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Friday, November 14, 2014

Explorer's programme

Dr. Noirín Burke came from the Explorer's Programme today to visit our class and tell us all about marine animals and sea life.  
We are so happy to have her, especially this week, since it is Science Week.
Noirín helped us understand that Ireland is an island surrounded by the sea (the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish sea).
We talked about the animals and plants we can find in the sea, then we drew wonderful ocean pictures.  We did a really good job with our pictures.
Noirín had some really interesting things to show us.

She showed us a starfish, and told us that starfish have no blood but instead they pull in  seawater into their arms, and squirt it out when they are finished with it.  They have a little eye (called an eye spot) on each arm, and can regrow arms (called regrowth) if something happens to an arm.  The starfish has a funny stomach.  When he wants to eat something he puts his stomach outside his mouth and into the food (like shellfish) that he wants to eat.  He then makes a shellfish smoothie which he can easily eat.
We got to see a spider crab's old shell.  Crabs have shells outside their bodies and when their shells get too small the crab cracks the shell, crawls out, and then eats its old shell to give him energy to make the new shell harden.  The largest crab in the world is a Chinese Spider crab.  He is huge.
We got to see lobster claws.  One claw looks like a knife and the other looks like a fork.  One is a crusher and the other is a chopper.
We looked at the shell of a Nautilus.  The shell is gorgeous but the nautilus has a really funny face.
We know that there three types of fish
fish with skeletons made from bone (like a seahorse or a snake pike fish)
fish with skeletons made from cartilage (like sharks).  We got to see some shark's teeth and shark's skin
and jawless fish (like hagfish or lamprey)

We got to see some mermaids purses (where  they keep their eggs, which turn into baby sharks)
and we got to see some  cuttlefish bone.
We got to see a whale's neck bone (actually it was 5 bones joined together)

This was so interesting.
We did some camouflage art where we cut shapes out of newspaper.  Then we stuck these shapes onto another piece of newspaper.  The shapes were really hard to see...they were camouflaged!
We got to play a game with these camouflaged pages.  We each got a camouflaged sheet and a pencil.  We had to find the camouflaged shapes.  This was fun!

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