Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pogona Bearded Dragons, By Sharon Powell

                   Photograph Compliments of Rainbow Bearded Dragons

                   Publication:  Kid Headliner, Elementary Activity Reader

If reptiles are your favorite, then you will soon discover the Bearded Dragon to be one of the most unique and fun loving pets you could ever own. Like Sunny and Hypo pictured in this month’s issue, Bearded Dragons seem to possess a personality all their own, and can adapt quite well in captivity when provided adequate means of support. The vibrant orange-red and yellow tones found within many species makes them a pet everyone will admire.
Bearded dragons originate from various regions of Australia, and are considered gentle of nature. Only when the dragon feels threatened will they flee to safety.

Like most wild predators “Bearded Dragons are equipped with a set of teeth fused to both sides of their mouth. The Dragons front teeth fall out quite often and grow back on a regular basis. Only the back teeth remain intact and are used for cutting and slicing their food in order to promote a healthy means of digesting.
Bearded Dragons are also very good listeners, and possess two oval shaped ear openings on the sides of their head. If you look closely you can see the thin membrane inside the Dragons ear drum.  The tiny membrane is used to enhance sound waves within their environment.

Most all lizards are very small when born. The Bearded Dragon is less than 3” in length and weighs no more than 2 oz. Although they are less than the size of a pencil, their growth patterns are quick to change. Dragons grow an average of 2” per month, and will reach adulthood within less than a year. A full grown Bearded Dragon weighs approximately four to six lbs. and can range between eighteen to twenty inches in length. The life expectancy for the reptile is somewhere between ten and twelve years.

Some of the most significant features of anatomy belonging to the Dragon is their tail, eyes and support provided by their "stocky legs and claws." The Dragons tail is slightly rounded, and longer then the body.  The tail is commonly used to support themselves when sitting, or may be used as a weapon of defense against predators. The legs are also perfect for climbing and running at high rates of speed within a split second. Although the Dragon is quick to move, they are unable to run long distances. The claws are an excellent tool for digging and climbing, and to assist them when consuming food.

Skin Color
There are eight species of Bearded Dragon and all offer a rainbow of colors to choose from. The bright-orange reds are a favorite to many pet lovers, as is the brown, grey and yellow species. It is wise not to let their skin color fool you because Dragons are able to change skin tones when feeling threatened. Camouflage is a common defense mechanism many wild animals and reptiles possess and the Bearded Dragon will use it to intimidate predators.

The Bearded Dragon is a tough little creature, and their thick skin is proof that life in the hot sun is something to be taken seriously. All reptiles are ectotherms, or cold blooded animals, and require basking in the sun for several hours per day in order to maintain a comfortable body temperature of 85 degrees. Their thick layer of skin also acts as a protect ant from loss of moisture and injury against predator attacks. Although their skin is thick and rigid, it remains soft to the touch. Like most humans, dry skin is a condition some of us find overwhelming. Although humans do not shed large amounts of skin like the Bearded Dragon, we do experience flaking in dry weather conditions. The Bearded Dragon will shed their skin several times per year in order to maintain moisture by releasing the old layers. Shedding old layers of skin is a healthy part of molting and assures the reptile remains free of disease.

It may seem a bit strange to invite your pet Dragon to dinner, but this could never be farther from the truth. In fact, Bearded Dragons are omnivores and highly attracted to bright colored foods, such as the red and yellow types of fruits and vegetables. Besides enjoying a toss salad on a daily basis, they will also feast on a “chirping cricket” or slimy green worms such as meal, or the crawler types used for fishing. It is also important to provide plenty of vitamin D and Calcium powder for your Dragon to promote strong and healthy bones.

Bring along your favorite pair of sun shades when enjoying an afternoon of sunbathing with your Dragon. Although all reptiles are cold-blooded, they are able to control their body temperatures by moving in and out of the sun throughout the day. This allows the Dragon to maintain comfortable body temperatures. They will also seek comfort from a warm rock, or use the heat from the ground. When night falls, the Dragon is usually lodged between a rock or inside the bark of a tree to stay warm. The reptile will search for almost anything able to supply warmth, providing their survival is not threatened.

Now that you have learned some very important facts about Beaded Dragons you may decide that they are the perfect choice when selecting a reptile as a pet. To find out more about reptile species go to your local library or contact for a special purchase offer. Simply inform them you read this article and receive $15.00 off the purchase price of any Bearded Dragon in stock……...S. Powell, 2010

1.) Steve Grenard, Your Happy Healthy Pet, Bearded Dragon, (e.2), Wiley Publishing, & Howell Book House Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008.
2.) Manfred Au, Bearded Dragons, Barrons Educational Series, Munich Germany, 2008.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

History of Fort Quiatenon, By Sharon Powell

Photographs by: Sharon Powell

Established by the French in 1717, Fort Quiatenon was the first European settlement in Indiana. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, the fort is a historical landmark and a significant part of America’s Heritage. During the 18th Century, Fort Quiatenon had become a major trading post and home to more than 3000 residents and several Indian villages. The land provided a hunting ground for both Native Americans and tradesmen residing within the area. Europeans had designated Fort Quiatenon a meeting ground, and resting place for wayfarers settling in America from England and Quebec. The French occupied the fort as a military outpost to prevent British expansion into the Ohio and Wabash territories.

Industrial Revolution
Throughout much of the 18th Century Europeans and British policies governed early colonial settlers. The British and French Revolution paved the way for the establishment of civilized colonies and lifestyle changes due, in part, to the impacts of the industrial revolution. Canals, railways, steam-powered engines and machined tools began to change the shape of American lifestyles. During this time, Native Americans were also being affected by the changes, including British policies and monarchy confining all trade to posts while prohibiting the traffic of liquor and other products into the area. British policies forced negative changes for many Native Americans, leaving them feeling threatened and inconvenienced by British rule. In addition to being a military trading post. Fort Quiatenon was also home to many Indian tribes, including the Wea, Miami, and Fox tribes who depended heavily upon the resources of land and animals. Bison, Buffalo, Beaver and fur bearing animals were plentiful within the area and provided the resources for surviving the socioeconomic trends and ruggedness of colonial lifestyles. A small number of Miami Indians still reside in Indiana today. Approximately 2500 Native Americans help preserve the history of Colonial America.

British Tax on Colonies
British policy was often difficult for Native Americans to follow. The French and British military conflicts made life difficult for area residents. British soldiers were engaged in battle against Native Americans and French soldiers until the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1759 when British General James Wolfe captured Quebec. The victory allowed the British to begin taxing colonist to help pay for the losses incurred by the war while placing additional hardships onto Indian nations. Native Americans fought to defend their right to land and began joining forces in an effort to eliminate the rigid confines of British rule.

Chief Pontiac
A surge of Indian villages and uprising began to escalate after the conclusion of the war. Indian tribes settling near the banks of the Great Lakes Region and Ohio River, joined forces with various tribes residing along the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. It was during this time that a major revolt involving Fort Quiatenon occurred in 1763 by an Ottawaian Indian Tribe leader known as Pontiac. Pontiac’s Rebellion against British forces took control of Fort Quiatenon, transforming the land into meeting grounds for raids against Kentucky settlers. Chief Pontiac forged ahead, taking control of several outposts during the uprising while establishing him-self as a threat to military leaders. The rebellion was a controversial issue for military leaders and it was not until the Supervisor of Native affairs, Sir William Johnson appointed Deputy Colonel George Croghan to negotiate a peace treaty with Pontiac, ending the uprising. Chief Pontiac was later assonated by an Indian tribesman’s for organizing hostilities among the Illinois Indians.

Abandoned Fort
Military forces declared Fort Quiatenon useless due to the attack and allowed Native Americans control up until 1791. Indian revolts on area residents continued to escalate causing military forces to engage in heavy battle. Kentucky Militiamen, General Charles Scott was in charge, and later instructed to burn several Indian villages along the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Fort Quiatenon was not spared and the settlement was soon abandoned and suffered decay.

Contemporary Celebrations
One hundred thirty-seven years passed before a physician relocating to Lafayette, IN purchased the land in 1928. Recognizing the historical value of Fort Quiatenon, Dr. Richard B. Wetherill constructed a replica of the blockhouse trading post pictured above. Indian Hogan’s and replica of a colonial oven used during the 18th. Century is also pictured and remains a significant part of America’s heritage.
Fort Quiatenon was rich with artifacts and became a historical landmark and county Park in 1968. During the fall of the year, The Feast of the Hunters Moon is celebrated. Annual gatherings are formed in an effort to preserve American heritage and the historical value recognized within the fort. Local residents share recreations of 18th Century trade and lifestyle. Music, Dance, Colonial and Military costumes and artisans continue to pay tribute to the historical value of the fort.

1.) Robert M. Taylor, Jr., Errol Wayne Stevens, Mary Ann Ponder, Paul

Brockman, Indiana: A New Historical Guide, Indiana Historical Society, 1989 2.)'s_War


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