Thursday, May 17, 2012

STEM Friday: Wind Scorpions

Wind Scorpions
written by Sandra Markle
2012 (Lerner Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Check out STEM Friday for more science and math links.

Wind scorpions are fascinating creatures. They're not spiders or scorpions. No spin or sting. They are simply arachnids with the biggest jaws of them all. The dramatic photographs in this book show the wind scorpion devouring lizards and grasshoppers which is way cool for nonfiction fans like myself. Sandra Markle describes these jaws as nutcrackers which is a great analogy. Markle goes beyond the jaws to give the reader in depth details about  all parts inside and outside. A terrific two page inset diagram gives the inside picture of the anatomy of a wind scorpion. This is great for modeling the use of labels in nonfiction writing. More sections follow with information about the birth process and early life of the wind scorpion. I liked reading about the racquet organs which act as sensors for the scorpion. Another unique body feature of the wind scorpion is the pedipalp. This sticky organ allows the scorpion to grip smooth surfaces and also catch prey in the air. The pedipalps act as hands for the wind scorpion. Latter sections of the book focus on the Galeodes found in Israel's Negev Desert. The life cycle is the theme with courtship rituals and egg laying details taking center stage in the beginning. This section is written chronologically so we follow the young scorpions, or immatures, as they molt after a week or so of life and go off to find their way in the world. Those that survive become adults in about a year. Not long after delivering the eggs, the female Galeodes will live only a few weeks afterwards.

Wind Scorpions is a good introduction to an exotic animal that will intrigue young readers. Full of "wow" facts and great text features, your animal lovers will enjoy this book. Check out the back matter for further avenues of research and a fun activity that mimics how wind scorpions eat. Click on this link for more information about wind scorpions.

2 comments:

  1. This guy looks really fierce! Who knew a pedipalp could catch prey in the air - cool. thanks for sharing; I love Sandra Markle's books.
    Over at Archimedes Notebook I've posted tips for turning your backyard into a more bird-friendly habitat. It means not having to mow as much.
    http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com/2012/05/making-your-yard-bird-friendly.html

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  2. Thanks, Sue! I'll be heading over to the Notebook.

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