Animal and Insect World For Kids

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Camo Chameleons

Posted by [email protected] on September 7, 2016 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Hey everyone, today we are going to learn about some cool reptiles called chameleon's. There is around 89 species of chameleon's and their life-span varies on what kind they are. For example The labord's chameleon only live's for about 4-5 months making it the shortest lived 4-legged vertebrate ever recorded, and The panther chameleon live's for about 2-3 years and The jackson chameleon lives for 5-10 years!


    

Panther chameleon (above)                                              Jackson chameleon (above)                    Labord chameleon (above)



They mainly live in Madagascar and Africa, south of the sahara. 2 species live in western Asia and 1 in southern India and Sri lanka. 1 chameleon called the european chameleon lives in the near east westward along the north African coast into southern coastal Spain.




New born of European Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon (El Puerto Santa Maria, Spain)


Watch this video and see a chameleon's munch-in-lunch tounge in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn37lT7HbrA

Watch this too and see a Panther chameleon change colour as it see's itself in a mirror https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oIIdZjRrLw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJtaIqahi3I This video gives more information on Chameleons. 



A chameleon's diet is mainly of insect's like: Crickets, Grasshoppers, locusts and stick insect's. Some largers types of chameleon's will even eat bird's and other lizards! A few chameleon's will also eat a small amount of flower's and plant's.

Now lets go down to somthing that everybody know's about....................

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 DOWN!!



               





DOWN SOME MORE!!!





OK HERE!!


FABULOUS COLOUR CHANGE!!!


Ok, so here are the basic's that everybody know's about a chameleon's colour change. Camouflage to hide from predator's and prey and messages. For example: There's a happy chameleon green and blue. Then a female come's along and the male is even happier.  But suddenly another male comes along he gets upset because he has to get rid of him, so he can get the female all to himself. His colour then changes from the calm green,  to oranges and red, as a warning to the other male. If they fight to win the female and the other male loses, the winning chameleon then put's his victory colour's on, a vibrant colour display, and the other male put's on the loser colour's which is a drab, boring shade of brown which mean's leave me alone.


BUT! How do they change colour in the first place, well i'm pretty sure your thinking that it's special pigment cells called chromatophores( if you don't know what these are try looking in the dictionary then you'll know :)) in their skin. If your thinking that your 100% wrong. Well what is it then I hear you say. Ok then it is ..........................wait for it................................... wait for it...........................BAM!! The answer is, can you believe it, NANO-CRYSTALS!! I don't think you believe it but it's true.  They use a lattice of nano-crystals in one of their skin cell layers which alter's to reflect light differently. If a chameleon is calm the nano-crystals are held close together and they reflect the light in the blue and greens wavelength to show the skin as a nice shade of green. But if a chameleon become's upset the nano-crystals move apart so there is more room between them letting in more light with bigger wavelengths such as bright red's and orange's that make the male stand out to opponents that are challenging him for a female.  

     

How amazing do you think chameleon's are? Let us know in the comments and check out our page on facebook. Share, like it and an important thing for our website make sure you don't forget to go to the home page and subscribe. Stay tuned!


Info from:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/animals-chameleons-reptiles-science-colors/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=inside_20160707&utm_campaign=Content&utm_rd=5684499435                             http://www.lanevol.org/LANE/chameleon_colour_change.html

COMPETITION: What Beetle is this?

Posted by [email protected] on September 6, 2016 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Hey everyone instead of filling up on facts how about we have a little fact finding. Sound good? Well you have to find out what this beetle is we found it in south-east Queensland Australia, we don't know what it is, so can you guys tell us? Post your answer in the comments below or send us a message through the messages section of our page on face book and the first to find out the answer gets to pic out an animal picture for us to put up as our cover photo. Happy learning.







Fireflies living stars

Posted by [email protected] on August 15, 2016 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (1)

WAM FACTOR

FIREFLIES(LIGHTNING BUGS)

When a chemical called luciferin inside their abdomen combines with oxygen, calcium and adenosine triphosphate, a chemical reactionhappens that creates their beautiful light.



Fireflies are nocturnal members of Lampyridae, a family of insects inside the beetle order Coleoptera, which is winged beetles.Fireflies are beetles but firebeetles just doesnt sound right (Comment and tell us what you think.).

California has perfect weather, palm trees and the right food.But it doesn’t have fireflies that light up so no fire then.(But kids that still doesnt give you a reason to get some matches and set some flies on fire ((Same with beetles)).)

The light made by the firefly is the most efficient light ever made.Almost all 100 percent of the energy in the chemical reaction comes out as light but in comparison, an incandescent light bulb only uses 10 percent of its energy as light, when other 90 percent is lost as heat.

Each species has its own special pattern of light flashing, and males use this pattern to let the females of the same species know that they would be a fine mate for one another.

Some species actually synchronize their flashes in a beautiful light show. Scientists aren't sure why fireflies sync up.Photinus carolinus are the only species in America that flash simultaneously, amazing right?

Their lights can come in yellow, light red, green and orange just like a traffic light(Haha!).

Predators that might like a light meal, DON'T eat the Firefly. Firefly blood contains lucibufagins, it is actually a defensive steroid that tastes really gross. Predators associate the bad taste with a firefly’s light and learn not to snack on bugs that glow(Or flash.).

Some species of Firefly have larvae emit a subterranean glow. Among some species, even the eggs glow. How amazing is that?!

Then some Firefly larvae even live in the water, they have gills and feed on aquatic snails, before inching their way to terra firma for their next set of little adventures in life.


The underground-dwelling larvae of the lightning bug are carnivorous and snack on slugs, worms and snails. Once they're fully grown adults, some move on to cannibalism and eat other fireflies, but most feed on pollen and nectar (while some don’t eat anything at all during their whole life-time!!).

Anecdotal evidence shows that firefly populations may be on the decline, most likely due to a combination of light pollution, pesticide use and habitat destruction, and if a feild where Fireflies live is paved over, don't go and find another feild to live, they just disapear NEVER to return.

So see you next time on our wam factor.

Bees

Posted by [email protected] on May 24, 2016 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone, Danaus here. I'm going to tell you some amazing things about Bees.

There are many different kinds of bees, but I'm only going to tell you about three I did some research on.

The Bees people think about the most are the well known European Honey Bee. They live in colonies, but not ALL Bees live in colonies; some are "solitary". Queen bees live the longest. European honey Bee Queens can live for up to 4 years, and some types of Bees even longer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Queen also lays all the eggs. The males or "Drones" lifespan depends on when they mate. The Drones die when they mate because their vital organs are ripped out of their bodies.The worker Bees live from 1-10 months. These Bees do all the work. They care for the young, they make the honey, pollinate the flowers, every thing. Even feed the Queen!

Then there is the stingless Bees these Bees are native to Australia. Not much is known about them, but I managed to find about three facts. Stingless Bees that live in colder places need their honey to survive the winter. Did you know that if just one pot of their honey is spilled some bees could drown. I coudn't find out the lifespan on how long the Queen lives for or the Drone. Luckily I could find that the workers can live from 161-240 days.

Then there's the Orchid Bee. They are beautifully coloured. Absolutely amazing, but they dont make honey. Yes its true, and you dont see females as often either. You usually only see the males. Orchid Beesa do something you wouldn't expect in Bees, they gather fragrant oils from plants. For example trees, insecticides* and flowers especially orchids, hence the name.They store these oils in specialized receptacles on their hind legs and turn the fragrant oils into perfumes. Cool right? They use these fragrances to make pharamones to attract females so they can mate.

 

* True story. One species was recorded gathering oils from the insecticide DDT.

So everyone hope you enjoyed this weeks weekly wam and feel free to comment. Carry on learning.

 

Orchid Bee

Australian Native Stingless Bee


European Honey Bee

Peacock Spiders

Posted by [email protected] on February 29, 2016 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

29/02/2016

Story by Danaus Plexipus.



                                         My Amazing Discribery!



          Dear Journal,

                                   Today I made an exciting discovery. Let me tell you how it came about............

I was taking a bush walk near where I live in South East Queensland. Around me were magnificant Euycalyptus Gum trees and great delicious clear air. 

I walked to a clearing in the bush and there I sat on a log near an almost bare plant. I looked around me and sighed a happy sigh. Then I looked at the plant next to me, and saw two small spiders. At once I knew them to be Peacock Spiders. But Peacock Spiders I had never seen before. Instantly I whipped out my camera and took a snap shot. Then I gahtered up into two specimen tubes and took them back to my lab. 

On the way I stopped off to buy some womens pantihose, which might sound strange but there is a good use for them in studying the dances and rythm  of the spiders. At the lab I got to work stretching out the pantihose over a frame that would help me to record the spiders movements, and "beats". Then fed the spiders. After they had eaten I fetched the spiders and placed them on the device. I noticed that it dances like its really drunk! 

Now I see that the male is sticking out its spinnernets when its dancing. I know what to do.......

I write this spider in my note book, print out the picture I took and sit there......staring.........Then it hits me like an old woman would if I'd tried to steal her hand bag! Wam! Just look at its amazing colours! That vibrant blue! That striking sparkling orange! Not to mention those incredible wing patterns! I have to tell somebody about this find!

Later I called my fellow entomologist friends and we had a collective, and spoke about these spiders. We realised that I had been the one to describe them (discovered) So I officially called them Maratus Jactatus but nicknamed him Sparklemuffin!  We agreed that there could be many more peacock spiders waiting to be discribed. After all this I set them free. 

The End?





Post Script: Fact. Amateur Entomologists can be very valuable in helping to discover the many more Peacock Spiders just waiting to be discribed. 

To Find out more about Peacock Spiders go to these links: 


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150324-australia-peacock-spider-sparklemuffin-new-species/

                                                                                                             

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/skeletorus-and-sparklemuffin-newest-peacock-spiders-Maratus-sceletus-Maratus-jactatus.html


First Wam Factor

Posted by [email protected] on March 8, 2015 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Welcome to the first Wam Factor. Each week I will endeavour to bring you a new insect or animal Wam where you can learn more about insects and animals. 

This Wam Factor is about....you guessed it, my names sake, the Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterfly).

Did you know that the Monarch Butterfly is becoming endangered? Just like the not so humble bee, Monarchs help to propagate plants. Without them we wouldnt have food!

Monarchs have one type of food plant, the Milkweed (AKA Swan Plant) which can have white, orange, or pink flowers. The Milkweed is actually a poisonous plant, and when the Monarchs eat it, it makes them poinsous too. They have bright stripes on their bodies which is a signal to birds and other predators to NOT EAT ME! Because i will make you sick! 



During its time as a caterpillar, the Monarch will shed its skin about 5 times as its grows. Once it's had its fill it will look for a place to go to chrysalis. It will spin a silk knob and hang upside down. when tis ready its whole body will start shaking and it looks like its starting to turn inside out. It's really not though so don't worry. It will look like the whole caterpillar has gone a light green colour. It will move around a for a little bit while it gets into a comfy position. Then gold spots will appear along the top of the chrysalis.

After a couple of weeks, sometimes less, you will start to see the colour from the new Monarchs wings showing through what is now a see through casing. Then one day it will start to push its way through the casing to come out, stretching its wings and flexing them to get the blood flowing through them in preparation for its first flight.  

I tell you its so exciting watching the Monarch have its first flight! So beautiful.

Here is a link to a great page on FaceBook called Butterfly Host Plants: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Host-Plants/156180217809914?ref=br_tf

The lady that runs the page can tell you all about what plants can attract what type of Butterfly. She also sells the plants so you can have them for your very own Butterfly garden! 

I hope you like my first Wam Factor.




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