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MN Native Animals

The Nature Center's Exploration Hall is home to 35 species of live Minnesota-native animals (and a few exotic species), a 1700 gallon aquarium that is home to seven varieties of fish, and a Saw whet owl. These animal ambassadors are hard working members of our staff on display daily and frequently participants in educational programs. Our live animals allow visitors to get up close and to learn more about the wildlife that can be found just outside our doors. 

Did you know?

  • Fredricka, Quarry Hill's snapping turtle, is more than 50 years old and loves it when staff scratch her back.
  • All turtles species have 13 scutes on the outer layer of their shell. It's true, count the scutes on our turtles!  
  • The Nature Center is home to 7 of the 17 varieties of MN Native snakes.
  • Just like snakes in the wild, our snakes can lower their metabolic rates and go months without eating. 
  • Our tree frog is a hopeless romantic. Unlike his peers, he begins singing in January, not the spring. 

Try This

  • Check out a Discovery Pack at the front desk and practice your Bird Basics and Insecting Skills outdoors.
  • Pick up an animal tracking sheet, set out on a hike and see what you can identify.





Turtle fingernails are made out of the same material as human fingernails. High five!