Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.
Zoo Animals on Land
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! There are many different land animals that live at the zoo, including animals whose normal habitat, or environment, is the jungle, forest or desert. At the National Zoo in Washington D.C., one of the most popular animals is the giant panda. Originating in China, the panda bear has become one of the most well-known endangered animals in the world. Other large land mammals that are common zoo attractions include elephants, giraffes and apes. Zoologists, scientists who study animals' physical characteristics and behavior, try to create a space at the zoo that is similar to the animals' natural environments.
Mammals are not the only land animals that you can visit when you go to the zoo. Most zoos have an extensive reptile display where you can see iguanas, lizards, snakes and crocodiles, to name a few. Most of the smaller reptiles are kept in terrariums, which are glass containers that contain an indoor garden suitable for the animal. Sometimes, zoos will have spiders and insects as well. They are also housed in terrariums, which is a great thing. Otherwise, there would be tarantulas and cobras on the loose, which would make for a much more frightening visit to the zoo!
Zoo Animals in the Water
Aquariums are places where people can go to see and learn about different animals that live in the water, like whales, sharks, dolphins and turtles. Sometimes the aquariums are separate places, and sometimes they are an exhibit at the zoo.
Some animals live in both water and on land. Many of these animals are classified as amphibians, like frogs and salamanders. There are also some mammals and birds that zoos will give access to water, such as polar bears and penguins.
Zoo Animals in the Sky
What animals can you think of that live in the sky? You can visit many of these high-flying creatures at the zoo. In order to keep them from flying away, zoologists will put a ceiling at their exhibit. One of the most popular flying zoo animals is the parrot. Parrots are beautiful, colorful birds who naturally live in rainforest environments. Other zoo birds include pink flamingos, ostriches, owls and even toucans with their large, colorful bills. Some zoos will have butterfly gardens, where you can learn about many different species of butterflies.
Pros and Cons of Zoos
There are many benefits that zoos have for both humans and animals. Humans benefit from the great education that they can get from seeing animals who are only found in the wild. More importantly, by having access to the animals, zoologists are able to research, so we can learn more about how we can help these animals. In addition, zoos keep animals safe from the dangers found in their natural habitat, like hunters or poachers. Zoologists can also breed endangered animals in order to save them from extinction.
On the flip side, there are many people who feel that it is animal cruelty to make wild animals live in captivity, regardless of how well zoos try to replicate the animals' natural habitat. In addition, many animals are not able to live as long outside of their natural habitat, and, unfortunately, some zoo visitors do not treat the animals well during their visit.
When you go to the zoo, you can view animals in different habitats, such as aquariums or terrariums. Zoos, however, are not just for viewing animals. Zoologists are able to study the animals and perform research to improve their lives and they work hard to educate us on the animals.
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