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Learning About Insects, Birds and Animals ~ Aprendizaje acerca de insectos, pájaros y animales
By Connie Goldin, LMFT
“What is born and what is hatched?” This is a very important question. Most insects, fish, birds and reptiles are hatched from eggs. Most mammals are born. That sounds simple and obvious enough. But there are exceptions to each of these statements.
Mammals, like us, have hair or fur, are warm- blooded (can make own body heat that’s not dependent on outside temperature) and nurse their young, who are born alive. Birds are also warm-blooded, but lay eggs in nests. Most all birds (frequently including the dads) raise and care for their young until they are able to leave the nest. The exception is the cow-bird, whose mother lays the egg in another bird’s nest to be cared for by a surrogate mother. Reptiles and fish are cold-blooded (body temperature depends on outside temperature) do not have hair, usually lay eggs, and may not even be around for the hatching. I was surprised to learn that there are insects who guard their eggs and young and even fight off predators, often at the cost of their own lives.
Here are some fun exceptions to the norm. Two mammals in Australia–the Echidna and the Duck-billed Platypus–lay eggs! They are both called “monotremes.” The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and the Surf Perch both have live birth. When I was six- years-old, my family lived on the beach in Malibu, California. I remember my dad fishing in the surf. One evening, he was quite excited and surprised to catch a perch that immediately started to have babies. I vividly remember my parents trying to save the babies by scooping them up and running with them into the surf. That made quite an impression on me, even though I had no clue about fish babies coming from eggs or being born alive!
Learn through Activities ~ Aprenda a travás de las actividades
To explore these creatures who lay eggs or have live babies, use play dough to make eggs and “snakes” of different sizes. Read nonfiction and fiction books about the subjects, as well. Here is a book that is silly and fun and helps young children understand that creatures reproduce “alike” creatures. In other words, a baby bird doesn’t have a dog for a biological mommy!
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Nonfiction Books for Kids ~ Libros no de ficción para niños