The Bluecoat School

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        Author: Bluecoat Stamford

        Bugtopia The Zoo

        On Friday 16th November, Year 4 went on a journey to the rainforests and deserts of Bugtopia The Zoo to learn about the animals and bugs that live there.  We have been learning about these fascinating environments and how animals survive there and during our trip, we even got the chance to handle some of these amazing creatures.
        The marvellous Meerkats!

        Wonderful World

        When we went into the jungle, agoutis were roaming wild, sniffing at our feet and hoping to find some nuts.  Our guided Dan luckily had a stash of their favourite kind and the leader of the agouti pack stood on his back legs to grab his treat.  Budgerigars and parakeets were swooping around our heads and squawking loudly, but thankfully didn’t land on us!  We saw snakes, turtles, armadillos, meerkats, bats, racoons, leaf-cutter ants and many more.  The best experience by far though was our handling session.

        What On Earth Is That?

        We saw and held the most unusual of animals like:
        • Soft, squidgy geckos who enjoyed running up our arms!
          Super speedy geckos!
        • Huge, hissing cockroaches that hiss if trodden on in the jungle floor, making any potential predator think they’re poisonous snakes and retreat quickly.
        Huge, hissing cockroaches of South America!   
        • Rosie the tarantula who was beautiful yet incredibly scary at the same time!
          Rosie the tarantula
                  The favourite animal for Year 4 is the cute, curious but ‘don’t be fooled’ vicious meerkat!  Meerkats are known to stand on their rear legs and warn the others in their group of any danger approaching by giving an alarm call.  They have 3 different types of alarm calls which the other meerkats all understand and respond to.  The first is if a bird is flying overhead, the second is if there’s danger in the distance and finally, the third is when danger is close by.
        Meerkats on the lookout!

        Interesting Facts

        • We learnt that leaf-cutter ants eat fungus that they produce by burying leaves in their nest.  The leaves eventually decompose and create a fungus for the ants to enjoy.
        • Leaf cutter ants have different jobs.  Some search and locate the leaves, workers cut the leaves and transport them back to the nest, soldier ants protect the worker ants and the Queen ant stays buried deep in her nest producing millions of baby ants to continue their work.
        • There are 24 different types of armadillo.  Contrary to belief, there is only one type of armadillo who can curl up into a ball!
        • The striped skunk lives in North America.
        • Racoons are named striped bandits.
          Striped bandit!

        Dai the Armadillo

        We were lucky enough to see Dai the armadillo being trained by our guide also.  Dai is a hairy armadillo and when he was released from his cage, he scurried quickly all over the room and between our feet searching for food.  We learnt that hairy armadillos have poor eye sight but a very good sense of smell and hearing.  As a result, when our guided shook his keys, Dai has been trained to run to him immediately for a reward of banana.  We were allowed to stroke Dai as he came by and one child commented, ‘he was like a hedgehog with no spikes’!
        Dai the armadillo on the hunt for banana!
        We had a fantastic time at Bugtopia and learnt so much more about the animals of the jungle and desert.  Thank you for reading this and we hope you have enjoyed our blog. Written by Year 4.

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