Sunday, May 15, 2011

VERY interesting invertebrates....

We've been in a monsoon pattern here, with storms, and drenching rains, on and off for the past few days.  My students and I made it through our field day Friday, without getting wet (or finishing last), but what remained of the weekend has been very soggy.  Knowing Daddy's schedule, and the weather cooperating for a good inside activity, we headed over to our local library.  They were hosting a program called "Interesting Invertebrates."  One of the biologists from the Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, brought all her gear, and "friends," and regaled us with tales of just how exactly a starfish eats a clam.  Yes, if you want more details on THAT one, Brant will be sure to tell you, as it is stuck in ALL our memories.  You just can't forget a story about an invertebrate turning it's stomach inside out and sticking it somewhere!!

Seriously though, it was very interesting, for all of us.  I think the adults there asked more questions than the kids, and we all had our cameras out for up close and personal photo ops.  The biologist had several specimens...a crayfish, a tarantula, millipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, along will some, errr...deceased versions, such as a scorpion and the very interesting molted skin of a tarantula.  

Speaking of spiders...She also informed us that if you have the misfortune of being bitten by a Black Widow you have a 95% chance of ..............complete recovery!  Whew!  Another spider trivia item...if (as I wish it could be) we found some way to eradicate all spiders from the earth, in about 6 months we would have no plants....and therefore, shortly thereafter, no humans.  The spiders eat the pests that eat the plants that support our life!  Grrrr, guess I'll have to think twice about stepping on them!

Needless to say, Brant was enthralled by all the buggies and creepy crawlies.  It was quite an entertaining afternoon!

These nasty things blow air out between the brown plates on their backs, to hiss.   And NEWS FLASH!!!  I touched them!  Brant would NOT...said they were creepy.

Checking out the props and the creatures

The sponge was quite a fascinating creature, as was the coral.

Gah!  The molted skin of the tarantula.  I must say, I would still pass out if I saw this in front of me.

So the presentation wrapped up with the most intriguing item of the whole presentation. A little round container of black, seed looking things.  They were vaguely familiar, perhaps some sort of little roly poly insect all shriveled up.  We looked at them upside down, sideways, any way you could, but couldn't figure it out.  Finally, stumped, we asked.  The biologist laughingly said it's "frass."  hunh? you say...yes, frass...the fancy way to say "CATERPILLAR POOP!"  Guess she's made this presentation to kids before, hunh?!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Two Things... 1.) The starfish thing is called "evagination" and I loved teaching my kids about that when I worked at Sea World because I just love saying that word! also, 2.) When I lived in South South Texas, like on the border and I communted once a week for graduated school I used to see lots of interesting creatures cross the road... coyotes, turtles, and yes, often tarantulas! ICK!