Friday, March 23, 2007


We went to a birthday party yesterday, and as the main form of entertainment, they brought in a man who keeps all kinds of animals, insects, birds, amphibians and reptiles. It was a lot of fun - we learned a lot, and got to see and touch some animals that we'd never seen in person before.

My personal favorite was Hazel, the Pygmy Hedgehog.

When he brought her out, she was curled up into a little protective ball.

But as she relaxed, we got to see a little more of her face...

...and in no time she was comfortable having the kids give her a gentle pat. Before too long, she was on the floor, eagerly checking out her surroundings.

The chameleon was very neat to see up close. Did you know that their color changes to show how they're feeling, not to provide them with camoflauge?

This Blue Tongued Skink was my son's favorite. His scales were surprisingly hard to the touch.

This Chinchilla named George was my daughter's favorite. I've never felt such soft fur, it's absolutely amazing. He was very happy just sitting quietly with the birthday boy.

This is a juvenile Cane Toad, which is highly poisonous (needless to say, we didn't get to touch him).

This scary looking guy is a Vinegar bug. Despite his fearsome appearance, the worst he can do to you is spray a cloud of vinegar scented air in your direction.

The hairless rat was pretty interesting - they've been bred to grow human ears and noses for reconstructive surgeries. Not quite as cute as the hairer variety though (I've had a few rats as pets and they are lovely animals).

The Japanese Fire Bellied Newt was pretty non-descript from above...

...but take a look underneath and you see where he gets his name.

This charming fellow is the Tailless Whipscorpion, which is harmless (although I'm sure it could do some damage to your ticker if you stumbled upon it unexpectedly!).

It was a very neat way to spend an afternoon, and my kids have been pouring over his website to see what other animals he has in anticipation of their own birthday parties. I'm game as long as I get to see Hazel again!


Chelee said...

Very Cool! My son has been in love with hedgehogs since he was very little. He freaked when he saw the photos. We keep making/finding him hedge hog dolls but that seems to only be a temporary fix to his obsession.

Cheryl said...

I can totally relate - they're so cute!!

hestiahomeschool said...

I had to chuckle when I read this family could almost do the same thing.

We have a pet hedgehog--Priscilla Pincushion, and we have a hairless rat, well as a lot of other animals.

I found you through the unschoolers ring..we have been unschooling for over 23 years. :-)

love, Kas

Debbie said...

Awesome pictures! I love all of the animals and what a great idea for a birthday party.

The hedgehog's face is so adorable, and the newt is amazing. Thanks for sharing those.

Linda said...

Wow, how incredibly cool! Could you post a link to his website?