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Understanding Radical Reptiles and Awesome Amphibians

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Upcoming activity teaches pre-teens all about herpetology critters and careers.

Your kids’ interest in lizards, frogs and snakes today may turn into a career in the future. Encourage their outdoor inclinations with an activity that helps pre-teens answer the question “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

J.O.Y. for Nature: Radical Reptiles” is an interactive outdoor class designed to help young participants consider a career as a herpetologist. From the Greek word “herpien,” meaning “to creep,” herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of reptiles and amphibians. This activity is part of an ongoing series targeted toward pre-teens, and those who participate will learn about what it takes to turn herpetology into a career.


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J.O.Y. for Nature (Juniors or Youths for Nature) is a monthly series dedicated to showcasing various career opportunities for ypre-teems ages 9-12. From examining tiny bugs to exploring outer space, each month will focus on a specific scientific field of study and teach young people how to explore that profession in school and beyond. The series, geared toward middle school kids, was developed by Irvine Ranch Conservancy naturalists, in partnership with the City of Irvine, and aims to make lessons about nature more relevant to kids while helping them understand the natural world around them.

J.O.Y. for Nature: Radical Reptiles will take place in Round Canyon, in the northern section of the Irvine Open Space Preserve, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. Young participants and their families will join trained naturalist guides as they discuss what makes a reptile a reptile and an amphibian an amphibian. They will learn about the distinct traits of each and compare them to each other and to other members of the animal kingdom.

Kids will get to explore how these animals move and how their coloring and patterning can function as camouflage. They will learn about what these critters eat, and where they fall in the food chain. In addition to discussing various reptiles and amphibians, naturalists will talk about the path one would take through school in order to become a working herpetologist.The activity will include a hike into Round Canyon as they look for reptiles and amphibians in the wild.

Pre-registration is required for kids and the adults accompanying them (a parent or guardian is required to attend with minors). Click here to register for next weekend’s activity, and visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities for a full list of upcoming programs in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.