Critter Corner Archive
Critters on display at Lakeside Nature Center are marked with a
star (*). Critters that live on the grounds of LNC are
marked with an asterisk (&).
This is the largest
freshwater turtle in the world.
American Coot. This waterfowl swims like a duck but looks very different.
The smallest falcon in
Missouri was once called a sparrow hawk.
These woodland-dwelling birds eat their own weight in worms
Eagle. Our national bird builds the largest nest in Missouri.
These increasingly rare Missouri Owls don't hoot.
Instead they make a raspy, hissing screech.
* Barred Owl.
you hear 'who cooks for you, who cooks for you all', you're
listening to a barn owl.
flying mammal can live 30 years and eat more than five million
insects in its lifetime.
Missouri's largest rodents
build houses in ponds all over the state.
This curious feline is about three times the size of a house
cat, but much fiercer.
The Kansas City area boasts two varieties of box turtles -- the
ornate and the three-toed.
* Broad-Winged Hawk.
These intrepid hawks migrate more than 4,000 miles to South
America each fall.
All 15 species of catfish found in Missouri
have barbels (special fins) that look like cat's whiskers.
These voracious mosquito eaters are becoming rarer because of
* Collared Lizard. This lizard looks like a miniature T-Rex; it can even run on
pit viper depends on its color and skin pattern for camouflage..
These wild relatives of our dogs form affectionate family
These ancient creatures are ferocious predators of insects,
but totally harmless to humans.
The Missouri state bird represents "happiness".
This snake got its common name because its body
color matches the coachwhips often used by horse buggy drivers.
These charming rodents may sing together at their favorite
eating spots in the spring..
Eastern Cotton Tail Rabbit.
Although these animals are
born naked and hairless, they are all grown up and on their
own in 21 days.
Eastern Hognosed Snake. These harmless snakes mimic more dangerous serpents and even
This champion digger can excavate a surface tunnel at a rate of
1 foot per hour.
bugs are really beetles - and they produce light with no heat.
This nocturnal animal doesn't fly; it glides.
Great Horned Owl. Although its hearing is excellent, the tufts of feathers that
stick up like horns are not its ears.
These insects came to the United States with the earliest
& Mallard Duck.
This is the most common duck in
& Monarch Butterfly.
These gorgeous insects migrate
thousands of miles.
These water-dwellers are found
all over Missouri. They are rodents, but they are not
Opossum. The only
marsupial in North America has thumbs on its hind feet.
These masked bandits have expanded their range to include cities
as well as riverbanks.
These small carnivores not only live in the woods, but also can
co-exist with humans in cities.
* Red-Tailed Hawk.
The most common hawk in North America has adapted to different
environments and is extremely versatile in its diet.
River Cooter. These aquatic turtles like to
bask on logs at the edge of rivers and marshy ponds.
River otters seem playful and
cute, but they are fierce fighters with sharp teeth.
* Screech Owl.
Eastern Screech owls can be gray, brown or red.
These owls nest on
the ground; their ears are really tufts of feathers.
* Soft-Shelled Turtle.
This turtle's shell is really thickened skin, but its bite
can be painful.
The most recognized wild mammal in our cities. Both the
eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel live in Kansas City.
These migrants often spend wnters in the tropics and summers
in Missouri. Sometimes they spend summers in the far
north and winter in Kansas City.
If you see a hummingbird with antennae, it's one of these
These shy ambush hunters may live 20 years!
Tiger Salamander. This is the world's largest
This maligned amphibian will NOT give you warts
* Turkey Vulture.
These relatives of the California condor spend hours
preening themselves and will bathe if water is available.
Flocks of turkeys can be seen all over Missouri. What
a conservation success!
White-Tailed Deer. Once endangered,
these beautiful animals are plentiful in Missouri.
Spider. This predatory spider doesn't
build a web.
This very large rodent has the reputation of weather