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  1. Common Water Snake

    A snake has a backbone with about 200 bones in it. This allows the snake to move flexibly like a chain. Observe this snake resting, coiled in its watery home. Learn More
  2. Animal Habitats: Pond

    Animals live where they can find resources to meet their needs for food, water, shelter, and reproduction. These places are called habitats. Animals that share the same habitat often interact with and depend on other plant and animal species in the habitat. Use the contents of this box to make connections between animals and a pond habitat through dramatic play with pond puppets and contrast real specimens of dragonflies, beaver pelts, bluegills, and turtle shells. Learn More
  3. Garter Snake (1)

    Don't shy away from this beneficial snake, the most abundant to be found in the Chicago area. The Garter snake lives anywhere from city gardens to country marshes, and can be identified by the three light stripes on its back. Learn More
  4. Common Hog-Nosed Snake (1)

    Don't be frightened of this snake, whose sudden movements, thick body and broad head may seem threatening. The Common Hog-Nosed Snake is actually harmless, and keeps to itself in its preferred habitat of dry, sandy places. Learn More
  5. Spotted Turtle

    Check out the sluggish streams and bogs where this turtle makes her home. The Spotted Turtle buries her large eggs in the ground in the late spring or early summer. Learn More
  6. Wild in Chicago

    Many animals make their home in Chicago's urban environment. Some of these animals are natives, while others are new to the region and flourish here. Become a field guide writer, observing and researching many species of animals found in urban Chicago. Discuss how students could take action to make their schoolyard or backyard a better place for animals. Then, take action! Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Attention: Some of the items in this box 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
  7. Six-Lined Lizard (1)

    Check out the simple characteristics that make this desert-dwelling reptile easily identifiable. Featuring six bright yellow stripes on its back, the Six-Lined Lizard is harmless, munching only on insects. Learn More
  8. Garter Snake (4)

    Don't shy away from this beneficial snake, the most abundant to be found in the Chicago area. The Garter snake lives anywhere from city gardens to country marshes, and can be identified by the three light stripes on its back. Learn More
  9. Common Box Turtle

    Follow this land-dwelling turtle through the thin forests and grassy fields of the eastern United States. The Common Box Turtle feeds on the berries, slugs and insect larvae of its woodland home. Learn More
  10. Blue Racer Snake

    You can only find this snake west of the Mississippi River. But don't be fooled by the name, Blue Racers can range from plain bluish, greenish blue, gray, to brownish, sometimes with yellow bellies. Long and slender, these snakes feed on small mammals, frogs, lizards, and insects. Learn More

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