Signal Crayfish

The Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is a freshwater crustacean. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The Signal Crayfish has a hard, bluish-brown to reddish-brown exo-skeleton (outer shell), called a carapace. It has a white to pale blue-green patch near its claw hinge like a white signal flag. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large, smooth, front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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Marine Animal

What is a marine animal?

A marine animal is any animal (and bird) that lives in and around the ocean and its waters (saltwater). 

A marine animal can have gills (to breathe air when they are underwater) or lungs (to breathe air at the surface of the water). 

A marine animal can have fins or be finless. It can live in the middle of the ocean or on the bottom of the sea. It can fly and live around ocean coasts. 

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Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog

The Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is an endangered venomous freshwater amphibian. It is also known as the Bumblebee Poison Frog.

The Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog has smooth skin with bright-yellow and black markings, such as stripes and spots. It has large dark eyes. It has webbed feet with one digit (toe) longer than the others. Its toes have sticky pads to help it climb trees. 

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Common Wasp

The Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) is an insect. It is also known as the European Wasp or the Common Yellow-Jacket. It is a vespid. 

The Common Wasp has a black and yellow banded body with black dots and markings on its abdomen. It has yellow legs. Worker wasps have a stinger at the end of their tail. It can sting multiple times because the stinger stays in the body (the stinger of bees comes out of the body when the bee stings an animal, so it can only sting once). It has large black eyes and black antennae.

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The Abalone (Haliotis) is a sea snail. It is a marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc. It is also known as the Sea Ear, Ear Shell, Muttonfish, and Ormer. It is a haliotid. 

The Abalone has a hard, convex, rounded or oval-shaped shell called an exoskeleton made out of nacre (mother of pearl). The shell can be domed or flat and it is usually greyish in colour. The inside of the shell is iridescent blue-green. It has a row of holes in its mantle, which enable it to breathe and expel water. About 4-10 holes are open. It has a rounded foot.

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What is an instar?

An instar is the development stage of an insect between each stage of moulting, or shedding its skin. 

For example, each stage from egg to larvae (grub) to pupa (chrysalis or cocoon) to an adult insect, as an insect undergoes metamorphosis, is called an instar.

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Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly (Danus plexippus) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of milkweed butterfies. It is also known as the Milkweed Butterfly, Common Tiger Butterfly, Wanderer Butterfly, and the Black-Veined Brown Butterfly. 

The Monarch Butterfly has black, orange, and white wings. The undersides of its wings are orange-brown. It has black veins and small white spots in the margins at the edge of its wings. The male has a black spot on each hind (back) wing. Its body and its six legs are black. 

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The Ruff (Calidris pugnax) is a medium-sized wading wetlands bird. It is a Sandpiper in the Scolopacidae family of shorebirds. 

The Ruff is a long-necked bird with a small head and a rounded belly. It is grey-brown with white and grey mottled underparts. It has colourful black, chestnut or white head tufts. It has a medium-sized black beak. It has long yellow or orange legs. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Luzon Bleeding-Heart Dove

The Luzon Bleeding-Heart Dove (Gallicolumba luzonica) is a medium-sized bird in the dove and pigeon family of ground birds. 

The Luzon Bleeding-Heart Dove is grey with iridescent purple, blue, or green feathers. It has a whitish-buff underbelly that has a reddish stripe that looks like blood on its chest. The male has a brighter red patch than the female. Its wings are grey with black bands. Its body is rounded, with a short tail and long pink legs. 

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Green Sea Anemone

The Green Sea Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) is a marine (saltwater) anemone in the Actiniidae family. It is also known as the Giant Green Anemone, the Giant Tidepool Anemone, or the Rough Anemone. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Green Sea Anemone is a broad, flat, disc with its mouth in the centre. It is bright green when exposed to sunlight, and dark-green or brown when not exposed to sunlight. It has short, conical tentacles arranged in rows of six or more, which is called the crown of tentacles. The crown surrounds its oral disc (mouth). The tips of the tentacles can be pointed or blunt. 

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European Crayfish

The European Crayfish (Astacus astacus) is a freshwater crustacean. It is also known as the Noble Crayfish, the Broad-Fingered Crayfish, the European Crawfish, or the European Freshwater Lobster. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The European Crayfish has a hard, reddish-orange exo-skeleton or outer shell, called a carapace. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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Plantigrade Locomotion

What is plantigrade locomotion?

Plantigrade locomotion is the way some animals walk with their toes and metatarsals (heels) flat on the ground.

Terrestrial (land) mammals have three ways of walking:

(1) digitigrade (walking on their toes with their heels permanently raised),

(2) unguligrade (walking on the nail of their toes – the hoof – with the heel permanently raised), and 

(3) plantigrade (walking with their toes and heels on the ground).

The leg of a plantigrade mammal includes the bones of the upper leg, called the femur and humerus, and the bones of the lower leg, called the metatarsals and metacarpals. 

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