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Habitat 1: The river

Habitat 1: The river

So, this is a bonus habitat because we are not back in school and I wanted to start investigating what we could find without doing the school-based learning on my own.  The Somerset Levels are covered by a network of rivers that run to the sea, and a grid of rhynes that drain the fields into the rivers.  This afternoon (Monday 1st June 2020), Maya and cycled out to one of our local rhynes and had a look at what we could find.  Below are a few of the creatures that we found.  All of them are in the animal kingdom.  Task: In each case, decide - are they vertebrates or invertebrates?  All of the creatures that we found were released within a few minutes back into the water once we'd photographed them.

  • A damselfly nymph or possibly a great diving beetle nymph (can't decide, they look the same)
  • Several dragonflies
  • Several damselflies
  • A pond snail
  • Several Ramshorn snails
  • A pond skater
  • Several water boatmen
  • A frog (see the picture below)

The frog (above) has just the tiniest stub of a tail left as it changes from the froglet stage.  I also found a true froglet (long tail and four legs) but it wasn't keen on being caught, so no photograph.

We also found the larvae of a Great Diving Beetle (below).  It goes through the larvae (or nymph) stage once it hatches out of its egg, before it becomes an adult.  The process of changing from one type of juvenile (child) to a different type of adult is called metamorphosis.

Diving Beetle life cycle - The Australian Museum