Alas, there is no “Mammals of Oklahoma” – – not yet. However, this book is a classic resource and has been for fifty years. It has full descriptions of all of the mammals of Texas, with range maps. The maps can give a pretty good suggestion of where they might be in Oklahoma, like the Porcupine (above). The entire book is posted online, or you can order it online. It’s not very expensive and would be an excellent library resource for southern or western Oklahoma schools. http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/
This is simply a checklist of the over 150 species of herps (reptiles and amphibians) found in Oklahoma. It would be easy enough for me to copy and paste it, but that would not be proper use of Greg Sievert’s exhaustive research. He is considered an authority in Oklahomoa herpetology. http://academic.emporia.edu/sievertg/okherps.htm
If you want more information get a copy of Reptiles of Oklahoma. It is not expensive and it even has range maps, by county, for each species! http://www.oksnakes.org/
There are several maps of where in the state the vegetation types are, or historically were. The classic study is the map of 15 different kinds of vegetation. A smaller copy appears above, and a link to the image is below. Remember – when it comes to images, link, don’t lift! http://www.okatlas.org/okatlas/biotic/vegetation/duckfletcher.htm
A more simplified (12 vegetation types) but more clear map, in pdf format is at http://www.forestry.ok.gov/Websites/forestry/Images/Ecoregions.pdf
There are other maps on this blog – geology, etc. Just search to see what you find that you can use in your classroom!
From the Noble Foundation in Ardmore comes this premier collection of plant images. and information. Over 600 plant species are shown, with detailed, high-quality close-ups of the flowers, leaves, etc. With each plant you get a number of photos and detailed information about it, including when it flowers.
This is a superb reference site for 4H, FFA, Boy and Girl Scouts, and any other teaching situation where you need to show any of the common (or rarer) plants of Oklahoma. Indexed and referenced.
http://www.noble.org/apps/plantimagegallery/ and note that this is the new address. If you have been using an old address you need to change your bookmarks.
Why on earth would you want to look a pix of insects? Other than they are cool, they are almost robotic, kids love ’em, they are easy to keep in the classroom, and here comes the biggie – somebody at your school is doing 4H and insect study in 4H is HUGE! There are local and state contests. There are scholarships for those who want to take it further.
Back to 4H – if your school has a five-star 4H program they could probably use your help. If there is no program at all, considering volunteering to put one in. Tread lightly though, as this is a big, BIG undertaking. For now let’s get back to insects. How you use insects in the classroom is up to you but the important thing is to somehow use them. We will get some specific lessons on the blog later. In the meantime, here are some collections you can use:
http://www.ento.okstate.edu/4H-FFA/ is THE go-to collection specific to Oklahoma, used by th older 4H students to help them prepare for the local and state entomology contests. Similar to that is a series of powerpoints you can use to teach the insects required for that contest at http://entoplp.okstate.edu/4H-FFA/ppt/guides.html
For butterflies only you should try http://www.thebutterflysite.com/oklahoma-butterflies.shtml Here you will find a list of the Oklahoma butterflies, with images, detailed information, and range maps.
I will keep posting information about Oklahoma natural history – birds, mammals, snakes, flower, geology, and so forth. Just use the Search button for “Oklahoma” (or “Texas” and let me know if you find anything we should include.