Prickly & Poisonous
Thursday 21st March 2013


Prickly and Poisonous
Our Prickly and Poisonous session focussed on some of the most amazing
and colourful species in the world.

We found out about the tiny Poison Dart frogs that inhabit rainforests in South America and Africa can have enough toxins in their skin to kill up to 10 men.


 

 
During the craft activities Explorers made Poison Dart Frogs
or modelled Saguaro Cacti (complete with Gila Woodpeckers and Elf Owls!)



Older Wildlife Explorers completed a quiz that tested everyone's knowledge
about some of the most prickly and poisonous life on our planet.

 
One of our Junior Leaders gave the talk during the second session, adding lots of background information from his own 'A' Level Biology studies. We learned about animal and plant strategies for defence and also about the adaptations of xerophytes (plants like cacti that cope with very low levels of water).

Phoenix learned about Venomous Vertebrates. Everyone was surprised to learn that some of the birds in
New Guinea (like the Hooded Pithui) concentrate toxins from the beetles that they eat so that their own feathers and skin contain toxins. Local people refer to them as 'rubbish' birds as they can only be eaten
if they have their feathers and skin are removed and are then covered in charcoal before baking!

We looked at the poison spurs of the male Platypus and the way the Slow Loris delivers a toxic bite by
mixing poison from glands on it's upper arms with saliva using a specially adapted tooth comb.

 
We even pretended to be Badgers and raced to see who could roll a headgehog (OK...footballs) down a hill!



 
The session was rounded off with a real favourite - Playdough Charades.
Some of the creations were incredibly inventive - imagine modelling porcupines and jellfish in playdough!



We all then received our 'Club of the Year' Certificates and Prizes!