My 3 Monsters: That Time We Were Orkin EEKologists

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10.25.2013

That Time We Were Orkin EEKologists

This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hi, friends!  Many of you who know me in real life know that I'm kind of a nerd.  {Maybe that shows through my writing, too, so you all realize that . . .}  I LOVE watching documentaries.  They're my movies-of-choice, way above chick flicks.  I also love a good research project.  The thrill of learning something new never gets old for me.  {See.  Nerdy.}  I guess I have worn off on my kids a little bit, because guess what Dylan and I did over fall break?  We researched bugs.  Yep.  We found the coolest website, The Orkin Ecologist, where you will find all kinds of awesome information about creepy crawly things.  Not just the common things that you might call Orkin to get rid of, oh no!  Gigantic, disgusting, fascinating types of bugs you have never even heard of.  Beautiful photography of these . . . gross little {and not so little} things. 

Our look at The Orkin Ecologist lead to an entire afternoon of watching bug videos.  Once we had exhausted all the info on that site, Dylan found a bunch more via YouTube.  It was so fun for me to see my kid get excited about something other than Minecraft for once.  After all that we saw and read, neither of us could get one creature in particular out of our heads -- The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider.  It just-so happens to be the featured bug of the month on The Orkin Ecologist website.  It's a disgusting, hairy, enormous tarantula.  I mean, hello, a spider big enough to eat a bird?!  SICK!!!!

We decided that we wanted to create a life-size {or close to it} replica and then compare it to another type of spider for our EEKology project.  Because, surprisingly, looks are deceiving.  This "Goliath" spider is actually way less dangerous than some other spiders -- like a Black Widow, for instance.  After a trip to the fabric store for supplies, here's what we came up with:

Awesome!!!  Dylan was super helpful, picking out just the right fur and finding those cool buttons we used for the eyes.  I love that kid!  Anyone who can get excited about doing a science project while they're on break from school is A-OK in my book.  While I was sewing the spider, he was researching the bugs, finding all the cool differences and similarities between the two.  He typed it all up and then we created a display board to share with the rest of the family in a game-like format.

You can lift up each flap with a question on it to find out which spider wins that category and why.  Some of the things he found out were really interesting.

For instance, you might be surprised to find out that neither spider wants to bite you.  Both bite only in self-defense, but if you do get bitten it's not the Goliath Bird-Eater you need to worry about.  Despite its inch-long fangs, its venom is not life threatening to humans and its bite is comparable to a wasp's sting.  The Black Widow, however, has venom 15 times more toxic than a rattlesnake.  Yikes! 

On looks alone, I'd say the Goliath Bird-Eater is scarier.  It can grow to be almost 12 inches across.  That's about the size of a dinner plate!  And it's covered in hair.  And it can rub its legs together like a cricket to hiss when it feels threatened.  You can hear the hiss from up to 15 feet away.  Luckily, you'll probably never meet one around here.  They live in underground burrows in the rainforests of South America.

The Black Widow is actually the spider you should be more afraid of.  They live in North America -- which means there could be one in your house right now!!  Don't worry, though.  They typically eat small insects that get trapped in their sticky webs.  Ok, maybe male Black Widows should worry a little bit -- often the females will eat the males after mating.  Gag!

See, I told you I'm nerdy.  I love this stuff.  Just one more fun fact:  The Bird-Eating Spider is a bit of a misnomer.  While they may dine on birds from time to time, they typically eat large insects, small rodents, frogs and lizards.  That's so much better, right?

Dylan and I had so much fun working on this project together maybe we'll pick another one for Winter Break in a couple months.  Hee took his EEKology display and {almost kinda' accurately} life-sized spiders into school to share with his 6th grade science class for extra credit.  Sometimes being a little nerdy pays off!

Check outThe Orkin Ecologist website and let me know what you think.  It's a great resource for kids and adults alike.  Have fun, guys . . .  

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1 comment:

  1. That is one smart kid. He's a creative genius just like his mom :) Awesome job D!

    ReplyDelete

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