Conservation Creation: Terrific Turtles

Ever wonder what the difference is between a turtle and a tortoise? To answer this, you must first know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. This is because all tortoises and turtles belong to the Testudine family, meaning they are reptiles with a hard shell. However, turtles break off into other smaller families (dependent upon their traits). The most obvious difference is that tortoises only live on land, while turtles will spend at least some of the time, if not a majority of their life, in the water. Another distinguishing characteristic is that tortoises are herbivores (vegetarians), while turtles are omnivores, eating both plants and living creatures like insects.

While there are several differences between tortoises and turtles, one thing they have in common is their need for protection. Due to their hard outer shell, these animals are well equipped to protect themselves from the natural predators who see them as a potential meal. However, they are not prepared to save themselves from human threats (like habitat loss). This is why it is important to make sure that we don’t disturb wild turtles or tortoises when we see them and make sure to keep pets like cats and dogs inside so that they don’t become a potential predator for one of our shelled friends. We can also help by being cautious drivers. Many turtles have an internal homing sense and desire to stay close to their original home. This sometimes means crossing roads to find food or potential mates, then returning home. If you do see a turtle in the road and want to help, make sure that you move them to the side they are trying to get to, and only do this if you are safely able to do so.

Now… for some fun! This month, we will show you how to use bottles to make a turtle bank! If you want to take an extra step to help turtles and tortoises, consider donating to the following organizations, which we also support here at the Greensboro Science Center:

The Orianne Society: Nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians, and the lands they inhabit.

The Turtle Survival Alliance : Nonprofit dedicated to conserving struggling turtle and tortoise populations through a variety of techniques including breeding programs and habitat protection.

 

DIY Steps

What you will need: plastic bottles, scissors, glue, fun foam or craft felt, a marker, craft supplies of your choice, and an X-ACTO knife or sharp blade (using adult assistance).

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Step 1: Using the X-ACTO knife, cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle, then use scissors to smooth out the edge.

Step 2: Place the bottom of the plastic bottle on top of your foam or felt, then use your marker to trace a circle around it.

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Step 3: Use your marker to draw a tail, a head and feet on to the circle, then cut out your turtle shape.

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Step 4: Put glue on the rim of the plastic bottle bottom from earlier and place it on top of your turtle base. Allow it to dry.

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Step 5: Use your X-ACTO knife to make a small slit in the bottom of your turtle.

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Step 6: Get creative! Add your own decorations to your turtle’s shell. If you use glue to adhere your embellishments, make sure to allow everything to dry before using your bank. You can also use your creation to store small household items such as buttons, screws or headphones!

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GSC Gift Guide: Tuxedo Trot Registration

Is there a running enthusiast or conservationist in your life that you’re still struggling to find the perfect gift for? How about giving them a gift that gives back – registration for the Greensboro Science Center’s Tuxedo Trot?!

Our fourth annual penguin-themed 5K and Kids’ Fun Run will be back on May 20, 2017! This event was created by the Greensboro Science Center’s Conservation Committee to raise funds for endangered African penguins, and 100% of event profits will be donated to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) to help save these beautiful animals. The bird’s population has declined dramatically in the past 10 years and there is an urgent need of you and your loved one’s help, making this the ideal gift for the conservationist in your life! tuxedo-trot-logo

For just $30 (through January 31, 2017) per person, a registration for the Tuxedo Trot 5K will give your loved ones an exciting, memorable and rewarding day of fun and exercise. For young runners, just $15 (through January 31, 2017) will give him or her a chance to hop, waddle, and stalk through the GSC’s zoo – just like their favorite animals – during the Kids Fun Run! Tuxedo Trot registrations can be purchased online at http://www.tuxedotrot.com/.

With a Tuxedo Trot gift registration, participants will get an awesome T-shirt (T-shirts are only guaranteed to the first 500 registrants), as well as a fun souvenir, refreshments, a day pass to the Greensboro Science Center on race day free of charge – all they have to do is present their race bib to enter – and the chance to win some crazy cool prizes!

Give the gift that gives back with a Tuxedo Trot registration!

GSC Gift Guide: Admission for a Day!

2016-greensboro-science-center-gift-guide-admissionWe’ve got a great gift idea for the hard-to-buy-for person on your list… admission to the GSC for a day! Give your loved ones a chance to see endangered animals up close, experience life among ancient animals, explore the human body and much more! Families will love learning together and sharing amazing educational experiences with their children, and couples will enjoy a unique date destination!

Tickets can be purchased online at shop.greensboroscience.org and are valid for one year from the visit date selected, giving your loved ones plenty of time to plan a visit. General admission includes entry to the aquarium, museum and zoo, so a full day of education and entertainment awaits. General admission is $12.50 for adults and $11.50 for children and seniors. Children 2 and under are free.

During their visit, your loved ones will get to explore the wonders of ocean life in our aquarium, including a chance to touch stingrays and even bamboo sharks! In addition to a variety of fishes, rays, sharks and even an anaconda, the aquarium also features fan favorites like loveable otters and playful penguins.

Your gift recipients will enjoy interactive experiences throughout our museum, including an extreme weather gallery, a children’s play area called SciPlay Bay, a human body exhibit, dinosaur area, and plenty of amazing snakes, lizards and turtles – including an ancient alligator snapping turtle!

bella-and-lela-javan-gibbons-img_0096The zoo allows your friends and family to see amazing animals like Javan gibbons, maned wolves and a tiger up close. Kids of every age will love the Friendly Farm petting area where they can pet a variety of goats and sheep. In addition to animals, there are interactive exhibits and pollinator gardens to enjoy. Make sure they don’t miss the people on exhibit at SKYWILD!

If the beneficiaries of your gift love their experience, they can apply their gift admission toward a membership. For an additional fee, they can upgrade their gift into a full year of free admission to the GSC – and enjoy many other benefits!

To purchase admission tickets for your family and friends, click here.