Class One’s topic this term is ‘Animals and their Environment’ and so a visit was arranged to the school from the newly reopened Dartmoor Zoo.

Geoff McCarthy the zoo’s education officer bought with him a variety of minibeasts. They all arrived in tanks which had different habitats inside them to make the animals feel comfortable on their journey. The first thing the children did was to look at these habitats with Geoff to think about where the animals came from and the food they eat.

The children met a Giant Hissing Cockroach and also Giant African Snails which have rough tongues to help them lick animal bones which they need to do to supplement their shells. They also saw stick insects and a Leopard Shelled Tortoise which had sharp claws and ate lots of food. The children learnt that a tortoise’s shell is part of its body and they can feel through its shell so they had to be very gentle.

The African Millipede that came to visit had many legs. As it passed over our hands there was a strange tickling feeling!