Oddities of Nature


BUG ME! (Insects)

There are more insect species than the total number of all other species combined!
Insect anatomy- six legs, head, thorax, abdomen

Types of insects (Arthropods)

  1. Orthoptera- grasshoppers, praying mantises
  2. Coleoptera- beetles (dung beetle)
  3. Odonata- dragonflies and damselflies
  4. Hemiptera- (true bugs) plant bugs, stinkbugs, water striders
  5. Lepidotera- moths and butterflies
  6. Diptera- flies and mosquitos
  7. Hymenoptera- ants, bees, wasps
  8. Homoptera- cicadas, aphids

Spiders- are not insects! Eight legs and head and thorax fused

Activity: Insect collection, Camouflage
Online Insect identification Guide

            Complete- larval stage look completely different from adult
            Incomplete- young resemble adults

            Aquatic Insects
                        Activity: Macroinvertebrate Tag
                        Field Trip: Stream Sampling

Land Insects- Ants are among the most dominant small animal on the plant. Ants biomass on the Earth weigh roughly as much as all the 6.6 human beings. However, the winner goes to nematode worms!

Activity: Bioblitz. Butterfly net and trowels. Night catch with spot lights and black lights. Invent an Insect

Beat Sampling Exercise

Ant Cafeteria Exercise



The shape of an animal's skull can tell us how well it can hear, smell and see.

Skull Lab!

Activity: Animal Charades, Migration Maze


Animals tracks get tell us a lot about an animal's life. Here are some hints in identifying and memorizing tracks.

Prints to know:

Coyote, Dog, Black Bear, Gray Squirrel, Cottontail Rabbit, White Tailed Deer, Bobcat, Northern Racoon, Great Blue Heron, Blue Jay, Woodpecker, Canada Goose, Striped Skunk, Mouse and Beaver.

Track Lab

Track Plates Exercise


The shape of a birds beak can tell us what it eats.

Bird Lab

Know you bird calls! How many birds can you recognise?



Winter plant Identification. Identifying trees is done by studying their buds, bark and growth habit.

Bud indentification

Using a twig for winter tree identification


Summer and Fall plant identification. Leaves, flowers and fruit give us clues as to the plant type.

Shapes of leaves

Kinds: scale-like, broad leaf, needle-like


Arrangement: opposite, alternate, whorled, rosette


Forms: simple, compound, palmately compound


Margin: entire, serrate, crenate, spinose, lobed


Shapes: ovate, obovate, lanceolate, cordate, elliptic, linear


Activity: Plant leaf veins, Out of your Tree Play, Tree Leaf Quiz!


Virtual Tree ID Key Using Leaves

How old is that tree? Parts of a tree.

Age Dating from tree rings

Activity: Tree Ring Age Dating


Plant Reproduction from Flowers to Fruit

The Seedy Side of Plants

How do plants make sure their seeds will travel?

Ways seeds are dispersed

Out ot Sea



Fur and Feathers

Fly Away on Wind


Buried Alive


New Paltz High School Plant List

Tree Transects Lab

Make Your Own Tree Key

Pitfall Traps