SCAMH participants learn about animals across the state Tuesday

Published 1:40 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday afternoon, Suzi Mersmann delivered a program on the Animals of Alabama to a group of 20 at the Day Program of South Central Alabama’s Mental Health Center. Mersmann, education specialist with the Covington County Soil and Water Conservation District, introduced scientific classification and discussed characteristics of the five classes of vertebrate (those with a backbone) animals: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Participants were then invited to test their knowledge and sort animal artifacts like skins, skulls, and taxidermy specimens into one of the five classes.

The group also enjoyed using a Junior Naturalist Module from Alabama 4-H to explore different animal tracks, latex “scat”, and talk about the similarities and differences in the animal kingdom.

Two of the group’s favorite topics were learning about a warmx-blooded fish, and temperature dependent gender determination for some of the reptile species; where the gender of the offspring depends on incubation temperature of the eggs.

“Alabama is blessed with a wealth of wildlife diversity – be on the lookout for the animals sharing your backyard,” Mersmann said.