Friday, March 29, 2013

Our Good Friday at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, IL

 Our Good Friday at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, IL

The weather was nice, finally spring had arrived in Chicago land. Easter was just around the corner and the kids had one more day of spring break before the Easter weekend and then back to school. We wanted to stay close to home today and do something outside. Let's go to the Zoo. Cosley Zoo, in Wheaton, IL

For families in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Cosley Zoo in Wheaton can be just perfect. It's close by, very affordable, and plenty of fun for kids, especially the younger ones who can't handle the long walks of a large zoo like Brookfield Zoo or Lincoln Park Zoo. Cosley Zoo was well attended today but did not feel crowded at all. We had one adult and four children on our visit today. All kids under 17 are free, so our total admission was $5. What a great deal!

Duck with egg at Cosley Zoo
The first thing you see as you enter the zoo is a large picnic area, a large building with a gift shop and a nice water area and duck ponds. The zoo is very clean and well maintained. We headed straight for the duck ponds where numerous and various ducks were splashing and playing in the ponds as the families with young children watched them excitedly.
Lambs with Ewe at Cosley Zoo
Beyond the duck ponds you'll enter a "barnyard" like area with farm animals such as sheep, cattle, llama, miniature donkeys, goats and horses. The barnyard area of any zoo is often a favorite with the young kids because you can get up close to most of the animals kids are familiar with. A unexpected treat we got today was to see several adorable baby lambs, which were actively exploring their pen, nursing from their mother, and entertaining the visitors.

Peacock Closeup at Cosley Zoo
After the barnyard area the Zoo gets a little more wild. In the wild animal section we saw deer, cranes, heron, peacocks, bobcats, vultures, several owls species and some birds of prey. We also spent quite a bit of time watching the raccoons play and the red fox prowl their exhibit. The raccoons were a favorite with our group. They are incredibly cute and we got some great pictures.

Handsome Raccoon Profile at Cosley Zoo, Wheaton, IL
We spent between an hour or two at the zoo, which was just right for our group, which was one adult and four old kids (age 10+). If you have younger kids you may take longer to see everything. We had time to see everything, take some pictures, and browse the well stocked gift shop. We didn't sample the vending foods or use the picnic area, but those areas are sure to be a huge convenience for families who want to take a break to recharge or plan to make a longer day of it.

Will we go back? Absolutely! If you're not looking for an African safari type zoo, this is a simple and affordable alternative to the big zoos in the Chicagoland area. If you go and take some pictures you want to share, please make an account over at and upload them. We'd love to see them!

Animals of the Tropical Forest

Tropical Forest

© Les Cunliffe -  
Tropical forests are found near the Earth's equator. There are two main types of tropical forest: the rainforest and the seasonal forest. Both get more than 8.5 feet of rain every year. Seasonal forests have a wet season and a dry season. However, in the rainforst there isn't a dry seaon. In a tropical rainforest it rains regularly throughout the year.

Tropical forests are the home to a huge number of animal species. In fact, the number of species living in these two types of tropical forests is more than all other habitats combined.

Some of the most famous animals of the Tropical Forest

Monkey (Image: domdeen /


90 percent of all Monkey species live in the Tropical Forest.

Frog  -  Amazon Milk Frog
Amazon Milk Frog - © Skyenimals


Like this Amazon Milk Frog, many species of frogs live in the Tropical Forest.

Anteater - © Skyenimals


Anteaters that live in the tropical rainforest have plenty of ants to eat!

On Skyenimals, visit list of tropical forest animals for many more! Or, check out the full list of animal habitats if you are interested in other animal habitats.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Animals of the Desert Habitat


© svedoliver -

Deserts are dry. Deserts are extreme. True deserts get less than 6 inches of rain per year. There are also semideserts, which are desert like, but get more rain (up to 16 inches per year). True deserts have very few plants. Semidesert habitats have enough rainfall to support more plant and animal life.

Deserts (especially true deserts) are not easy places for animals to live. Animals who live in them often have special features that help them survive.

Some famous animals of the desert

Camels are often the first animal that comes to mind when thinking of a desert habitat. Camels have many characteristics that help them survive in the harshest and driest of the world's deserts.

Rattlesnakes - Some species of Rattlesnakes, like the sidewinder rattlesnake, make their home in the desert. These snakes often bury themselves in the sand or hide in animal burrows during the day, and come out to hunt lizards and small mammals at night.

On Skyenimals, visit list of desert animals for many more! Or, check out the full list of animal habitats if you are interested in other animal habitats.