mystery The answer to the clues may be found at the bottom of this column.    Teachers and Parents: Enter to win an entire set of Dawn’s nature books of one title for your home or classroom. It's fun and easy!
Just read the clues below. They describe an aspect of nature—a plant, animal, mineral, habitat, or natural process.
When you're ready to make your guess about who or what I am, click ENTER NOW.
Who Am I?
spacerglass1 Clue 1:  I'm a member of the "dog family."
glass1 Clue 2:  I live throughout North America in deserts, prairies, forests, and even in towns and cities.
glass1 Clue 3:  You might hear me howling at night to communicate with my pack.
glass1 Clue 4:  Don't let me trick you—I am NOT a wolf.
Do you think you know who I am? ENTER NOW.
Entries should be submitted no later than noon on Friday.
If you guessed correctly, you’re automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a set of nature books from Dawn Publications.
A contest winner will be announced at the end of September.
Throughout the school year, clues for a new Who Am I are posted no later than Sunday night, so you can use them with your class on Monday morning.Good luck!
The answer to last week's mystery was: SEASHELLS Although Inside Outside Nature blog is changing it's focus, this weekly "Who Am I?" will remain the same! Teachers, click here to get ideas about how to use the contest with your students.  

Nature’s Real Vampires

halloween-graveyardHalloween is just around the corner and you may soon have “vampires” knocking at your door looking for a sweet treat. In your classroom, this is the perfect time of year to introduce your students to some of nature’s real vampires.


Vampires are animals that consume blood as their food. Below are six of nature’s “blood suckers.” Have you seen any of them?

  1. Vampire Bat—This is the only mammal that feeds entirely on blood.
  2. Mosquito—Only the females drink blood, using the protein and iron from the liquid to make their eggs.
  3. Assassin Bug—It injects saliva, containing anti-coagulants, while it sucks up blood.
  4. Leeches—Humans have long (and sometimes misguidedly) depended on leeches for medical purposes.
  5. Bedbug—They disappear during the day (usually into bedding and furniture) and emerge at night to feed.
  6. Tick—These are among the most-feared vampires because they transmit illness, such as Lyme disease, Colorado tick fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  7. Fleas—All of the world’s 2,000-plus flea species subsist on mammal blood.

Source: “Ten Animals that Want to Suck Your Blood” by Simone Scully in Audubon Magazine. Read about more nature’s real vampires.


INSIDE: Into the Bat Cave

imagesOf the world’s more than 1,000 bat species, only three drink blood. These bats are native to South America, Central America, and two Caribbean islands. Most bats eat insects or fruit. These amazing mammals have long been misunderstood! Begin your science study just in time for the Halloween season by immersing students in learning about bats.

OUTSIDE: Bat and Moth

Many bats use echolocation to find their food. Simulate echolocation by playing a game that involves  your entire class. Download complete directions for playing the Bat and Moth Game. Note: It may also be played indoors as long as you have a space large enough to make a circle with all of your students.





Watch a youtube video of the book Stellaluna written by Janell Crannon about a little fruit bat that learns about friendship.


  • Discover facts and photos about vampire bats at National Geographic website.
  • Read The Magic School Bus Going Batty—Ralphie decides Ms. Frizzle is a vampire, and he’s driving the rest of the class batty.
  • A classic story about a bat that sees the world differently from all the other bats is The Bat Poet by Randall Jarrell.