science education

Exploring Nature Educational Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12



Tennessee is a diverse state with forests, grasslands and wetlands. Because the state is wide but narrow from top to bottom, it is often broken down into three sections called the Grand Divisions – East, Middle and West Tennessee.

East Tennessee borders North Carolina and is where the Blue Ridge Mountains lie, which is made up of several smaller ranges – the Great Smokies, the Bald Mountains, Unicoi Mountains, Unaka Mountains, Iron Mountains and Roan Highlands. This area has the state's most rugged habitat – much of it is protected in state forest. The highest point of Tennessee – Clingmans Dome – is in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is 6,643 feet (2025 m) tall and is also the third highest point east of the Mississippi River. From the Blue Ridge Mountains west, the terrain becomes less rugged forming a series of forested ridges and green, fertile valleys appropriately called the Ridge and Valley Region. The streams and rivers of these valleys join to form the Tennessee River. In the Great Valley (western Ridge and Valley region) is where many people settled in Tennessee forming urban centers like Knoxville. The western edge of East Tennessee is marked by the Cumberland Plateau.

Middle Tennessee is less rugged. On an elevated plain, called the Highland Rim, this area surrounds the Nashville Basin. It is rich, fertile farm country where many settlers stopped after crossing the Appalachians Mountains as early as the late 1700s (late 18th century) and began new lives. This region is known for its tobacco crop as well as having some of the last, large, surviving American Chestnut trees. It is the most highly populated region of the state with the capitol – Nashville and many other large cities.

West Tennessee is the Gulf Coastal Plain between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. From east to west, this region starts at the hilly land along the western banks of the Tennessee River. It turns into a bottom land of rolling hills and streams that stretches all the way to the Mississippi River – called the Tennessee Bottoms. It's western edge is the lowland floodplain and swampland of the Mississippi Delta region. The largest city in Tennessee – Memphis – sits on steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi.


List of Mammals for this State

armadillo (nine-banded)
bat (big brown)
bat (Brazilian free-tailed)
bat (eastern pipistrelle) also called tri-colored bat
bat (eastern red)
bat (eastern small-footed myotis) - of special concern
bat (evening)
bat (gray myotis) - endangered
bat (hoary)
bat (Indiana myotis) - endangered
bat (little brown myotis)
bat (northern long-eared myotis)
bat (Rafinesque’s big-eared) - of special concern
bat (Seminole)
bat (silver-haired)
bat (southeastern) - of special concern
beaver (American)
chipmunk (eastern)
deer (white-tailed)
fox (gray)
fox (red)
mole (eastern)
mole (hairy-tailed)
mole (star-nosed)
mouse (cotton)
mouse (deer)
mouse (eastern harvest)
mouse (golden)
mouse (house)
mouse (meadow jumping)
mouse (white-footed)
opossum (Virginia)
otter (northern river)
rabbit (eastern cottontail)
rabbit (swamp)
rat (hispid cotton)

rat (marsh rice)
rat (Norway)
shrew (cinereus)
shrew (least)
shrew (pygmy)
shrew (southeastern)
shrew (southern short-tailed)
shrew (water)
skunk (eastern spotted)
skunk (striped)
squirrel (eastern fox)
squirrel (eastern gray)
squirrel (northern flying)
squirrel (southern flying)
vole (prairie)
vole (rock)
vole (southern red-backed)
vole (woodland)
weasel (least)
weasel (long-tailed)
woodrat (Allegheny)
woodrat (eastern)

For more information about Tennessee Mammals (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource: LINK

Coloring Mammals of this State


Labeling Mammals of this State


List of Amphibians & Reptiles for This State

frog (Blanchard’s cricket)
frog (green)
frog (northern crawfish)
frog (northern cricket)
frog (northern spring peeper)
frog (pickerel)
frog (southern leopard)
frog (upland chorus)
salamander (cave)
salamander (eastern hellbender)
salamander (eastern newt) or red eft
salamander (eastern tiger)
salamander (long-tailed)
salamander (marbled)
salamander (Mississippi slimy)
salamander (mole)
salamander (mudpuppy)
salamander (red)
salamander (small-mouthed)
salamander (southern two-lined)
salamander (spotted dusky)
salamander (spotted)
salamander (three-lined)
salamander (western lesser siren)
salamander (zig-zag)
toad (American)
toad (eastern narrowmouth)
toad (eastern spadefoot)
toad (Fowler’s)
treefrog (Cope’s gray)
treefrog (gray)
treefrog (green)
treefrog (western bird-voiced)

anole (green)
lizard (eastern slender glass)
lizard (northern fence)
lizard (six-lined racerunner)
skink (broad-headed)
skink (common five-lined)
skink (ground)
skink (little brown)
skink (southeastern five-lined)
skink (southern coal)
snake (black kingsnake)
snake (broad-banded water)
snake (common kingsnake)
snake (copperhead)
snake (corn)
snake (cottonmouth)
snake (DeKay's brownsnake)
snake (diamondback water)
snake (coachwhip)
snake (eastern garter)
snake (eastern hognose)
snake (eastern ribbon)
snake (eastern wormsnake)
snake (gray rat)
snake (green water)
snake (Kirkland's)
snake (Midland brown)
snake (Midland water)
snake (midwest worm snake)
snake (milk)
snake (Mississippi green watersnake)
snake (Mississippi ringneck)
snake (mole)
snake (North American racer)
snake (northern pine)
snake (northern red-bellied)
snake (northern scarlet)
snake (northern water)
snake (plain-bellied water)
snake (pine)
snake (prairie kingsnake)
snake (pygmy rattlesnake)
snake (queen)
snake (red-bellied)
snake (red-bellied mud)
snake (red corn)
snake (red milk)
snake (ring-necked)
snake (rough earth)
snake (rough green)
snake (scarlet kingsnake)
snake (scarlet)
snake (smooth earth)
snake (southeastern crowned)
snake (southern black racer)
snake (speckled kingsnake)
snake (timber rattlesnake)
snake (western cottonmouth)
snake (western mud)
snake (western pygmy rattlesnake)
snake (western smooth earth)
snake (yellow-bellied kingsnake)
snake (yellow-bellied water)
turtle (alligator snapping)
turtle (bog)
turtle (eastern box)
turtle (eastern mud)
turtle (eastern musk)
turtle (eastern spiny softshell)
turtle (false map)
turtle (loggerhead musk)
turtle (map)
turtle (Midland painted)
turtle (Midland smooth softshell)
turtle (Mississippi map)
turtle (northern map)
turtle (Ouachita map)
turtle (painted)
turtle (red-eared pond slider)
turtle (river cooter)
turtle (snapping)
turtle (southern painted)
turtle (smooth softshell)
turtle (spiny softshell)
turtle (stinkpot)

For more information about Tennessee Amphibians and Reptiles (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource: LINK

Coloring Amphibians & Reptiles of this State


Labeling Amphibians & Reptiles of this State


Bird List for This State

avocet (American)
bittern (American)
bittern (least)
blackbird (Brewer’s)
blackbird (red-winged)
blackbird (rusty)
bluebird (eastern)
bobwhite (northern)
bunting (indigo)
bunting (painted)
bunting (snow)
cardinal (northern)
catbird (gray)
chickadee (black-capped)
chickadee (Carolina)
chimney swift
coot (American)
cormorant (double-crested)
cowbird (brown-headed)
crane (sandhill)
crane (whooping)
creeper (brown)
crossbill (red)
crow (American)
crow (fish)
cuckoo (black-billed)
cuckoo (yellow-billed)
dove (European collared)
dove (mourning)
dowitcher (long-billed)
dowitcher (short-billed)
duck (American black)
duck (American wigeon)
duck (black scoter)
duck (blue-winged)
duck (bufflehead
duck (canvasback)
duck (common goldeneye)
duck (common merganser)
duck (gadwall)
duck (green-winged teal)
duck (hooded merganser)
duck (lesser scaup)
duck (long-tailed duck)
duck (mallard)
duck (northern pintail)
duck (northern shoveler)
duck (redhead)
duck (ring-necked)
duck (ruddy)
duck (surf scoter)
duck (white-winged scoter )
duck (wood)
eagle (bald)
eagle (golden)
eastern phoebe
egret (cattle)
egret (great)
falcon (peregrine)
finch (house)
finch (purple)
flicker (northern)
flycatcher (Acadian)
flycatcher (alder)
flycatcher (greater crested)
flycatcher (least)
flycatcher (olive-sided)
flycatcher (scissor-tailed)
flycatcher (willow)
flycatcher (yellow-bellied)
gnatcatcher (blue-gray)
goldfinch (American)
goose (cackling)
goose (Canada goose)
goose (greater white-fronted goose)
goose (Ross’s)
goose (snow)
grackle (common)
grebe (eared)
grebe (horned)
grebe (pied-billed)
grebe (red-necked)
grosbeak (blue)
grosbeak (evening)
grosbeak (rose-breasted)
grouse (ruffed)
gull (Bonaparte’s)
gull (Franklin’s)
gull (herring)
gull (laughing)
gull (lesser black-backed)
gull (ring-billed)
harrier (northern)
hawk (broad-winged)
hawk (Cooper’s)
hawk (red-shouldered)
hawk (red-tailed)
hawk (rough-legged)
hawk (sharp-shinned)
heron (black-crested night)
heron (great blue)
heron (green)
heron (little blue)
heron (tricolored)
heron (yellow-crested night)
horned lark
hummingbird (ruby-throated)
hummingbird (rufous)
ibis (white)
jay (blue)
junco (dark-eyed)
kestrel (American)
kingbird (eastern)
kingbird (western)
kingfisher (belted)
kinglet (golden-crowned)
kinglet (ruby-crowned)
kite (Mississippi)
longspur (Lapland)
loon (common)
loon (Pacific)
loon (red-throated)
martin (purple)
meadowlark (eastern)
merganser (red-breasted)
mockingbird (northern)
moorhen (common)
nighthawk (common)
nuthatch (brown-headed)
nuthatch (red-breasted)
nuthatch (white-breasted)
oriole (Baltimore)
oriole (orchard)
owl (barn)
owl (barred)
owl (eastern screech-)
owl (great )
owl (long-eared)
owl (northern saw-whet)
owl (short-eared)
parula (northern)
pelican (American white)
phalarope (Wilson’s)
pigeon (rock)
pine siskin
pipit (American)
plover (American golden-)
plover (black-bellied)
plover (piping)
plover (semipalmated)
rail (king)
rail (Virginia)
rail (yellow)
raven (common)
redstart (American)
robin (American)
sandpiper (Baird’s)
sandpiper (buff-breasted)
sandpiper (least)
sandpiper (pectoral)
sandpiper (semipalmated)
sandpiper (solitary)
sandpiper (stilt)
sandpiper (upland)
sandpiper (western)
sandpiper (white-rumped)
shrike (loggerhead)
snipe (Wilson’s)
sparrow (American tree)
sparrow (Bachman’s)
sparrow (chipping )
sparrow (field)
sparrow (fox)
sparrow (grasshopper)
sparrow (Henslow’s)
sparrow (house)
sparrow (lark)
sparrow (Le Conte’s)
sparrow (Lincoln’s)
sparrow (Nelson’s sharp-tailed)
sparrow (Savannah)
sparrow (song sparrow)
sparrow (vesper) 
sparrow (white-crowned)
sparrow (white-throated)
starlings (European)
stilts (black-necked)
stork (wood)
swallow (bank)
swallow (barn)
swallow (cliff)
swallow (northern rough-winged)
swallow (tree)
swan (mute)
swan (tundra)
tanager (scarlet)
tanager (summer)
tern (black)
tern (Caspian)
tern (common)
tern (Forster’s)
tern (least)
thrasher (brown)
thrush (gray-cheeked)
thrush (hermit)
thrush (Swainson’s)
thrush (wood)
titmouse (tufted)
towhee (eastern)
turkey (wild)
turnstone (ruddy)
vireo (blue-headed)
vireo (Philadelphia)
vireo (red-eyed)
vireo (warbling)
vireo (white-eyed)
vireo (yellow-throated)
vulture (black)
vulture (turkey)
warbler ( black-&-white)
warbler (bay-breasted)
warbler (black-throated blue)
warbler (black-throated green)
warbler (Blackburnian)
warbler (blackpoll)
warbler (blue-winged)
warbler (Canada)
warbler (Cape May)
warbler (cerulean)
warbler (chestnut-sided)
warbler (Connecticut)
warbler (golden-winged)
warbler (hooded)
warbler (Kentucky)
warbler (magnolia)
warbler (mourning)
warbler (Nashville)
warbler (orange-crested)
warbler (palm)
warbler (pine)
warbler (prairie)
warbler (prothonotary
warbler (Swainson’s)
warbler (Tennessee)
warbler (Wilson’s)
warbler (worm-eating)
warbler (yellow-rumped)
warbler (yellow-throated)
warbler (yellow)
waterthrush (Louisiana)
waterthrush (northern) 
waxwing (cedar)
woodcock (American)
wood-pewee (eastern)
woodpeckers (downy)
woodpeckers (hairy)
woodpeckers (pileated)
woodpeckers (red-bellied)
woodpeckers (red-headed)
woodpeckers (yellow-bellied sapsucker)
wren (Bewick’s)
wren (Carolina)
wren (house)
wren (marsh)
wren (sedge)
wren (winter)
yellowlegs (greater)
yellowlegs (lesser)
yellowthroat (common)

For more information about Tennessee Birds (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource: LINK

Coloring Birds of this State


Labeling Birds of this State


State Symbols of this State


Add Your Own Trail

Add Your Own Trail
How this Works: This link will bring you to our sister site Here you can add your favorite trail, its description, location, animals and plant species. The best part though is that after you add everything, the program automatically generates a color field guide sheet that you can print out and take with you on your hike. Link

Recommended Book/Product

All About Animals Flip Chart Set
Each Curriculum Mastery Flip Chart is mounted on a sturdy easel and features:
• 10 Double-sided, laminated 12" x 18" charts
   – Side 1 features a colorful, graphic overview of the topic
   – Side 2 serves as a "write-on/wipe-off" activity chart featuring questions, labeling exercises, vocabulary review & more!
• Activity Guide featuring black-line copy-masters & exercises
Set Includes the following 10 charts:

  1. The Animal Kingdom
  2. Vertebrates
  3. Invertebrates
  4. Animal Ranges
  5. Physical Adaptations
  6. Behavioral Adaptations
  7. Animal Life Cycles
  8. Animal Locomotion
  9. Animal Habitats
  10. Animal Tracks and Signs
All About Animals Flip Chart Set

Citing Research References

When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Tennessee" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2017. January 19, 2017
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar