Learn why it's good for some animals to be slimy at Oct. 6 MDC kids program

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Being slimy, squishy and squirmy may not seem like desirable traits for humans, but for some animals they’re essential for survival.

Kids wanting to learn why it’s good some creatures are squirmy and slimy should sign up for Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual kids’ program “Slimy Nature.” This online program, which is designed for ages 7-11, will be from 5-5:45 p.m. on Oct. 6 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. People can register for this program at:


Being slimy may seem like a disgusting trait to humans, but it’s a necessary part of some creatures’ lives. Earthworms, for instance, breathe by passing oxygen and carbon dioxide through their skin. For the oxygen to get through the skin and into the worms’ system properly, there needs to be moisture on the skin so the worms produce mucus to keep their bodies moist and slimy.

Slugs, another well-known slimy creature, are covered in a thin layer of mucus that helps them retain moisture. This slime also protects them from most predators because of the bad taste of the mucus.

MDC Naturalist Alex Holmes will explain the role slime plays in some creatures lives and will also lead participants in a hands-on experience. Students who wish to participate at home will be provided with a materials list prior to the program. Complete instructions for joining and participating will be e-mailed several days prior to the program date. More information about this program can be obtained by e-mailing Alex.Holmes@mdc.mo.gov.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the sign-up link listed above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.