Smith is a total bug/animal/dinosaur/killer whale/spider/ any-creature-that-moves-and-can-be-picked-up-between-your-thumb-and-forefinger nut. He loves them all, and we talk about them constantly. I have tried introducing a bit of learning into his zoology studies ie. mammals, reptiles and their differences etc, but today he asked me whether an ant was a mammal or a reptile.
Ok, deep breath, after all this is My Year of Self Improvement, so I'm going to own up to the fact, I didn't really know. I knew it probably wasn't either but came unstuck there.
So my learning today...
There are 7 animal kingdom class definitions:
1. Mammals - warm blooded and classified into 3 groups "monotremes" - lay eggs, "marsupials" - have a pouch to keep their underdeveloped feotus in and "placentals" - nourish their babies in utero
2. Reptiles - cold blooded and lay eggs
3. Amphibians - live on water and land, have either cold blood or are ectothermic which means they modify their temperature to their environment
4. Birds - surely no explanation needed?
5. Fish - ditto
6. Anthropod Insects - hmm, animals that have an exoskeleton , or external skeleton, 6 legs and wings (but blood- gad don't know, yet?)
7. Anthropod Arachnids - insects like spiders, ticks, scorpions and mites - have 4 pairs of legs and no wings, some are carnivores, some parasites and some herbivores.
But I still don't know if an ant has blood. Surely I'm done on bugs for a while. You must be!