Second-graders learn about area mammals

Riverview second-grader Carter Smalley looks at the teeth of a bear skull on Wednesday during a Department of Natural Resources presentation. (Pioneer photos/Meghan Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — As each new exhibit was shown, students’ hands shot into the air to give their best guesses of what was being shown.

Reid Curtis (front) and Aloura Jack (back) talk about the differences in the skulls they are holding after petting the pelts during the presentation.

Second-grade students at Riverview Elementary spent Wednesday learning about the skull shapes and pelts of different mammals in the area from Kimberlyn Burgos, of the Department of Natural Resources wildlife outreach.

Burgos held up a skull and asked students to guess which animal it came from based on where the eyes were located and the shape of its teeth. After the answer was given, Burgos would show students the animal’s pelt and talk about some of the mammal’s characteristics.

Students then had a chance to feel the fur of each animal and get an up-close look at its skull. Mammals presented included a black bear, beaver, coyote, bobcat and raccoon.

Kimberlyn Burgos, of the DNR wildlife outreach, holds a coyote pelt, showing students approximately how tall the mammal would be, as well as pointing out some of the distinguishing features of the animal.


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at

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