Swimming Creatures Lesson 8: Crustaceans

We explored God's creation of shrimp, crabs, lobster, krill, crayfish, barnacles, trilobites and more in this lesson. We learned that arthropod means jointed leg and foot, what an exoskeleton is made of, what molting is, crustacean anatomy, special features of a crustacean and more. Notebooking activities included drawing a picture of a lobster as as example of a typical crustacean and labeling the body parts, then drawing a picture of a crab and comparing the differences, and writing a story about a conversation between a mother crab and a mother horseshoe crab.
Then we took a field trip to our local pet store to see some real live crustaceans, from Peppermint and cleaner shrimp to crayfish, fiddler crabs, a soapbox crab, and hermit crabs. Angel, the store owner, was very helpful to take the time to show us around, let us handle the soapbox and hermit crabs, and answer our questions.
The soapbox crab (pictured lower right) was quite a sparky little entertaining fellow, but we opted to adopt some less active crustaceans and chose a couple hermit crabs (apparently "hermit" crabs are social creatures) to take home, observe, and keep as pets. The boys enjoy holding them while we read.
Our experiment this lesson was to hatch brine shrimp, or Sea Monkeys. So, we also picked up a hatch mix containing brine shrimp eggs and salt. We put them in a glass jar with a light to keep the water around 80 degrees and are waiting for them to hatch.
Jordan found a feeder crayfish, also known as a crawdad, crawfish or fresh water lobster, and bought one to put in his turtle tank, knowing that it might be food for the turtle.
The turtle did attempt a bite, but the crawdad pinched him good and the turtle is keeping its distance!
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  1. It looks like you had quite the fun week. How is the crayfish doing? I have been playing with the idea of getting one as a "pet" for the kids since we had to give up our cat due to allergies. Does it spend all day hiding, or does he come out? p.s. thanks for sharing so much of what you do with your kids :)

  2. *Ü*

    The crayfish keeps hidden under a rock and is not very social. The hermit crabs make fun pets, though. You put them on the palm of your hand and after a few moments they will come out and start crawling around. We haven't gotten pinched yet! They seem to be social little creatures and are very easy to care for.

  3. Thanks for the info. Definitely will not be getting a crayfish, but it sounds like a hermit crab might just work.