Who’s Who at Critter High

By MDC | May 1, 2022
From Xplor: May/June 2022
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Who's Who At Critter High
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Wild animals don’t go to high school, of course. And they definitely don’t have yearbooks. But what if they did? With the end of the school year on the horizon, we thought it would be fun to imagine who might be top of the class at Critter High.

Nuttiest Clown

An eastern gray squirrel, which weighs about as much as a football, eats nearly 100 pounds of acorns and nuts every year.

Likely to be late

Three-toed box turtles move so S … L … O … W … L … Y, they’d probably miss their own graduation. But they have time to go slow. They can live over 100 years.

Best Dressed

Male painted buntings dress to impress. Like many boy birds, these fellas use their flashy feathers to charm the chicks.

Drama Queen

To lure predators away from its nest, a killdeer puts on quite an act. It pretends to have a broken bone, thrashing around and dragging its wing pitifully.

Principal’s Pal

Raccoons are the critter most likely to wind up in the principal’s office. With their nimble paws, they easily open coolers and trash cans to steal food.

Valedictorian

“Birdbrain” isn’t an insult to an American crow. The brainy birds can count objects, use tools to gather food, and even tell one human from another.

Future Business Owner

A beaver family is like a construction company. The buck-toothed builders use their razor-sharp teeth to cut down trees, which they use to build dens and dams.

Best Dinner Date

A cottontail can raise 35 babies in a year. Luckily, plenty of predators keep rabbits in check. Foxes, bobcats, and hawks all have rabbit ragú on the menu.

Best Hair

River otters are fabulously furry. Each square inch of an otter’s skin is covered with over 300,000 hairs!

Always Asleep

Ground squirrels spend half their lives hibernating. The super-snoozers crawl into burrows in October, fall deeply asleep, and don’t wake up until April.

Cutest Couple

Canada geese would win the vote for “couple most likely to stay together.” The loyal birds usually stay with the same mate throughout their long lives.

Worst Nickname

Missouri’s largest salamander, the hellbender, has a terrible nickname. Due to their slippery, mucus-covered skin, some people call them “snot otters.”

Future Olympic Medal Winner

To escape danger or catch fleet-footed prey, a coyote can scurry in a hurry. Missouri’s fastest land animal can sprint short distances at 43 miles per hour.

Rangers Science Club

Hoo knew feathers were so flammable? After weeks in rehab, Mr. Owl is once again flying high.

Rangers Football Team

With an impenetrable offensive line, the undefeated Rangers football team had another savage season.

Rangers Jazz Band

No sour notes here. Just sweet tweets and funky beats from this all-bird band.

Also In This Issue

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Timber Rattlesnak
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Humans have five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. But our senses are pretty puny compared to some wild critters.

This Issue's Staff

Artist - Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Laura Scheuler
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber