what you’ll see next on the nature trails surrounding River Legacy Living Science Center! And since we are Wild About Wildlife in the month of July, we wanted to share one of our most recent sightings – three armadillos digging in the dirt.

The nine-banded armadillo is native to the Americas and quite common in Texas. It is, in fact, the state small mammal. Typically solitary and nocturnal, these animals will sometimes wander during the day if their night-time foraging for insects has not filled them up.

Recently, several of our young students and employees spotted three of these armored creatures digging together.

Armadillos can be easily identified by their leathery, armor shell, which helps protect them from predators. Often, they will be digging, using their sharp claws. They are usually between 2 and 3.5 feet in length, including their tail.

One of the best things about walks down the nature trail is the chance to see beautiful animals. As always, however, safety is a priority, both for our guests and the animals themselves.

South American three-banded armadillos have the ability to roll into a ball when they are frightened. The nine-banded armadillo found in Texas, however, cannot do so. When it is frightened, it can jump 3 to 4 feet into the air! Although this is quite a sight, we value the security and well-being of the animals in our park. We certainly want them to stick around!

When observing an animal like the nine-banded armadillo along park trails, it is often best to admire from a distance. Remain as quiet as possible, as any fast movements or loud noises may cause the creature to flee quickly and hide deeper in the forest, away from the trail.

Our exhibits here at River Legacy Living Science Center are full of different animals all native to the area that can be found around our nature trails! Celebrate Wild About Wildlife Month this July with a visit to the Nature Center to learn more about the wonderful creatures we share our environment with.

Written by Josh Ripple, Summer Intern at River Legacy Living Science Center, and student at Stanford University.

 

Snake Sightings on the Rise

No alarm needed, just a dose of caution,  if you spot a snake on the park trails or even in your own backyard. Like most wild animals, snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Just like checking weather conditions and packing enough water are necessary steps to prepare for any outdoor outing, so should being aware of the wildlife you may encounter. The first thing to keep in mind is that these are wild animals, and wild animals need space. If you encounter a snake along a trail, be sure to observe from a distance. Most snakes will move quickly off the path while others might stay as still as possible. If you can, walk around the snake, giving it a wide berth.

The best course of action is to leave it alone and observe or take pictures from a distance. Most snake bites occur when people try to pick up, move or kill a snake, all of which are unnecessary. Another way to avoid snake bites is to always be mindful of where you are stepping or placing your hands while hiking a trail that is either paved or off-the-beaten path. Be sure to look where you are walking and never reach down to grab something unless you have complete visibility.

Many snakes, like copperheads, like to bask in the sunlight and can be found doing so stretched across a trail, log, or parking lot. Copperheads are venomous but are not aggressive. Rat snakes are another common snake spotted in this area. Rat snakes are non-venomous, help control the rodent population and have excellent camouflage. They are typically spotted climbing trees or sliding across your backyard or trail.

Learn more about snakes common to our area at River Legacy Living Science Center and check out our exhibit of snakes, as well as other wildlife native to River Legacy Parks.