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☰ Reception Enjoy a Minibeast Workshop

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Reception Enjoy a Minibeast Workshop

Posted on May 03 2019

Reception Enjoy a Minibeast Workshop

As part of their current Minibeasts topic, Reception enjoyed a fantastic workshop by Animals Take Over recently where they got to touch and hold a selection of amazing minibeasts that you won’t find in your garden - thankfully! They learnt about the groups they can be put into and what makes each group different.

Mollusc: The first was the Mollusc group where we met Speedy, Slow Coach and Turbo the Giant African Snails. They have tentacles, not antennas and they have two eyes and two noses with teeth on their tongues. They are Hermaphrodites meaning they are both a male and female.

Did you know mini-beasts have no bones?

Hexapods:  All insects have six legs. They make up a group of arthropod called the hexapods - meaning six legs. 

Next was the Indian Stick Insects who were babies so they are called nymphs. They live for up to 1 year. Nearly every stick insect is a girl, about 98%.

We met a Locust which was a fifth of the size of an adult locust. It must shed its skin one more time to be an adult, then it would have wings.

Then there were Morio Mealworms who metamorphosis meaning they change like a butterfly. They go into a cocoon then turn into a black darkling beetle. Morio worms can recycle rubbish, there is a thought for our future Eco-warriors.

There was a very delicate Leaf Insect, that looked exactly like… you guessed, a leaf! It was excellent at camouflaging.

Sid & Simon the Cockroaches had to be kept separate from Cindy the Cockroach because they are so good at keeping their eggs safe, there would be too many of them. The female keeps the eggs safe under her skin. They were very noisy as they didn’t seem to like to be woken up as they are nocturnal creatures. They can survive freezing cold temperatures and eat practically anything!

Did you know a cockroach can live for up to three days without its head?

Their brains are in their bottom!

Arachnids:

Unlike insects, arachnids have eight legs and no antennae, and their body is divided into two main segments: a cephalothorax and abdomen.

We met an Asian Forest Scorpion that crushes its food with its pincers and has a stinger at the end of the tail. It also glows in the dark due to an oily substance on its body. We shone a UV light at it to watch it glow. It looked hungry so we fed it a Morio Mealworm.

Then there was Incy Wincy the Chile Rose Tarantula. She eats the male tarantula for dinner! The females can live up to 30 years. They have venom in their fangs and the female tarantula's venom is stronger than the males. So it's true when Space sing, ‘the female of the species is more deadly than the male!’

Myriapods:

The Myriapods are centipedes and millipedes, and some small relatives.

We saw a Rain Forest Millipede who had 260 legs, it has 4 legs for every segment of its body. A Centipede only has two legs for every segment of their body.

Then the grand finale was the Royal Python Snake, Wilfred.

He has 450 bones in his body. Therefore, is he a mini-beast?

Luca quite rightly pointed out, no he is a reptile! But what an exciting way to end the workshop. Learning so many facts and inspiring the children’s interest in the new topic.

Please take a look at some of the pictures here, if you dare!

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