If you look carefully at the picture, you can find me. I'm on a rock in front of the giant deer. This sculpture is monumental -- a word used for statues that are larger than life. It was really, really big. And I was in for a really, really big treat.
Miss Elaine took me to Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, Missouri. It's a combination of a museum and an aquarium -- and it's all about animals.
First we went through the museum part. It's full of dioramas - full-sized animals placed in front of painted backgrounds. They really look real.
A lot of them showed scenes in national parks and animals you might see if you visited them. This first picture is shows a family of American black bears in Yosemite (Yo-SIM-uh-tee) National Park. We even have black bears in Oklahoma. Not all black bears are black. Some are brown and there are even white black bears sometimes.
Not all the animals in Wonders of Wildlife are stuffed. Here's a picture of me with a real black bear.
This bighorn sheep is pictured in Glacier National Park in Montana.
Roosevelt elk live in low valleys and rain forests in Olympic National Park in Washington state.
Mountain lions live in one of my favorite parks -- Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Did you get to read my post about my trip to the Grand Canyon? If you scroll back through the posts, you will see it.
There are lots of different kinds of habitats in the museum. When we went into the part of the museum with animals who live in cold climates, the rooms got colder. I was glad I had fur! In this area we got to see gentoo penguins -- real ones -- who live in Antarctica where there is a lot of ice and snow.
It got warmer when we got to the Africa section. It had zebras, giraffes, even elephants. All the rooms had small video screens where we could read more about each animal.
When we finished looking at this part of the building, we went into the aquarium. The first area has a HUGE tank with lots and lots of fish. If you look at the size of the people, you can tell that the tank is really tall.
There were so many colorful fish to look at. I really liked the pattern on this fish. It's called a honeycomb cowfish. Isn't that a strange name?
Some of the tanks had tunnels under them. When you crawled into them, you could stand up in a glass tube and pretend you were inside the aquarium.
I don't know what kind of fish this is, but I loved the yellow color!
The giant moray eels like to hide in holes.
I really like the jelly fish. These are western sea nettles.
There are sharks in the aquarium, but none this big. Did you know these sharks have two rows of teeth? I wouldn't want to meet a real one.
I hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures. I hope you get to see some animals during your summer vacation.