Our first stop was the train. We waited about 45 minutes! They were having a problem with one of their trains and we think they just weren't prepared for a lot of school groups or something. But, it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed talking to our "neighbors." And, the train ride was great. We did the whole "loop" and then had lunch.
One of my favorite areas was the Insectarium. There were so many neat insects to see here. And, my favorite tank included 2 neat insects - the one pictured above is a male ferocious water bug. The sign said "The largest of the true bugs is large enough to eat tadpoles and salamanders! This bug crawls on stream bottoms and also rises to the surface, where it sticks out breathing tubes for air. Females cement their eggs to the male (see photo - this male has LOTS of eggs "cemented" to him), who carries them until they hatch."
My other favorite insect was also in this tank, but the photos didn't turn out as he/she as under water. It was a Sunburst Diving Beetle. It swim around with a little bubble they've collected from the surface. And, just the way they swim is so cute!
This area also has the a butterfly wing in a geodesic dome. We have a butterfly dome here, too, but this one had butterflies EVERYWHERE! And, we even saw this Atlas Moth on a tree where it had just emerged. I love his big, fuzzy antenae.
This turkey was running around loose in the Children's area. He was so tame - you could just walk up and pet him.
My other favorite place in the zoo was the penguin and puffin house. The above penguin is a humbolt penguin which live off the coast of Peru and Chile where it gets pretty warm. These penguins were housed outside.
This cutie is a Tufted Puffin.
I loved the giraffes long, blue tongue.
And, Alexandra really enjoyed the prairie dogs. In fact, they have a Build-a-Bear at the zoo which is the only zoo Build-a-Bear in the world. They sell animals there that they don't sell anywhere else. Alexandra got a prairie dog, which she named Madison, as a souvenir.