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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What A Find!

Last week in Science, we began our study on insects. We are making an insect board to display all of the insects that we find. We're using a classifying system to place each one of them into its appropriate group. Some insects are easy to place without the system, but it is more difficult when we find an insect that we are not familiar with. Madison loved using the system. I was surprised with how much she enjoyed using it.

While walking out in the yard searching for insects for our study, we came across an unusual one that looked like a large velvet ant. We managed to capture it to get a closer look at it. Patrick told us that he had heard about something like it that he thought was called a cow killer ant. We Googled it...gotta love Google...and found that he was right. The insect is, while sometimes called a cow killer ant, a type of wasp that looks like a large velvet ant. It is pretty rare and travels solo, unlike ants that live in colonies. What we also found out is that its sting is VERY PAINFUL, thus earning the name cow killer ant. Its sting has been known to kill cows because it is so very painful!!! Not only is it very painful, but can also cause arthritis-like symptoms for years afterwards. Whew, I was glad that I didn't know all of that before we caught it, or I would have been to afraid to mess with it!!! Every insect on our board was found already dead, but I am ashamed to say that we killed this one. I frankly did not want to let it back out into our yard to maybe one day show us how painful the sting is!!! It also made a beautiful addition to our collection.
We'll continue to add to the board as we find new insects. We still have a few empty groups...can't have that! We hope to fill it up before the end of the school year!


Blogger Lisa said...

You should go and read Mir's post about the Red Velvet Ant - - she talks about it down at the end of the post. It's so FUNNY! (Her whole blog is hilarious!)

The bug thing sounds fun!

11:24 AM  
Blogger carrie & troy keiser said...

That bug is huge! I would have killed it too... course I would have killed before ever figuring out what it was.... thanks for letting us all know what to look for!

1:07 PM  
Blogger School for Us said...

Wow! What a cool cow-killer. And, I love the display you all are making. What a great way to reinforce what you're learning!

9:34 PM  

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