Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wondering Through the Zoo

Today we took advantage of a cloudy, cool summer day and visited The Cincinnati Zoo.  We've been to the zoo many times over the years, but haven't spent as much time wondering as we did today.  Before going on any family or school zoo trip, I encourage you to visit Wonderopolis to build background knowledge and encourage wondering.  Below are some of the animals and insects we saw and the Wonders that we associated with them.

This Wonder and bird is a favorite at our house.  We wondered how many people visiting the zoo today know why flamingos are pink.  The first Wonder tells why, #1 Why Are Flamingos Pink?

This is Sarah.  She beat the world record for the standing 100-meter dash.  We were fortunate to watch her run and get this picture.  We already knew the cheetah was the fastest animal on Earth, thanks to Wonder #633 Can a Human Outrun a Cheetah?

We loved this gorilla!  We couldn't tell if he/she was sleeping or fooling around.  It reminded us of Wonder #566 Why Is It So Fun To Monkey Around?

While visiting the Insect House, we found some new bugs we had never heard of.  On the left are bat cave cockroaches and on the right are taxicab beetles.  We were reminded of 2012 Camp What-a-Wonder's Wonder #652 Where Do Bugs Sleep? while visiting the insect habitats.

There are two really cool exhibits in the insect house.  One is of honey bees.  As you can see below the bee colony goes outside to collect their nectar and pollen and then brings it back inside.  There are two wonderful Wonders that go with the bee exhibit, #51 What Do Bees Do in Winter? and #621 How Many Flowers Can a Bee Pollinate?

The second really cool exhibit is a leaf cutter ant exhibit.  There is a big glass enclosure when you enter the insect house and then tubes run throughout the building up near the ceiling that lead to another glass enclosure of more ants.  Everywhere you go, you can see the ants at work.  Wonder #258 Why Do Ants Think They're Invited To Picnics? goes perfectly with this cool exhibit.


  1. What a wonderful way to spend the day...especially with two awesome kids! The Wonders of the Day that you have mentioned would make for a great virtual trip to the zoo when the weather doesn't want to cooperate. Thanks for sharing your day!

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Heike. What a great idea for a virtual zoo trip, especially during the winter months.