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The Farm at Night

The Farm at Night
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This video grew out of real sightings on a nearby farm at various times of almost every animal shown in a series of imaginary "scenes" in a style using animations or footage over photo backgrounds. The sequence leaves out daytime animals we are also familiar with which don't appear (groundhogs, squirrels, turtles and snakes, deer, rabbits, hawks etc). The "plot" is simply a sunrise taking over to yield morning at the end. There is also a rough thread of starting from plant life, a pond reference, then predators/prey... and finally the scavengers/omnivores.

Any one of the subjects could branch into further studies. A teacher could first ask the class to "spot" the animals to find all 13 and choose a favorite for a report. There is also the chance to discuss how animals in general are not all diurnal or nocturnal. They could be asked to find out what is crepuscular, and note that some are off and on with activity both day and night. What are the reasons or advantages of each behavior? (Wikipedia isn't bad on this).

I will note that I did not include wolves or coyotes, as they are somewhat less common; although I did have a brief glimpse of the latter crossing my own front property when looking out the window late at night. They are surprisingly “suburban” and a coyote appears in the foxes video cited below. And the list excludes mountain lions which are pretty much extinct in the eastern US.

A bobcat also would be rare to actually see but it is included, partly to encourage students to learn about the interesting rescue organization efforts that can be viewed at https://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-rehab/

Animals generally found further away from human habitation like bears would expand the topic. Many fine and humorous YouTube resources can provide other exposures to the individual animals, such as if you search "Datura" for more moth action. Do caution in case the flower is found in a garden, that this is an alluring but poisonous plant. Ask extra questions, such as how is a bobcat different from a house cat? Which are the snail's antennae for seeing and which for smelling? And where do they go when the snail pulls its head into its shell? What is a marsupial? Do opossums really “play dead” ...or hang by their tails? Can a bat take off from the ground? (no, they need some free air space to start flight and panic if they accidentally enter a house because they fear they may not be able to leave if they get stuck. Also, don't be surprised to find one hiding inside a towel or umbrella if you leave it hanging outside overnight.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTV23B5gBsQ gives a clue on the snail question
http://www.kiddyhouse.com/Snails/snail.html more on snails
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqBrWMGtFLI follows a family of foxes discovered in suburbia
http://www.minibeastwildlife.com.au/resources/garden-orb-weavers/ about Australian orb weavers but good general information
http://www.rabbit.org/fun/answer6.html about what is crepuscular
BBC & National Geographic have longer videos showing lives of urban raccoons

Also, owls, foxes, opossums, skunks, and even bobcats have been kept as pets (usually by breeding but some by rescue). What do students think of the idea?

Contents in order of appearance:
Fireflies
Hawk Moth
Frog
Snail
Bat
Spider
Owl
Mice
Fox
Bobcat
Skunk
Opossum
Raccoon

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