DOLGEVILLE - There were claws and talons galore Saturday night at the Florence Jones Reineman Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center, as it hosted a program with several live predatory birds and reptiles, as well as one ringtailed lemur, for more than two dozen guests.
Opening the night by bringing out a golden eagle, wildlife expert Andrew Simmons discussed the adaptations various species have developed to become effective predators.
At one point during the night, he fed several dead mice to a black-throat monitor, a large reptile native to Africa, as a demonstration of how the animal perceives prey. The monitor flicked out its tongue to smell the mice before it swallowed the prey almost whole.
Andrew Simmons holds an owl during his presentation Saturday night at the Florence Jones Reineman Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center in Dolgeville. (The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland)
Simmons, who has been studying and caring for animals since 1971, said he tries to keep the politics of environmental issues out of his presentations.
"What I try to do, of course, is keep it accurate and objective," Simmons said. "I mostly encourage people to stay objective."
The nature center will host presentations every Saturday night through August. Each will begin at 7 p.m. The topics are as follows:?
-?July 7 - "American Reptiles and Amphibians."
-?July 14- "Nocturnal Animals and Endangered Species."
-?July 21- "Birds of Prey."
-?July 28 - "Reptile Encounters."
-?Aug. 4- "Nature Writing Workshop."
-?Aug. 11- "World of Animals."
-?Aug. 18- "Rain Forest Reptiles and Amphibians."
-?Aug. 25- "American Kestrels: Biology and Ecology."
Admission is free. For more information, call 568-7101.
Arthur Cleveland can be reached at email@example.com.