If you love impressing your pals with your extensive knowledge of all things creepy-crawly, you have come to the right place! We have searched high and low to bring you our favourite facts about insects and we are about to share them with you!
Here at Paultons Park, we are proud to say that we love animals. In fact, we pay homage to many of the world’s weird and wonderful creatures in our exciting mini-land, Critter Creek, which features some of the most intriguing critters around.
At Critter Creek you will find some pretty curious creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for our incredible mash-up animals, including the fly-ger and the horned swamp donkey. You can also discover some of nature’s little critters at Beastie Burrow, a real-life bug emporium!
Visit Beastie Burrow for a chance to see some unusual insects, curious lizards and colourful fish. Come and meet Eric, our friendly resident chameleon and be dazzled by the bright and beautiful clownfish as they swim around.
Today we will be taking a closer look at some of the interesting insects that you’ll find at the park (and possibly even in your garden).
Here are our favourite weird facts about insects that we think deserve more of our attention:
- The Hercules beetle is one of the strongest animals in the world for its size.
Also known as the rhinoceros beetle, the Hercules beetle can carry 850 times its own weight. That is like if you or I could lift and carry a whopping 10 elephants!
- Insects do not have bones like us
Insects are invertebrates, which means that they have a hard exo-skeleton or shell on the outside of their body. This hard outer shell helps protect them from harm, but it is kind of like they are inside-out!
- Ants outnumber us by about 1.4 million to 1
At any given moment there are around 10 quadrillion ants here on planet earth, which is why it is so common to see them out and about in the garden.
- Insects were walking the earth long before the dinosaurs
The oldest insect fossil is from around 400 million years ago, which suggests that they were among some of the earliest creatures to transition from the sea to walk on land. That is pretty cool!
- Insects are really quite helpful
Around 90% of all the plants you see in the wild and 75% of our farmed crops rely on pollinators like bees. In fact, around 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of food that we eat are thanks to animal pollination. Thank you, bees!
- Bees have smelly feet!
Speaking of bees, did you know that bees can recognise each other by the scent of their footprints left behind on flowers and plants? They can use these aromas to distinguish between themselves, relatives, and strangers, which means they know who has been there before them.
- Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animal
Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading some deadly diseases and are responsible for far more death than any other animal. Despite this, they are not very strong and can only fly at around 1 mile per hour.
- Some insects can fly really really fast!
One horsefly is reported to have been observed flying around 90 miles per hour during a scientific experiment where it actually caught a pellet that had been shot out of an air rifle. Zoom!
- Water Scorpions have been known to snorkel
In order to breathe underwater, water scorpions breathe through a snorkel-like tube in their abdomen. Clever things!
- And one insect breathes through its bottom
Yes, you read that right! The Greater Water Boatman actually breathes through its bottom. We’re really glad that humans don’t do that.
So there you have it, 10 weird and wonderful facts about insects that you can use to confuse and delight your friends and family. Make sure you bring all your best insect knowledge with you when you visit Beastie Burrow, as we are sure our resident critters would love to know you’ve been studying up.