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Bio Club Has Cold Blooded Encounters

Freshman Isabella Gladden (right) pets a baby alligator held by Sean Amidon from Cold Blooded Encounters during a Biology Club meeting.

Members of the CHS Biology Club along with advisers Ms. Maya Schultz and Ms. Sarah Keziah recently got up close and personal with some cold blooded creatures! Sean Amidon from “Cold Blooded Encounters,” a reptile zoo and science center located in Troutman, NC, visited the students during a club meeting and offered lots of interesting information as well as hands-on opportunities!

According to Schultz, the Biology club members discussed various ways they could spend the grant money they had recently received from the Celebrate My Drive event.

“We knew we didn't have enough money to be able to pay for a field trip for all the club members. A student suggested perhaps there was a way we could bring the zoo to us. After a little bit of Internet research, I located Cold Blooded Encounters and thought that their organization would be able to extend what we learn about animals in the biology curriculum,” she said.

Among the animals the students learned about and got to pet were a baby alligator, an eastern box turtle, a leopard gecko, and various snakes. They learned what the seven types of reptiles are and many facts about local snakes and lizards such as the fact that the cottonmouth snake, also known as a water moccasin, is not found in the Charlotte area, and that the copperhead snake (which can be found in the Charlotte area) is often confused with the corn snake. Throughout the presentation sounds of scratching, thumping, and even whistling could be heard from a closed bin. To everyone’s surprise the source of the mysterious sounds turned out to be a baby emu!

Mrs Schultz said, “As Mr. Amidon was talking with the students and showing them some of the animals, a large box in the back kept moving and I could hear thumping around inside. Occasionally, the lid would partially open as if something was trying to peek out.  I couldn't wait to see what was in there.  Imagine my surprise to see an emu inside!  Why a bird at a reptile show, you might wonder? It turns out that birds and reptiles have a lot of similar DNA, supporting the idea that birds and dinosaurs share an evolutionary relationship.”

“The high school biology curriculum covers a wide range of topics. Animals are a small part. A lot of students are curious about animals from different countries and adaptations those animals have for the environments in which they live. We just don't have time in the instructional year to teach students everything we know. This presentation helped students learn more about the importance of reptiles not just in North Carolina, but around the world,” said Mrs. Schultz.

The Biology Club would like to thank Mr. Amidon and Cold Blooded Encounters for the interesting and educational visit!

Written by: Paula White - Media Specialist
Posted: Jun 05, 2015 by Paula White

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