By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
It was an educational opportunity by the riverside.
Laura De Cook, a naturalist with the Mahaska County Conservation Board, led a “Reptile Round-up” at an Eveland Access shelter this past Friday evening.
Both adults and children alike had a chance to view and learn about various reptiles including snakes and turtles. The reptiles shown were ones that are common to Iowa.
During the round-up, De Cook noted that she wanted to show the snakes first because they are “awesome examples of what reptiles are.”
De Cook talked about many of the basic characteristics of reptiles including the fact that they’re cold-blooded and how that can impact their level of activity. She also talked about snakes hibernating habits.
“Snakes hibernate in what’s called a hibernaculum,” explained De Cook. “They can be different species of snakes curled up together in a hole somewhere — underground, in a building, under a pile of wood, in a bunch of hay, in a cellar of a house — and their body slows down when it’s cold because they have to be warm in order to digest food and also warm enough to catch their food.”
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.