Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grasshopper Nature Study

We have been seeing quite a few grasshoppers recently, so I thought it may be interesting to learn a bit more about them.

Using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, the Handbook of Nature Study website, and an article from Ranger Rick magazine that I had in my homeschool files, we learned some facts about grasshoppers:

- They have two sets of tough jaws. One set cuts the food and the other set moves the food into the mouth.

- A grasshopper's long hind legs are loaded with sharp spikes. The males use these to fight each other by kicking with them.

Grasshopper Legs
Spikes on hind legs.
The "Vs" also are visible to the right of the picture.

- If you look closely on grasshoppers' back legs, there are "Vs" on them.  Below each V is a strong muscle that helps the grasshopper hop.

- Some kinds of grasshoppers can jump more than 20 times their lengths.

- Male grasshoppers (and a few kinds of females) "sing" by rubbing body parts together (e.g., legs together; legs across a ridge on a wing).

- A grasshopper has two ears, one on each side of the abdomen.

- A grasshopper has five eyes. Each of the two large eyes has hundreds of tiny lenses that see shapes and motion. The smaller eyes just sense light.

Grasshopper eyes.

In their nature journals, each of the girls wrote a few sentences about a grasshopper they saw on Sunday in a healing/sensory garden at the nursing home where their grandfather lives.

Olivia's notes about seeing the grasshopper
at Papa's nursing home.

They also included a picture of a grasshopper from the magazine article to supplement their nature journal entry.

Sophia's nature journal entry about grasshoppers.


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Very interesting study, love the information and the journals. I have looked at them up close like that with the hand lens and they are amazing creatures.

Thanks so much for sharing your entry with the carnival.

Zonnah said...

That was interesting about the V's. I had recently noticed them and was wondering if there was a purpose; know I know. Thank you.