Liz Butler Draws The ROM: Outstanding Canadian Ungulates!
This week I went to the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity to look at some outstanding Canadians mammals – caribou, bison, and musk ox. These three species all belong to the even-toed ungulate order, Artiodactyla.
Being grouped together in one order means that caribou, bison, and musk oxen share some similar characteristics. All three of these species are herbivores, meaning they eat plant matter. Most even-toed ungulates share this characteristic, although pigs and their close relatives are omnivores (they can eat a variety of plant and animal matter).
Also, as you may have guessed, the feet of these animals share similarities. Even-toed ungulates bear their weight on two or four specialized toes at the end of each limb. In caribou, bison, and musk oxen these toes are covered in hooves.
Ungulates also often have horns, antlers, or ossicones (the nubbins that giraffes and their relatives have on their heads). These features can serve a whole range of purposes, from demonstrating the fitness of an animal, to attracting a mate, to acting as a means of defence. While deer like caribou have antlers, which must be re-grown every year, animals like the musk ox and bison have horns, which do not need to be re-grown.
What other shared characteristics can you identify in these three animals? Can you find any other animals in the museum that share the same characteristics?
- Liz Butler is an artist and teacher who loves natural history and museums. She loves drawing, painting, and making crafts of all kinds. She is happiest when she can find ways to combine art projects with science content.
- Liz’s Website – Liz Butler Draws
- Liz’s Blog – Saw Whet Studio
- More guest posts from Liz HERE!
- Do you like to sketch? Love museums? Are you a full time student in Canada? The ROM is yours to explore, FREE, every Tuesday! MORE!
Guest Post By Liz Butler. Last Updated: September 23rd, 2014.
Penguins vs Rope: The Video You Never Knew You Needed In Your Life
Penguins are designed for the water, where they are quick, sleek hunters. Put them on land, and these flightless birds are awkward waddling butlers. Put them on land in front of a rope, and they are hilarious.
Check out the sixth penguin to “walk the line” and who’s just shocked he was able to cross with no issues at all.
The lesson here is all those who choose to use a beach with a clear penguin population should use extra precaution when dropping an anchor line. Luckily in this video no penguins are hurt, outside of their pride, but lines like this run the risk of seriously damaging a flipper or worse.
Nonetheless, enjoy, and please someone make a gif set of this!
Barn owls are shockingly the most popular owls.
Zoe’s Top 5 Museum Animals!
Family Day Weekend is approaching and the ROM is talking about animals! I have many favourite animals and they can all be found right here at the ROM, so come and check them out!
- Snow leopards are not only beautiful and endangered but they can also be found 3500 meters above sea level and their scientific name is Uncia Uncia.
- Panda’s are simply just awesome and can up to 14 kilograms of bamboo a day. The dark eyespot of a panda cub is shaped as a circle but as the cub grows the circle becomes a teardrop shape. The name of the Panda originated from the Nepalese word poonya, which translates into “bamboo-eating animal.”
- There’s no doubt that you’ll miss the striking white rhino in the Schad Gallery at the ROM. The White Rhino is one of the workd’s largest land mammals. White Rhinoceros’ can be found in Africa’s grassy plains or wallowing in mud.
- Without doubt the Zebra’s one of my favourite animals! It’s one of the only animals that start with the letter “z” like my name. The famous zebra stripes are a defense mechanism that makes it harder for predators to pick out which zebra to chase. Zebra’s are also very social animals and they can run up to 56 kilometers per hour.
- My final favourite animal is Toronto’s night-time mascot, that is notorious for snooping through our garbage at night. Raccoons are very vocals and have a large variety of calls to communicate with. The raccoon’s scientific name is Procyon lotor, which translates into “washer dog.”
If you’re nearby, stop at the ROM during Family Day Weekend and find out more about my favourite animals. What’s your favourite animal?