Lakeside Nature Center
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 (&).
* Alligator Snapping Turtle. This is the largest freshwater turtle in the world.
American Coot. This waterfowl swims like a duck but looks very different.
American Badger. The world champion digger sometimes hunts in partnership with coyotes.
* Bald Eagle. Our national bird builds the largest nest in Missouri.
* Barn Owl. These increasingly rare Missouri Owls don't hoot. Instead they make a raspy, hissing screech.
* Barred Owl. If you hear 'who cooks for you, who cooks for you all', you're listening to a barn owl.
& Bats. This flying mammal can live 30 years and eat more than five million insects in its lifetime.
Beaver. Missouri's largest rodents build houses in ponds all over the state.
Bobcat. This curious feline is about three times the size of a house cat, but much fiercer.
* Box Turtle. 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.
* Catfish. All 15 species of catfish found in Missouri have barbels (special fins) that look like cat's whiskers.
& Chimney Swift. These voracious mosquito eaters are becoming rarer because of habitat loss.
* Collared Lizard. This lizard looks like a miniature T-Rex; it can even run on two legs.
* Copperhead Snake. This pit viper depends on its color and skin pattern for camouflage..
Coyote. These wild relatives of our dogs form affectionate family groups.
& Dragonfly. These ancient creatures are ferocious predators of insects, but totally harmless to humans.
& Eastern Bluebird. The Missouri state bird represents "happiness".
& Eastern Chipmunk. 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 Mole. This champion digger can excavate a surface tunnel at a rate of 1 foot per hour.
& Firefly. Lightning bugs are really beetles - and they produce light with no heat.
Flying Squirrel. This nocturnal animal doesn't fly; it glides.
& Honey Bee. These insects came to the United States with the earliest settlers.
& Mallard Duck. This is the most common duck in North America.
& Monarch Butterfly. These gorgeous insects migrate thousands of miles.
Muskrat. These water-dwellers are found all over Missouri. They are rodents, but they are not rats.
* Opossum. The only marsupial in North America has thumbs on its hind feet.
& Raccoons. These masked bandits have expanded their range to include cities as well as riverbanks.
Red Fox. 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 Otter. 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.
* Soft-Shelled Turtle. This turtle's shell is really thickened skin, but its bite can be painful.
* Squirrels. The most recognized wild mammal in our cities. Both the eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel live in Kansas City.
& Songbirds. These migrants often spend winters in the tropics and summers in Missouri. Sometimes they spend summers in the far north and winter in Kansas City.
Sphinx Moths. If you see a hummingbird with antennae, it's one of these wondrous moths.
* Tarantula. These shy ambush hunters may live 20 years!
* Tiger Salamander. This is the world's largest land-dwelling salamander.
* Toad. 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.
Wild Turkey. 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.
* Wolf Spider. This predatory spider doesn't build a web.
Woodchuck. This very large rodent has the reputation of weather forecasting.