Animals’ moulting

Moulting is the way in which some animals change or renew a part of their body in a specific time of the year or of their lives.

This phenomenon can happen to mammals, insects, birds or reptiles. For example dogs lose part of their hair during the warmest periods of the year. The old hair is replaced by a new one, which is lighter.

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Why we need rainforests

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Every forest is important because it is the home of many plants and animals and it gives to us the oxygen we need to survive.

However, among the others, rainforests are particularly important. These majestic jungles across the world are so-called because  it rains very often there and the climate is warm and humid. They exist in Asia, Africa, Oceania and America. The most famous one is the Amazon rainforest, in South America. Continue reading

Discovering animals: insects

Insects are invertebrates which means they don’t have internal bones but instead they have an external skeleton called exoskeleton. All insects have a segmented body divided in three parts: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. They also have at least three pairs of jointed legs and two antennas. Some insects have wings and can fly, for example bees, butterflies or dragonflies. Other live on the ground- or underground- for example beetles or ants.

jon sullivanInsects are only one subcategory of the animal kingdom called Arthropoda. There are many subcategories other than insects:

  • Crustacea: like crabs, crayfish, prawns)
  • Arachnida: like spiders and scorpions)
  • Myriapoda: like millipedes & centipedes
  • Insecta which are insects

 

 

Why is climate changing?

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The Earth’s climate is constantly changing, even if you might not notice it.

When people talk about current climate change, they are mostly saying that the Earth is getting warmer because of heat-trapping gases added to the atmosphere. These gases are produced by burning fossil fuels- for example coal, petroleum and natural gas- or by other human activities and are called greenhouse gases.

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Discovering animals: Amphibians

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Amphibian means two-lives; in fact amphibians spend their lives in the water and on land. They start their life in water and then develop legs and lungs for living on land. There are more than 4,000 different kinds of amphibians, for example frogs, salamanders, toads.

Dominik Hofer

Dominik Hofer

Frogs: they can have different skin colors and sizes. Frogs have powerful back legs and they can do incredible jumps and swim fast.  Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap. Frogs have many predators, birds, reptiles and mammals. They make particular sound thanks to a sac in the throat that vibrates the air.

Discovering animals: Reptiles

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Reptiles are cold-blooded, it means that their bodies react to the temperature of their surroundings. They are cover in scales of various type and size which cover their body. When they are born, they are on their own, without their parents but fortunately they can rely on a strong instinct! Some reptiles are snakes, lizards, crocodiles and turtles.

John Morgan

John Morgan

Turtles: these nice and funny animals are equipped with a cartilaginous shell that works like a shield. Turtles may live under water or on earth. Turtles are very old; they are believed to be existed in the late Triassic period of the Mesozoic era. Most of them are highly endangered because of hunting (for food and traditional medicine) and pollution

Discovering animals: Fish

Fish are aquatic vertebrates, have fins, gills and cold blood, with few exceptions. Whale shark is the biggest fish, but whales and dolphins are mammals, they live in the sea but feed their babies with milk. Fish instead lay eggs.

Sharks: are very popular fish and they are believed to be one of the most ancient aquatic creatures. They have huge and powerful jaws with sharp teeth. They are mostly carnivores but some sharks are harmless and eat plankton. Sharks are hunted for food in many countries and some of them, like the Great White Shark, can attack people.

Steve Garner

Steve Garner

Discovering animals: Birds

The main characteristic of birds is feathers, all birds have them! Feathers keep them warm and allow them to fly and decide direction. They are sometimes used as decorative tool, even by humans (like the bird of paradise ones)There are raptors birds, like eagles, which eat other animals thanks to incredible big eyes, sharp talons and a hooked beak. Other birds called waterfowl, like duck or swan prefer to stay on the water, where they can look for plants and small fish. There are also birds that don’t fly, like penguins and the strange kiwi which only lives in New Zealand.

don johnson

Did you know? The largest birds are the ostrich and the emu

Kiwi: Kiwis are small nocturnal flightless birds, native to New Zealand and symbol of the country. Kiwis lay the largest egg of any bird on the planet, only one every season. They can smell insects thanks to nostrils they have in the end of a long beak. They’re critically endangered because of deforestation.

Martin Sharman

Martin Sharman

Bird-of-paradise: a family of colorful and elegant tropical birds living in rainforest. They are endangered because men have been hunting them for their feathers and the habitat has been destroyed.