Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crunchy Crusty Crustaceans

My kids love spongebob... I am not exactly a fan... but they did learn about crustaceans from our dear spongy friend... but there is really more to it than Patrick and Bob told us!

Another interesting arthropod is the crustacean. Characteristics of these insects are easy to remember because of their name... crust... aceans. They have a crusty outer shell that protects them from predators. Most of these creature live in the water. They have some very special characteristics about them:

1) Crustaceans grow throughout their lives, and molt
2)They have 3 body parts - head thorax, and abdomen
3)ten jointed legs
4)four antennae
5) it can regenerate wounded or missing body parts
6) includes crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, and landlubbers

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Class "mates" to spiders

Remember that we mentioned spiders were from the class of arachnids? Well, spiders aren't the only insect in that class... there are also the scorpions, ticks, mites, and long leg spiders. These creatures aren't called spiders because they don't have the two distinct body parts that the spiders have.
What exactly is a daddy long legs?
It is called a harvestman and has a round body suspended between eight long, scrawny legs. It has only one body section. It feeds on plant lice and other small insects that destroy the garden. It has no fangs or venom and its only defense is a stinky smell.
What is a tick?
The tick is dependent on other animals... it is called a parasite. It buries its head into the host and feasts on its blood. The tick will sometimes swallow so much blood that it will swell many times its original size... to look like a small grape.
What is a mite?
The smallest of the arachnids is the mite. The mite usually causes skin irritation. Chiggers are small mites that live in grass, get on our skin, feed on our blood, then drop off and bury into the soil to become an adult later. Most mites are so small that we cannot see them without a microscope.

Studying science online with the help of great resources can make learning science a blast.