Subject: The Cane Toad Page
From: Chas C
I'm a high school student going to the University Laboratory High School on the campus of the U of I. I found your page about cane toads while searching on the Internet for a biology
project. I just wanted to tell you the web page is very good. Here all the students have seen the video several times. It just struck me as funny that other places would have similar
experiences, especially with such a hilarious, but educational video. Thanks for your time
Thanks so much for your interesting comments about the Cane Toad page! It is certainly a popular video at our school! The December issue of Discover magazine has a short review
of the video - a classic! Thank you for sharing your experience - I will enjoy telling my students about it.
Subject: Critter corner
I like your idea, but I have limited budget. I kept asking for donations and parents have not been too giving. Where should I go to find sponsors? Pet stores? I now have a fighting fish in my 3rd
grade class. We're learning about animals.
What a good question about how to begin building a population of critters and getting some support for their care! There is no doubt that my extensive collection gets expensive.
I think that your idea of asking pet stores to "loan you" some creatures for the school year or part of the school year is a good idea. I know a teacher in New York who has this
arrangement with a local pet store. You did not tell me where you are from, but I am wondering if there are any industries who might be intrigued by the idea of sponsoring a "critter
corner" in your classroom. And don't give up on the parents; you might find one or two who would help out. How about an advertisement in the newspaper? Sometimes people are eager
to find homes for creatures after children leave for college; I have gotten a few of my snakes that way! Good luck and let me know how things work out for you.
What is the best way to keep bugs alive for observation in a classroom? What are the components of insect terrium? Is there a safe way to mount the bugs for observation. This is for a first
I have found that I can keep insects alive for a decent amount of time by making sure that I keep a water supply in the terrarium. I usually put in soil, plants, and a food
source - the type depends on the insect - and then I spray a little water on the leaves of the plants each day.
For observation of live bugs, you can get those little plastic magnifier boxes at fancy toy stores or science stores; however, an inexpensive idea is to use small clear plastic
cups that are covered with Saran Wrap. You could tape down the Saran Wrap. For lengthy observations, you would have to put some tiny holes in the plastic wrap but the insects
would be fine for short observations.
How nice that you are planning to help your first grade students be insect-lovers and good observers! Good luck.
Subject: My Corn Snake
From: mike g.
I just bought a new baby corn snake about two weeks ago now and within the first four days he ate four pinkies. So I let him digest those for a couple of days and tried to feed
him again about four days later and he wouldn't eat the pinkies. Is there anything wrong with this kind of feeding pattern? Also, he may have eaten an Anole that my friend was
keeping in my cage. Is this in anyway poisonous to him? We were thinking that that is the reason why he didn't eat the pinkies, but we don't know for sure if he ate the Anole.
Also every time I pick up Hermes (my snake) he poops, I don't know if this is a natural response of him being scared or what? Any answers?
Your baby corn snake sounds healthy and normal. Baby snakes really don't need to eat more often than every 7-10 days. And two pinkies is quite a meal for a hatchling corn snake.
You did not say how old or large the snake is, but if it is a hatchling, I find it rather unlikely that it would eat a full grown anole.......but snakes continue to surprise me
- and you do have the problem of the missing anole! To my knowledge, an anole is not poisonous. Typically, you will find that newts and salamanders carrying poison in their wet
skin, but lizards are not commonly poisonous. An anole is a lizard-like reptile. But if your baby corn ate two pinkies AND an anole, it will not be hungry for a while.
As to your snake's other "habit," I suspect your corn snake will stop defecating when you handle it as it gets used to being held. Keep in mind, pooping on you is better than
Good luck and stay in touch!