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When I Grow Up, I'm Going To Be A...(Round 2)

National parks are bustling with different kinds of life, from the tiniest of creatures to the largest on the planet. Follow these basic safety tips for watching wildlife in parks and Leave No Trace principles to keep their habitat healthy for future generations of life in parks.

Can you identify what species each of these youths found in national parks grow up to be? Slide the arrows on each image to the left or right to see if you guessed correctly. Use the dropdown menus to learn more about each one.

When I grow up, I'm going to be a...

A photo of a caribou calf next to a photo of a caribou bull A photo of a caribou calf next to a photo of a caribou bull

Left image
Credit: NPS Photos

Right image
Credit: NPS Photo

...a full-grown caribou. Unlike most members of the deer family, both male and female caribou grow antlers. Adult male caribou shed their antlers during late fall while adult female caribou keep their antlers throughout the winter.
 

When I grow up, I'm going to be a...

A photo of tadpoles next to a photo of a tiger salamander A photo of tadpoles next to a photo of a tiger salamander

Left image
Credit: NPS Photos

Right image
Credit: NPS Photo

...a full-grown tiger salamander. Baby salamanders known as larvae are born with gills and fins so they can breath and swim in the water. They go through a metamorphosis during which time their gills and fins shrink and they grow lungs and legs to leave their aquatic environment for land.
 

When I grow up, I'm going to be a...

A photo of prairie dog pups on a mound next to a photo of a family of prairie dogs A photo of prairie dog pups on a mound next to a photo of a family of prairie dogs

Left image
Credit: NPS (left), NPS / Jeff Zylland (right)

Right image
Credit: NPS / Jeff Zylland

...a full-grown prairie dog. Black-tailed prairie dog pups do not stray too far from home even after growing up. These very social and talkative rodents form close-knit family and neighbor bonds within a prairie dog "town" that can cover dozens to hundreds of acres of prairie.

When I grow up, I'm going to be a...

A photo of a caterpillar next to a photo of a butterfly A photo of a caterpillar next to a photo of a butterfly

Left image
Credit: NPS (left), NPS / E. Knepley (right)

Right image
Credit: NPS / E. Knepley

...a full-grown butterfly. Spicebush swallowtail larvae transform into beautiful butterflies through metamorphisis. As a larvae and an adult, spicebush swallowtails learn to mimic predators and fellow butterflies that are not as tasty to avoid getting eaten. Unlike most butterflies, they flutter their wings while feeding.
 

When I grow up, I'm going to be a...

An illustration of two sprouting redwood seeds next to a photo of tall redwood trees An illustration of two sprouting redwood seeds next to a photo of tall redwood trees

Left image
Credit: NPS Images

Right image
Credit: NPS Photo

...a full-grown redwood tree. Redwood seeds are no bigger than the seeds of a tomato, but they can grow much too big for the average garden by reaching the size of a 30-story skyscraper. Redwood trees are the tallest form of life on the planet standing over 367 feet high.
 

Last updated: April 22, 2020