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Creature Features (Life Science)

Spiders (#104)

We first appeared on earth about 400 million years ago, even before dinosaurs. Today we number about 40,000 known species. It's time to learn the truth and folklore about us spiders. [4 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: These fun and focused programs are a perfect introduction to some of the most widely studied “creatures” found on the planet. Created specifically for “kids,” each program provides beautiful, up-close imagery and age appropriate narration. Life science concepts addressed throughout the series include habitats, body parts, adaptation, migration, ecosystems, the life cycle, and more.

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  • Crayfish (#101)

    We look like a crab, live in rivers and streams, have a hard shell and 8 quick moving legs. Would you like to see where I live and meet some of my family? [5 minutes]

  • Frogs & Tadpoles (#102)

    With bulging eyes and bumpy skin I'm a champion of the long and high jump. That's because of my long, strong hind legs. Did you know that before we become frogs we are young tadpoles? It's interesting to see how we change. [4 minutes]

  • Ants (#103)

    It's strange to think that in many interesting ways we are very much like humans. Our societies are well organized and each member has certain duties that supports the colony. Come along to see how much alike we really are. [4 minutes]

  • Sea Turtles (#105)

    We tend to be rather mysterious creatures, weighing over 600 pounds and able to live for a 100 days or more under the sea. As soon as our babies hatch, they instinctively know to run for the sea away from predators. [4 minutes]

  • Salamanders (#106)

    Humans seem to like us, because we look cute, almost like miniature dinosaurs. But you know what really makes us salamanders happy? It's when we're resting in the water with our smooth skin all cool and moist. [4 minutes]

  • Sea Anemones (#107)

    We're one of the most widely found of all sea creatures. At low tide you'll find us all curled up but at high tide, our tentacles bloom like flowers because that's our way of attracting food. [5 minutes]

  • Cicadas (#108)

    Our life is really quite interesting but humans only get to see a mere 2 - 4 weeks of it. As a nymph, we spend years under ground before we emerge and get wings. A fascinating process. Oh, and just so you know, it's only the males that sing. [4 minutes]

  • Ladybugs (#109)

    There is little chance you won't notice us with all our splendid color, no need for us to worry about camouflage. We have a couple secret weapons we use to discourage predators. Even so, we have earned a much respected reputation from farmers for being helpful. [5 minutes]

  • Bees & Wasps (#110)

    Where there are blooming flowers, you'll find us as well. We have the largest number of species with the largest populations. You probably heard about all the work we do spreading pollen from flower to flower, right? [5 minutes]

  • Praying Mantis (#111)

    For sure we're interesting to look at with our stick like bodies and rotating heads, but watch out, we have voracious appetites. When a female is carrying eggs, she can eat up to 12 crickets a day. Once grown, her nymphs will live their entire life alone without companions. [5 minutes]

  • Toads (#112)

    You might not see us very often but every once in awhile you will. Oh, and we're really quite different from a frog. In some cultures we are considered a symbol of wealth and wisdom, so there. [4 minutes]

  • Bats (#113)

    In millions of years we really haven't changed much and are proud to say we're the only mammals that can fly. It's also cool to hang upside down and navigate by using ultrasound. Is it stretching it to say we're sort of cute? [6 minutes]

  • Mosquitoes (#115)

    Talk about feeling unwanted, we mosquitoes never get invited to anything. To set the record straight, it's just the females that bite and they only do it for a very important reason. And that dreaded buzzing sound, it's because our wings flap 600 times a second. [5 minutes]

  • Butterflies (#117)

    We usually appear twice per year, with males and females being of different colors. Our larva go through several fascinating changes before becoming adults. Once able to fly, they will take to the sky and soon the cycle of life will begin all over again. [5 minutes]

  • Dragonflies (#118)

    We dragonflies were the very first to fly through the skies, able to go forward, up and backwards. Our name comes from the mythical dragons and our eyesight is the best among the insects. We can see in all directions without turning our heads. Look for us near water. [4 minutes]

  • Leaf Beetles (#119)

    As the name implies, I enjoy eating leaves. Once I get attached to a tree, I'll be eating leaves for a long period of time. I guess that makes my presence somewhat undesirable. Even so, us leaf beetles are an important part of the earth's natural ecosystem. [4 minutes]

  • Crabs (#120)

    We are one of the more interesting creatures you'll find along the sea shore, especially with our crooked legs and sideways walk. However, should you attempt to pick us up, you better be careful of our pincers. We are considered the king of all crustaceans. [5 minutes]

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