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  1. Prairie Life

    A prairie is a unique ecological system that supports diverse plants and animals that depend upon each other for survival. Take a nature walk around your school to predict what plants' root systems look like underground and compare them with the prairie plant specimens in this box. Examine prairie mammals and birds up close to connect their physical characteristics with the prairie ecosystem. A few items in some of these boxes are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as a public or charter school), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you or your institution qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  2. Illinois Plains Pocket Gopher

    Burrow into an underground gopher's nest and learn about the intricate tunneling system it uses to find and store food. Learn More
  3. Red Fox (Walking Adult)

    As a member of the dog family, this fox eats small rodents and rabbits, and is known for his craftiness. Learn More
  4. Horned Lark

    Scan the open fields of Illinois to find the Horned Lark, a year-round resident who resides in flocks and nests among the prairie plants. Learn More
  5. Tall Buttercup

    Look, but don't touch, the leaves and stems of this profuse flower. The tall buttercup has maintained its abundance through a special defense system that produces an acrid juice strong enough to burn through the skin of an animal. Learn More
  6. Red Fox (Sitting Cub)

    Look at this prairie-dwelling red fox cub! As a member of the dog family, he eats small rodents and rabbits, and is known for his craftiness. Learn More
  7. Spiderwort

    Growing knee high, spiderworts are distinctive late spring and early summer prairie wildflowers. Their blue purple flowers standout amongst the green of the spring-green vegetation. Learn More
  8. Wild Strawberry

    Taste the sweetness of the little Wild Strawberry, whose flavor is thought to be superior to its cultivated relatives. Grown in much of the United States, this plant can become a serious pest when it invades cultivated ground. Learn More
  9. Prairie Dog

    Watch for the prairie dog to pop out of its desert burrow, and learn about its dramatic population reduction. Learn More
  10. Franklin's Prairie Squirrel (1)

    Pop into the underground winter home of this prairie-dwelling cousin of the gopher. Learn More

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