Animal Diversity Web
Great for students, great for general information, the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web is written largely by and for college students but has the materials elementary, middle, and high school students might need for reports and that the general public might need to understand the particular animal.
The information section covers the geographic range, the habitat, a physical description, reproduction, lifespan/longevity, behavior, communication and perception, food habits, predation, ecosystem roles, positive and negative economic importance for humans, and conservation status. There is a box listing the kingdom, phylum, subphylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
Some highlights from the coverage of the sandhill crane: “Five courtship displays have been identified as part of “dancing,” the primary mechanism of pair formation in this species. These displays are the Upright wing stretch, Horizontal head pump, Bow, Vertical Leap and Vertical toss.” The chicks “are able to leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching.”
With the first snow now falling you might think the sandhill cranes have left for southern climes but the Monday count at the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary was 1902 cranes, the highest count this fall. Based on previous years’ counts, the sandhill cranes should be departing in the next two weeks.