National Zoo Keeper Week: Creepy Crawlies

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Creepy crawlies may not be the best part of being a zoo keeper but they are also an important part of our environment

Angelina takes a look at how you can see the difference between cockroaches.

Zoo Keeper Maddie Boston gets to help keep track of some of the animals… Some people may be afraid of.

Boston says, “Some of the animals that I get to take care of are the animals here in our education center, that includes birds, reptiles, also our inverts of bugs and alot of people see them and aren’t big fans but they are just as important as our lions and tigers and our more popular animals we have at the zoo.”

One of her job duties is separating the cockroaches by their sex.

“All of the cockroaches that you put back in that tank are actually males, alot of people look at them and think they all look exactly the same and for the most part they kind of do but these roaches are actually sexually dimorphic that means the males and the females look different and today we are going to figure out how we can tell the difference between the males and females that way we can check to make sure the ones we put back are actually males. So we have a little chart here and how we are going to tell is, we are going to flip them over and on their underside their body is divided into different segments and you can see this lower segment down here on the males, they basically have an extra line right here so that bottom segment is kind of divided into two, while the females they have that one larger segment. So, we will take this off and pick one up and we will go ahead, as we sex them, we will divide them into males and females and then after that we will add the males into the tank we just cleaned out. So you can see the chart right there,” Boston said.

“That’s a male,” says Angelina.

Boston said, “Exactly, so we will put him in this tank right here.”

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