Thursday, April 4, 2013

Meet Leo

Everyone, this is Leo.  Leo, this is the world beyond your home.

Oops, Leo is hiding.  He often does that, especially when people are around.

Click on the picture to make it larger.

Nevertheless, the kids in Ms. Murphy's second grade class have had many opportunities to see Leo, up close and personal.  There are times when Leo likes to stroll around his aquarium home.  There are even more times when he finds a good place to soak up some light.

"Leo is cold-blooded," explains Sacharis.  "That means he needs light and a heating pad to warm up."

Leo has a lot of kids who care about him.  They are also curious about what life is like for a leopard gecko.  It's nice to be able to learn about Leo in different ways.  

They can watch Leo carefully as scientists do and learn by observing his behavior.   They also have a book about geckos they can read to try and understand more about what they see.  They have seen Leo molt, for example.  The book says that leopard geckos shed their skins about once a month.  

"When it happens, it looks like the stuff on an onion," says Aliciana.  

It turns out that Leo eats that skin too.  "That's disgusting," said David, "but that's just what geckos do."

The kids have also seen Leo chow down--plenty of times.  He likes meal worms and has actually eaten up to fourteen in one day.  Some kids have watched and counted.

The guidebook is also supposed to explain how you can tell whether a gecko is male or female.  It's not as easy to figure out with lizards as other animals.  Even though the kids have read this section, they still haven't quite determined whether Leo is a he or a she.  Most kids think Leo is a he because of his name or because they want him to be.  

Others aren't as sure.  Even without a definite answer, there is a bright side to this problem.  Many kids have learned how to use a table of contents!