Where the wild things are…

… in with the Bumble Bees, Ladybirds, Dragonflies and Hornets!

For many years we have been exploring the wild things that live in our garden and wood, but this year we’ve had lots of wild things coming to live in our classrooms.   Have you met them yet?

Introducing our class pets

Hornets

Darcy_the_leopard-GeckoYear 4 is home to a beautiful and very graceful lady called Darcy.   She’s a leopard gecko ( Eublepharis macularius) native to desert areas of Asia and northern India and likes to be nice and warm – you may have seen her red heat lamp if you’ve passed the school at night.   Darcy eats crickets and meal worms, yum yum!

William_SnailspeareDragonflies

A giant land snail (Achatina fulica) lives at the back of the year 2 classroom.   He is called William, inspired by all the Shakespeare work we’ve been doing.   Giant snails like William come from East Africa, but are also found in China and on many pacific islands where they can be a bit of a nuisance as they don’t only eat plants, fruit and vegetables but also bones, sand, stones and even concrete to make their shells.  We feed William on fruit and leaves and don’t let him anywhere near the school kitchens!

Henry-the-TotoiseLadybirds and Bumblebees

There are lots of animals at this end of the school.    We’ve got a tortoise called Henry, a tank of Hissing Cockroaches and some brand new Rabbits that haven’t even got names yet.

Henry is a Dwarf Herman Tortoise (Testudo hermanni) and like most tortoises he likes to eat dandelions, lettuce leaves and pea pods.   Herman tortoises live in Europe and as long as they don’t get too cold over night, they don’t need to hibernate.

CockroachThe cockroaches have lots of different names, but we can’t tell which is which!  Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhinini) come from Madagascar, a large island off the east coast of Africa.   They make their hissing noise by pushing air out of tubes called spiracles – just like us when trying to whistle!   They don’t have any wings, but they are really good at climbing, even up the glass sides of their tank.   In the wild they live in rotting wood and leaf matter but we feed ours on leaves and vegetables.

Netherlands-Dwarf-RabbitOur newest arrivals are two Netherland Dwarf Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).  They are very pretty and love to be gently stroked.  They eat dark green leaves and special rabbit food with a carrot or apple from our class snack bowl as a treat.  All you need to know is that they are:

very cute and fluffy

Bob-the-cockatielLibrary

Our new Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) is called Bob.  He is really funny!  He likes playing with toys and climbing around his cage and he enjoys dancing and ‘talking’ to us.  Bob started off in reception class to get used to living in a school but he will be moving into the library soon where he can ‘talk’ to everyone.

In the wild, Cockatiels live in dry areas of Australia and move around in flocks of up to 100 birds, looking for food and water.  They often steal farmers crops.   Bob eats seeds and has a piece of cuttlefish in his cage that he uses to keep his beak sharp.

Beetles

Just in case you thought we’d forgotten about them, we’d better mention that the Beetles have chosen to have an aquarium in their room.   It’s not there yet, so watch this space for future news.