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Monday, October 01, 2012

Our new Pet

This morning on his way out to do chores, the Farmer found a surprising little guy waiting for him:

A Tiger Salamander
Yes indeed...a salamander!

As you can imagine...the kids were ECSTATIC!

And so led our morning with researching, building, and even a trip into town!

What did we discover...well, first of all that this is indeed a tiger salamander. And that it isn't fully grown, but more of a 'teenager' as Abi calls it.  Oh...and it's name is Sammie...because Sammie could be for a girl or a boy and we aren't sure what it is!

Anyway, an adult tiger salamander is about 6-8 inches in body and can reach up to 14 inches from head to tail.  Sammy is about 4 inches in body...which is why Abi calls it a teenager!

We also discovered that they like water, but live in burrows.  So in making a habitat for Sammie...we made a large pile of dirt (in the middle so it couldn't escape) and left a space for a water 'pond'.  Nathan also thought it needed some greenery to 'hide' in so that got thrown in too:

Sammie's habitat -
we did put some chicken wire on the top to help keep the cats and raccoons out!
Sammie seemed to like its new home, and soon began digging its new burrow (sorry, no pictures of that).

After discovering that salamanders eat small insects, worms, and sometimes baby mice, the children decided to go digging for worms.  However, with how dry things are, they didn't have much luck. Fortunately, mommy remembered that Alco in Smith Center sold worms - for fishing - and she called up there to see if they still had some.  They did, so off we went to buy food for Sammie!

I have no idea how long Sammie will live, but here we are on yet another wild life adventure in the heart of Kansas!

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