Saturday, February 13, 2010

Key Deer and Plants in its Environment

Key Deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) are an exciting part of a visit to the Florida Keys, a string of islands dividing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Patience pays off when trying to observe them. When first looking, you might not readily spot the deer.

A stop at the visitors center, and Jean might tip you off to where you can see them. Her tips lead to these pictures (and many others, not posted here.) Someone else came up as the photographer was taking the pictures and scared off the, what does that suggest? To me, it says, "if you want good pictures you likely need to sit quietly and wait." What do you think about taking photos of wildlife?

Did you see only the deer, or, did you also see the plants the deer was munching on? Were you plant blind? Remember that the deer (and we, too) rely on plants for many purposes. What plants do you see?

Have you thought about what the Key Deer eat? I know some people have felt bad that their gardens were eaten. But, what if you want to know more? Science literacy can help students get into journal articles that are original source laboratory reports. One technique for improving science literacy, and finding out more about what the deer eat, is to encourage Reach Reading tm into the journals. For example, is about the plant foods deer browse on and how to foster their growth. It may be of interest to some students.

More reading:

(c)2010 J S Shipman. All rights reserved (text and photo(s)).

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