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Zoology: Top 10 Questions

October 2016

Thanks to Thanks to Holly Holman, veterinarian, Zoo Boise; and Steve Burns, director, Zoo Boise, for their answers. for the answers.

1: Why do people need to know zoology?

There are a million different kinds of species on this planet, and it's important for us to study and understand our neighbors. If we are going to live in harmony with all of the creatures that live on this planet, it is good to understand what their needs are. (From Grace at Whitney Elementary School in Boise)

2: Do giraffes make noises?

Giraffes do make noise. They usually make noise at night, and it is a low hum. (From Berkley at Grace Jordan Elementary School in Boise)

3: How many types of monkeys are there?

There are 260 kinds of monkeys. In the wild, they live in Central America, South America, Asia and Africa. (From Sydney at Lowell Elementary School in Boise)

4: Why do cats not like water?

Some cats do like water. Tigers will go in water for fish. There is a cat called a "fishing cat" that jumps in water after fish. Then there are cats that don't like the water. Many domestic cats do not like water. (From Teresa at Whitney Elementary School in Boise)

5: Why are some animal's bites poisonous?

Animal bites are not poisonous. Animal bites can be venomous, like the bite of a rattlesnake. Then there are poisonous animals, like the dart frog, whose skin secretes a toxin that if another animal were to eat it, that animal would get sick. (From Eve at Riverside Elementary School in Boise)

6: How do birds know where to migrate?

Birds use different ways to migrate like the position of the moon and the stars. They also feel the magnetic field that affects their migration. Finally, some birds migrate at night, while others use daylight to help them see water, land and habitats that they may want to land near. (From Kaden at Garfield Elementary School in Boise)

7: Why does my dog wag his tail?

Dogs use their tails for balance and to communicate strong emotions. Dogs can wag their tails when they are happy, angry, or agitated. To understand what a dog is feeling, look at the entire dog. If you see stiffened muscles, ears pinned forward or back and tense facial muscles, then you should back off. (From Liam at Barbara Morgan STEM Academy in Meridian)

8: How does a parrot talk?

Parrots actually can't talk. They mimic. Just like people, they blow air over their vocal cords and try to mimic the sounds that they hear. If they are near a person talking, they will try to create the same sounds that the person is making. (From Callie at Amity Elementary School in Boise)

9: How many types of animals are in Idaho?

It depends on what kind of animals you are talking about. Animals include mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. There are hundreds of different kinds. How many are here at any one time depends as some animals migrate. For example, in summer, there will be more birds than there are in the winter. If you look at animals that are found only in Idaho, there is just a handful. There are two kinds of ground squirrels, the northern and southern Idaho ground squirrels. There are a few fish that only exist here and there is the giant Idaho salamander that is mostly exclusive to our state. (From Danica at Indian Hills Elementary School in Pocatello)

10: What is the smallest monkey?

The smallest monkey is the pigmy marmoset, and it is about the size of your thumb. Although cute, monkeys do not make great pets! (From Sophia at Lowell Elementary School in Boise)


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