insects

Back to Basics- Insects

Back to Basics- Insects

We are day number 3 of our back to basics month. Today we are learning about insects with our professor of insects Gracie Grasshopper!

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Number of species- nearly 1 million, that’s right we insects account for about 97% of all known species on earth. We arthropods outnumber all other animals on earth.

Insect traits:

  • Insects have a segmented body. It’s divided into 3 sections; the head, the thorax and the abdomen.
  • Insects are invertebrates. We do not have endoskeletons, like the mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. We have an exoskeleton! Our bodies are covered in hard coverings made of chitin.
  • We have two antennae and 6 legs. Each leg has five parts.
  • We hatch from eggs.

Insects are generally divided into two groups, insects with wings and insects without wings. I myself have wings.

insect

We either have compound eyes or simple eyes and there are some of us with both types.

We do not have true ears, but we have organs that help us listen to vibrations in our environment.

We do not have lungs or gills to breathe. Instead we have a series of tubes to “breathe” oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.

Yes, we insects have brains. They are tiny and we don’t quiet use them the way other animals do.

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There you have the basics of being an insect!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Painted Bug?

A Painted Bug?

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Date: 10/5

Location: Galapagos Islands

  • Large painted locusts can be found on all the islands except one.
  • They are easy to spot due to their bright coloration.
  • These locusts are a favorite of the lava lizard and the Galapagos Hawk.

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  • The locust are bright orange and lime green in coloration.
  • Like other locusts they can fly.
  • They can also jump as high as 9 feet! WOW!

painted-locusts

Many explorers forget to look at all the inhabitants of the place they visit. While many may find these insects gross, we think they are gorgeous. They habitats of the Galapagos are fairly drab, even most of the animals here are too. They all match their surroundings. It was neat to find these bright bugs in the brush! And without them, several predators wouldn’t have any dinner.

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

INSECT MANIA- PART 2!

INSECT MANIA- PART 2!

IMG_2092So what makes an insect an insect? Here are some basics:

  • Adult insects have 6 legs and 3 body parts.
  • Insects are invertebrates.
  • Most insects have a pair of antenna (mine are quiet nifty)!
  • Most insects have wings- including me!
  • Spiders are not insects, they belong to the arthropod order!

 

Who is ready for insect mania part 2? Let’s get this party started!

There are more beetles on the planet than any other animal. The account for 1 in 4 animals on earth!

There are more beetles on the planet than any other animal. The account for 1 in 4 animals on earth!

 

The oldest known insect fossil dates back 400 million years.

The oldest known insect fossil dates back 400 million years.

 

Bees can fly up to 60 miles per day gathering pollen.

Bees can fly up to 60 miles per day gathering pollen.

 

Katydids have ears in their front legs!

Katydids have ears in their front legs!

 

Insect blood is yellow!

Insect blood is yellow!

 

Rhinoceros beetles can lift an object up to 850 times its own weight.

Rhinoceros beetles can lift an object up to 850 times its own weight.

 

Wowzers! Insects are so varied and amazing! You could spent a lifetime studying these amazing creatures!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

INSECT MANIA!

INSECT MANIA!!

E & E butterfly

We’re celebrating just a few of the amazing insects in the world today! Considering that their are over 900,000 species of insects, the species we picked are just the teeny weeny tip of the iceberg! Come learn some fun facts you can share at parties and with friends! We’ll have more tomorrow!

Preying Mantis are the only insects who can turn their head 360 degrees.

Preying Mantis are the only insects who can turn their head 360 degrees.

 

Ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

 

Dragonflies can fly up to 50 mph.

Dragonflies can fly up to 50 mph.

Only male crickets can chirp.

Only male crickets can chirp.

 

Butterflies have taste receptors in their feet.

Butterflies have taste receptors in their feet.

 

Ants do not sleep!

Ants do not sleep!

 

Here’s a butterfly coloring sheet to keep up the insect fun! Do you have a favorite insect?

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Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GRACIE THE GRASSHOPPER!

GRACIE THE GRASSHOPPER!

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Hellooooo!!! I’m Gracie the Grasshopper! I am the new professor of insects and invertebrates here at the University of Ellie and Edmond. I’m hoping with excitement to share the world of my insect friends with you. I know Carl the Chameleon and Rita the rat think they get no respect, well try being a small multi-legged animal that people think are gross, horrifying or yucky!!
I’ve got a big job ahead of me to teach you about all the amazing insects of the world. Ok, it may not be all the insects of the world, because there are nearly 1 million species of insects and scientists estimate that number is only about 80% of what has been discovered.  That’s right folks, we insects rule the earth!! And without us you couldn’t survive!!

I live right near the University! Ellie and Edmond were out taking a stroll and we struck up a conversation! I was so elated when they asked me to take this position. Along with my other grasshopper relatives I am an herbivore.  I have large compound eyes and antennae on my head. I also have a nifty exoskeleton and I can camouflage to hide myself rom predators! Man can I jump! I love jumping! I jump from plant to plant munching away! I’m ready to jump into the world of insects and I hope you come along!!!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CREEPY CRAWLY WEEK DAY #2

CREEPY CRAWLY WEEK DAY #2

We’re going to the coast of Mexico to find today’s creepy crawly creature! This one in particular is creepy to Ellie! She may end up staying in the truck! Gather your courage and head out on this adventure! Are you ready to meet this creepy crawly creature?

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MEET THE RED KNEED TARANTULA!

   Range/Habitat: West coast of Mexico/tropical forests

   Diet: Carnivore: insects, frogs, mice

   Length/Weight: 4 ½”/15 grams

   Conservation Status: Near threatened

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Red Kneed Tarantulas are nocturnal (active at night).
  • Like other spiders they have 8 legs and an exoskeleton.
  • Red kneed tarantulas have hair all over their bodies. They rub their back legs together if threaten. The hairs can cause a rash or even blindness if release in the eyes.
  • Red kneed tarantulas are venomous. They bite their prey with fangs and then inject the venom.
  • They burrow in the ground.
  • They don’t have a backbone like you instead they have a hard exoskeleton on the outside of their bodies. Because they have an exoskeleton they must molt 2-3 times a year as they grow.
  • Red kneed tarantulas can live up 20-30 years old.

Ellie is afraid of spiders, but learning about them helps her not to be afraid! Red kneed tarantulas are not harmful to humans or elephants ! We definitely think they’re kind of pretty with their bright colors!

red kneed tarantula   red kneed tarantula2

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, Halloween, insects, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BUTTERFLY DAY!

BUTTERFLIES!!!

The Dunwoody Nature Center just north of Atlanta had a Butterfly Festival recently and of course we had to go! Our good pals Trevor and Ayden came with their parents, so it was a party for everyone!

 

Butterfly Festival here we come!

 

We had a lovely time exploring this neat little nature center and all the festivities they had throughout the day! First up we saw a Birds of a Prey show presented by Nature’s Echo.

We’re getting ready to meet some birds of prey!

The ladies from Nature’s Echo had 3 birds with them; a Mississippi Kite, a Screech Owl and a Red Tailed Hawk. These amazing birds were so cool to see up close and we learned some super neat facts about them!

  • A Mississippi Kite’s eyesight is so keen they can see every wing beat of a hummingbird’s wing.
  • Owls have 14 vertebrates in their necks.
  • It is illegal to own a raptor feather in the state of Georgia.
  • An owl’s ears are off set on their head.

Mississippi Kite having a snack!

 

Mississippi Kite- gorgeous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screech Owl! They are really small!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edmond & Trevor meet the kite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We met a red tailed hawk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this talon! Wow!

They had a wing you could touch and feel!

 

 

Wow! Raptors have some super cool adaptations! We really enjoyed meeting these gorgeous birds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the birds of prey show we wandered around the nature center’s grounds to check out the fun activities and vendors! You could make crafts, enjoy treats or get a bug tattoo! We wanted a tattoo but we couldn’t decide where to put them.

This butterfly is made of bottle caps! Reusing items to make art is awesome!

We ran into this wonderful bear in his National Park outfit!

Handsome bear!

 

It finally was time to enter the butterfly tent and man, were we excited! We could hardly contain ourselves! Luckily we learned some fun butterfly facts as we waited in line!

Butterfly facts!

More fun facts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally made it in the tent & there were butterflies everywhere! They were all different sizes, shapes and colors! We just loved meeting each one of them!

Butterfly sits on a feeder!

 

Black & yellow butterfly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you spot the butterfly?

 

See the tiny butterfly above us?

Trevor & his mom helped us find this lovely butterfly umbrella!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One last gorgeous butterfly shot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last stop of the day was inside the nature where we met some local beekeepers and sampled their honey! Yum! We could see the inside of the hive and we spotted the queen thanks to one observant boy who found her! Did you know that they queen has a yellow spot on her back? Cool!

 

Beehive!

Honey samples! Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had the best time at The Dunwoody Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival! If you’re in Atlanta you should check out this special nature center and all their fun activities!

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Atlanta, backyard, Children, conservation, education, Environment, insects, Local, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March Craft/Activity!

Hey everyone! So this month’s craft is really more of an activity to get you outside! We’re a bit late with posting it, because we had some IT issues with our conversion :)! Anyways, we hope you enjoy BACKYARD BINGO! That’s right folks, we made you a bingo game to take outside to your backyard or your local park!  It’s PDF (our first) so please let us know if you have any trouble printing it!

 

Get outside and Enjoy!!!

Backyard bingo-1

Categories: Animals, backyard, birds, Children, crafts, education, Environment, insects, Local, mammals, nature, reptiles, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

YEAR OF THE DRAGON FRIDAY!

YEAR OF THE DRAGON FRIDAY!

Well folks, we’ve reached the end of our dragon theme week! We hope you have enjoyed our first theme week! We sure had fun searching the world for real dragons! Today we went searching into the fascinating insect world to find a dragon that flies! We bet you guessed our animal! Let’s meet…

MEET THE EMPEROR DRAGONFLY!

Range/Habitat: Europe-Asia/ near ponds, lakes

Diet: carnivore: tadpoles, butterflies

Length: up to 4” wingspan

Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  • Emperor Dragonflies are the largest species of dragonfly in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.
  • Male emperor dragonflies have a large blue body and a green thorax.
  • Female emperor dragonflies have all green bodies and thorax.
  • Emperor dragonflies catch their prey while in flight.
  • Emperor dragonflies are born underwater. They live in the nymph stage and take up to 2 years to reach adulthood.
  • Emperor dragonflies are one of the fastest flying insects on the planet!

 

Emperor dragonflies are beautiful bugs! We love their iridescent colors! They can fly up to 25-30 miles per hour! WOW! Edmond wants to race some Emperor dragonflies! Who wants to join us?

 

 

 

Categories: Animals, Children, dragons, education, Environment, insects, nature | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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