Bugs everywhere we look

15 Apr

There are bugs all around us, especially in the garden, but we often don’t see them because they are tiny and are masters of hiding.  And there are around 5500 species of mammals discovered, there are 1,000,000 species of insects discovered.  Check out the chart below. 
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Think about it, 1,000,000 species of insects and we estimate that we have only discovered 20%, which means there could be around 5,000,000 species of insects.  And 600,000 species of arachnids (only 17% discovered) are estimated.  Amazing and helps us put into perspective our place in the garden.  We talk to the kids a lot about how they are just visitors in the garden and being respectful of those living things that make their home in the garden.  DSC_0023-001
Well, we had a wonderful chance to get up close and personal with bugs a few weeks ago when Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologist, came to talk with the Titan garden classes. 
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Wizzie discussed and displayed many types of arhtropods including insects, and arachnids.  We discussed what kinds of habitats they live in, why they might use venom and how they do the cool things they do (like walk up a wall of stand on the ceiling).  The kids got to look up close at things they might never see again, like Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (above) and Emperor Scorpions. They saw the molted skin of a Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula and a local Texas Brown Tarantula. They also saw examples of two notorious local spiders, the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow, and we discussed how to identify these dangerous spiders and what to do if you see one. 
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Yes, some “ew”s and “gross” comments but the kids had wonderful questions about bug behavior.  1st grade and Kindergarten even got to try out walking like a bug which different students acting as the different body parts.  Not an easy task!
Thanks to Wizzie Brown for visiting with our Titan Gardeners and broadening their horizons.

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