Hi! My name is Ms. Ziemke. Please join me as I travel to New Orleans to study climate change. Check my website at www.tinyurl.com/burley106

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hi Friends!

Happy Tuesday! Please check my classroom website for more photos and info by clicking here. I am feeling much better and I had a great time in the swamp today!

We did research in the Honey Island Swamp and collected a lot of data. First we measured out our plot. Then we looked all over for caterpillars. We found a caterpillar called the Varigated Midget. It was very cute. We collected caterpillars in large Ziploc bags (like the ones we use in 106) and labeled the bag with the name of the tree we found the caterpillar on and the location of the tree in the plot. We also found several large caterpillars including the IO and the Saddleback.
Can you tell why this caterpillar is called a Saddleback? Do you think this caterpillar is poisonous? Why or why not?

Next we counted plant species and the number of leaves on each plant. I observed many leaves that were eaten by caterpillars. It was surprising to see how much of the leaves a caterpillar could eat! All the caterpillars left behind was the "skeleton" of the leaf.

How do you think a caterpillar's eating habits impact trees in the forest?

Check out this Hyphantria! It has undergone a metamorphosis and has molted into a larger caterpillar. After it molts it eats its exoskeleton because a caterpillar needs to eat all the food it can get. It does not want to waste anything.

Can you see her legs holding on to the branch?

Thank you for all your comments! It was great to hear from Emil, Rachel and Room 104!
Here are the answers to a few of your questions:
*Yes! Some of the caterpillars we have found are poisonous. Both photos on this page show caterpillars that will cause your body to have a reaction.
*I have only been in shallow parts of the swamp. All of the water I walked in was only about 1 foot deep. However, there are deep parts of the swamp and later this week we will kayak through the swamp.
*I have seen lots of spiders, frogs, turtles, and TONS of bugs. There are larger animals like deer, alligators and wild hogs, but I have not seen those yet.

I miss you guys and look forward to Skyping with 106 tomorrow. Check back for new photos and info on Wednesday!



At October 28, 2009 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Jeff said...

You make me wish that I were in 1st grade again. I am so impressed by what you do and how you do it.

At October 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM , Anonymous Mr. Kovacs said...

I never knew caterpillars could be so varied! I'm really impressed with the information you're giving our community. I learn as much from your blog as I do from the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Are there any other contributing factors your team is investigating that might have caused changes in the New Orleans ecosystem besides the hurricane?


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