As part of our recent Science topics (Animals including humans & Living things and their habits), we were visited by the outstanding 'ZooLab' staff, who were more than happy to allow us to see (and feel!) some of their wonderful animals. ZooLab and their fantastic animal 'staff' amazed, educated and inspired our children, drawing out some existing knowledge but also imparting some fabulous facts! The hour that the children spent looking, feeling and learning about the animals will definitely stand them in good stead for the rest of our topic! Here are a few of our children to tell you about some of the animals that we encountered!
African Giant Snail:
The African Giant Snail is one of the largest animals of its kind! They have an average lifespan of about 5-7 years. When they have enough food, and the weather is to their needs, they tend to live much longer. Some of them have been known to live up to 10 years! Incredibly, some of them have been known to grow as big as a football!
Boudicca Table (Tom, Joshua, Emmie & Joe).
Today, we met a real-life Tarantula! Tarantulas (which have exoskeletons - meaning that they shed their skeleton and have another one underneath) have been around for millions of years and there are around 700 species! Many Tarantulas live in burrows underground. They will either use their fangs to dig them or else take someone else’s burrow-home. Even though they do not spin webs, Tarantulas use their silk to make doors or soft walls for their burrow or, in the case of tree-living tarantulas, tunnel-shaped homes in trees. To defend themselves, they have hairs on their abdomen (stomachs) that have sharp little barbs, or pokey things, on them. When threatened, the spider will rub these hairs with their legs and shoot them at their predator. They also have venom, which they use when they feel incredibly threatened.
Shakespeare Table (Ella, Freya, Gabriella C, Adam, Niamh V & Jay-Lee).
Genus Name: Diplopoda
Facts: Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment. When they hatch, Millipedes only have three pairs of legs and when they grow older, despite popular belief, they don't have one million legs! They were also the very first land animal!
Lancaster Table (Dylan, Niamh, Gabby, Emily & Rayaan)
The Corn Snake is also called the Red Rat Snake. They are a constrictor type of snake which means that they wrap their bodies around what they want to eat or they think it is threat. The name comes from the fact that they are often found around corn. They find lots of rodents there where they can feed well.
Montgomery Table (Ellis, Alfie, Carla & Olivia)
Common Tree Frog:
Genus name: Polypedates leucomystax
Originated from: Phillipines, India, Asia.
Average size: 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches! The females are slightly larger!
Life span: More than six years!
Caesar Table (Emmie Lou, Alexis, Harvey, Jessica & Katie)