Discover the diversity of life along a Carolina stream–from the mountains to the coast. Streams are part of “nature’s waterworks,” an enormous circulating system that cleanses and distributes water across the land. Here at the NC Zoo, get a clear view of the prehistoric-looking gars and sturgeons that inhabit local rivers and lakes. Watch the playful river otters frolic in their stream from underwater viewing. Learn the truth about local snakes–from water moccasins to copperheads–and find out why they are so important to humans.
Named for their short tails (about 5 inches in length), bobcats are small felines that inhabit various ecosystems throughout North America. Found in the mountains, piedmont and coastal wetlands, bobcats occupy a wide variety of habitats in North Carolina. Bobcats can reach a length of 40 inches and weigh up to 40 lbs. They are carnivores and prey primarily on rabbits, however they are opportunistic eaters and change their diet depending on available prey.
The river otter often hunts and travels in fresh water, but it spends a lot of time on land as well. With its many adaptations, it is extremely well suited to life in and around rivers. Webbed hind feet make an otter more efficient in water. When the otter swims, it tucks in its front paws and propels itself with paddle-like hind feet.
Test your observation skills and try to find all the treefrogs! Clutching leaves and reeds, this exhibit showcases several treefrogs found in North Carolina-green treefrog and Cope’s gray treefrog.
These air-breathing, cold-blooded vertebrates have skin covered in scales. Discover some of the many reptiles found across North Carolina. Learn to identify local snakes such as rattlesnakes, copperheads, scarket kingsnakes, ratsnakes and watersnakes. Snakes occupy an irreplaceable niche in the ecosystems where they exist. They are top predators that keep prey species, such as rodents, in check. Other reptiles at the Streamside exhibit include spotted turtles and broad-headed skinks.
The stream races down the mountain, changing to a broad, slow coastal waterway. In this exhibit, see the fish that inhabit the different parts of the Carolina stream. See native fish from brook trout living in the icy mountain waters to the rare Cape Fear Shiner of the Piedmont.