BioBlitz: Nature Detectives

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1 BioBlitz: Nature Detectives Pre-visit activity at school Resources needed: x sets of Invertebrate pictures (cut out) for sorting activity (for a class of 30) x Classification flowchart for key activity ID guides for extension activity Introducing invertebrates Introduce invertebrates as animals that do not have a backbone Does anyone know the name of the bone that goes all the way down our backs? (Backbone or spine) Do you know any animals that do not have one of these? (They may already know softbodied invertebrates such as worms, snails, slugs). There are lots of animals that don t have a backbone such as butterflies, bees, spiders, crabs, jellyfish and octopuses. These are called invertebrates. Explain that today they are going to be sorting invertebrates into groups using their similarities and differences There are so many different animals on Earth, that to be able to understand them we need to be able to sort them into different groups. Today we are going to sort out some common invertebrates that you might find in the UK, by looking at their similarities and differences. This is called classification. Sorting activity Hand out all the pictures of the invertebrates and ask students to look at their features and think about how they are similar or different What features can you see on the animals bodies? What do some have that others don t? (E.g. wings, different colours, different shapes, different number of legs). Divide the class into groups five and hand out a set of pictures to each group Ask the students to group the pictures into piles on the tables using their own criteria (e.g. colour, shape, size etc.). NB: There is no right or wrong answer to this - they can sort them however they like as long as they are consistent e.g. if sorting by colour they must put all the brown ones together and all the green ones together etc. Using a key Introduce the classification key and model to the students how to use it Now you have sorted the animals into groups in your own way, let s sort them out the way that real scientists do, using something called a key. P.T.O.

2 A key is a list of questions with yes or no answers. You must start at the beginning and follow the arrows depending on whether you answer yes or no. Eventually you will get to the end and it will tell you what group your animal belongs to. Get the students to work as a group to practice using the key and work out which invertebrate group each animal belongs to Go through the answers as a class (see answer sheet) What are the key features of each group? (Insects have legs. Arachnids have eight legs. Crustaceans have a hard exoskeleton. Myriapods have many legs. Molluscs usually have a shell.) Plenary Explain to the students that when they come to the Zoo they will be searching for invertebrates in the Zoo grounds and will be using keys to group the animals. Explain that they will also be identifying exactly what type of invertebrates they find, using something called an ID guide. Show the ID guide to the students if time. Optional Extension: Take students into the school grounds to look for invertebrates and use the key to classify the different invertebrates they find. They can also use the ID guide to identify the invertebrates species. They can then keep a note of what they see so they can compare their results to what they see in the wildflower patch at the zoo.

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6 Answers 1) Ant Insect 7) Spider Arachnid 2) Wasp Insect 8) Snail Mollusc 3) Fly Insect 9) Centipede Myriapod 4) True bug Insect 10) Woodlouse Crustacean 5) Butterfly Insect 11) Slug Mollusc ) Grasshopper Insect 12) Worm

7 BioBlitz Nature Detectives Snails Mollusc Soft, slimy body but does not have a hard coiled shell Soft, slimy body and hard coiled shell Slugs Arachnid Long thin legs 8 Body divided into two parts head & abdomen Harvestmen One body part round or oval Earthworm Worms Long thin body divided into segments Woodlice Crustacean Body divided into many segments, 7 pairs of legs, oval body, can roll into a ball Myriapods Long thin body divided into segments, at least 15 pairs of legs Centipede Insect larvae Most insects reproduce by laying eggs. The young that hatch from these eggs are either larvae (looks different from adults) or nymphs (smaller versions of the adult) Butterfly & Moth Millipede Long thin body with 2 pairs of leg on each segment Beetle larva True fly larva (maggot)

8 Insects Bees, wasps and ants Long antennae See-through wings Butterflies and moths Long antennae Two wings on each side, usually col- Most have narrow waist Bees are often hairy, whereas wasps and ants are not hairy. Ants usually do not have wings Butterfly usually flies during the day, rest with their wings closed Moth usually fly at night, feathery antennae, rest with wings open Beetles Pincer shaped Wing cases meet in a straight line to make a T shape Hard forewing cases to protect wings True bugs Wings usually meet in an X or Y shape Not true for aphids True flies Short antennae Large eyes Cricket, grasshoppers, earwigs Crickets have long antennae One pair of seethrough wings Grasshoppers have short antennae Earwigs have a pair of pincer-shaped clasps

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