If you chose the Giant Bird Aiolornis you are correct. Dinosaurs, like
Tyrannosaurus Rex, never lived in
the Borrego Valley and the Ostrich is a giant bird that lives in Africa.
There was never a bird called the North American Ostrich.
Aiolornis was the largest flying bird in North America, with a wingspan that was
16 feet wide and an enormous powerful beak. Although it may have looked like a
giant vulture or condor, Aiolornis was likely a powerful predator.
Aiolornis likely became extinct around 9,000 – 13,000 thousand years ago, a time
when many large animals in North America went extinct. This time is called “The
Megafauna Extinction” because many things went extinct at this same time, which
was also the end of the last Ice Age
2. Who am I? These are my
tracks. I spend much of the day in my underground burrow where it
is nice and cool. I venture out at night to hunt for food.
The correct answer is Swainson's Hawk. Swainson's Hawks have a very
long migration journey, from South America all the way north to Canada. On
their way north, during February and March, many Swainson's Hawks travel
through the Borrego Valley. They can be seen circling in the air,
sometimes many dozens at one time.
Turkey Vultures also migrate to the
south in the winter, sometime to Central America. But not as far as the
Although many hummingbirds do migrate, many Anna's Hummingbirds stay
in the same area year round, or just migrate a short distance.
5. This animal does not need to drink water
for its entire life. Its body can manufacture water chemically
from the dry seeds and plants that it eats.
The correct answer is the Kangaroo Rat. This desert animal
is so well adapted to the desert that it's internal organs can actually make
water from the dry food that it eats.
Both the Black-tailed Jackrabbit and the Antelope Squirrel are
also adapted to the desert. They can get most of the water they need
from the moisture in the plants that they eat. But they need that
moisture. They could not survive for long on just dried foods with no
source of water.
This flower shown above is Desert Sand Verbena. In the springtime the desert
surrounding Borrego Springs can be covered with beautiful sand verbena,
especially in years when there has been good winter rains.
This flower is Indigo Bush
This is Chuparosa
7. The food web. Who
eats who? The pictures below show a producer, an herbivore, an
omnivore, and a carnivore. Which is which?
This beautiful small snake is the Colorado Shovel-Nosed Snake.
Adults are just 10 - 17 inches in length. The Shovel-Nosed Snake burrows
in the sand and feeds on insects, scorpions, spiders, centipedes, and insect
larvae. This snake in not harmful to humans in any way.
This is a
picture of the California King Snake in the Anza-Borrego Desert.
The California King Snake is much larger than the shovel-nosed and can grow up to 85 inches
in length. This snake feeds on small mammals, lizards, and other snakes,
including rattlesnakes. It is found in many different habitats,
forests, desert, marshes, along the coast, and open fields. The color of
the snake can vary depending on it's habitat. This snake is not harmful to
humans in any way.
This is a picture of the Red Coachwhip, also called the Red Racer.
This snake can grow as long as 100 inches. The Coachwhip eats birds, bats,
other snakes, lizards, along with toads and other amphibians. This snake
is not harmful to humans in any way.
The Peninsular Desert Bighorn is a federally endangered species.
This means that there are not very many wild sheep in the areas where they once
lived and people are doing everything that they can to help this animal survive
and reproduce. In spite of being rare, this beautiful animal can sometimes
be seen in the steep rocky canyons of the Anza-Borrego Desert and the mountain
ranges around Palm Springs.
The Roadrunner is not endangered. It is commonly seen ( often
crossing the road) all around Borrego Springs.
The Bobcat is not endangered. There are many bobcats living over
most of the United States, including Anza-Borrego.
11.Why does the common
stinkbug sometimes stand on it's
Is it a warning to stay away? Is it
getting ready to fly away? Will it quickly dig a
The Stinkbug is the skunk of the insect world. Just as a skunk
turns it's rear to an enemy to warn that it is about ready to spray, the
stinkbug does the same thing. The smell is repulsive to most predators and
it tastes as bad as it smells. The smell is enough to protect it in many,
but not all cases.
The Stinkbug has wings but they are fastened tight to it's body and it cannot
fly. Although the stinkbug will go underground when it is hot or cold, it
will use a burrow or hole that already exists, like the burrow of a rodent,
rather than digging it's own hole.
12. The flowers of a
plant have special parts that allow a plant to reproduce itself but
plants need help from pollinators for reproduction to take place.
Which of the following pictures are pictures of pollinators?
The correct answer is "All of them." Hummingbirds, bees, and nectar
eating bats are all important pollinators. Flowers contain a dust called
"pollen" which must be spread from flower to flower and from plant to plant for
the plant to reproduce itself. This is exactly what hummingbirds, bees,
butterflies, and nectar eating bats do. They come for the sweet nector,
They get dusted with pollen in the process. And they carry this dust around with
them as they feed.