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Christopher Cheng Visits Bank Street

February 1, 2013

On Wednesday morning, January 30, Christopher Cheng, the author of Python, visited the 7/8s at the School for Children–all the way from Australia!

He described his days teaching at a zoo, and also loading up a van with animals, so he could take his “zoomobile” on the road.

One student demonstrated how a bat’s wings work, extending from its finger-like talons, all the way to the leg. The bats use their talons “like hooks” to sleep upside-down. Christopher Cheng joked that bats are right-side up. It’s humans that are upside-down! Another moved like a python on her belly, without any help from her arms or legs. Christopher Cheng explained that pythons use “vestigial legs” to slither along the ground.

Cheng showed how pythons can unhinge their jaws in order to fit their prey into their mouths, head-first, before swallowing them whole. They may eat only once all winter. He asked the students to wrap their arms around themselves, then exhale, then wrap their arms tighter. This way, children could experience how the python wraps more tightly around its prey with each breath, in order to suffocate the prey before swallowing it.

Thank you for visiting, Christopher Cheng! We loved learning about bats and pythons!

Photographs courtesy of Cheryl Simon

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