COSTA MESA — Animal pelts covered a table littered with the jaw bones of different animals, a stuffed opossum, ferret and bird, and small cages that housed a fat hissing cockroach, a beetle with spindly legs and a tarantula preparing to molt.
Out of one of the largest cages, Michelle Price pulled a snake that was more than a foot long. Its scales shimmered a silvery-purple as she held the reptile, wrapped around her hand, to show students at Woodland Elementary School.
"She's using her tongue to smell," Price told the students as the snake's head weaved around with its tongue poking in and out. "She's smelling the first-graders saying, 'Do I like first-graders?'"
The snake was one of the creatures Rebecca Olsen's first-grade class was shown Thursday morning as they learned about omnivores, carnivores, herbivores and how they all fit into the web of life at a special lesson by Price from Science on the Go, a mobile program that gives hands-on science lessons to students around Southern California.