Exploring Ecosystems and their Inhabitants
Do you know all of the different ecosystems in Colorado? Longfellow students got a chance to explore our state’s major ecosystems during SOLE’s in-class program. Students learned about a myriad of ecosystems including the alpine tundra, montane forest, shrublands, and grasslands. After that, groups created their own ecosystem drawings. The big challenge was making connections between living and non-living things. Prairie dogs need burrows, trees need light from the sun, owls need mice to eat, and grass needs nutrients from the soil to grow!
Once everyone shared their posters, a friendly visitor came out to meet the students. What visitor, you ask? She is long, slithery, and is an integral part of Colorado’s ecosystems…
A bullsnake, of course! Though she is the same species, this particular bullsnake looks rather different from a normal one. She is albino, meaning that she lacks the pigment that a regular bullsnake would have.
Like other snake species, bullsnakes are a very important piece of our Colorado grasslands. They help control rodent populations and are prey for other larger predators. Not to mention, they have amazing adaptations that help them survive!
Longfellow students learned about some of her adaptations and how she may mimmick a rattlesnake if threatened. At the end, they even got to feel her scales. Not a bad way to end the afternoon and get ready for Family Nature Night!