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Man and Animal ~ the Fish block II

Last week, we started our second block of Man and Animal. This second part is done more like a typical zoology block.

We first looked at life in the sea, and compared soft and hard creatures. Some are completely soft like the jellyfish, sponges, anemones and sea cucumbers, while others, have a soft interior but are protected by a hard exterior, like the  snail, coral, crabs, lobsters, starfish and shrimp.

Tristan was intrigued by how lobsters and crabs once a year have to leave their shells because they have outgrown them and grow new ones. Being very vulnerable during this time, since they lack their hard armor to protect them. He also was fascinated by the hermit crab, which does not make a shell but moves in to abandonned ones left from other creatures. They can become quite disapointed when  thinking they have found the ideal home, when in fact, it did not fit so well.

We also looked at the amazing relationship some of these animals have with one another. Some are quite particular,  like the Portuguese Man ‘O War jelly-like fish (not jellyfish) and the Man ‘O War fish, the only fish to not be affected by the venomous tentacles. It swims in and out of the tentacles luring other fish to think it to be safe, while in fact it is really driving them into a death trap. The fish then eats the leftover bits of other fish left from the Man’O War’s meal.

Another curious relationship is the Clown Fish and the Anemones, anemones being poisonous to every other creature which in turn provides a safe haven for the Clown Fish.

We both made some needle felted clown fish for handwork. Using a wonderful book called “Wool Pets”.

Tristan needle felting a clown fish


Here is the finished product, Tristan’s is on the left and mine is on the right. I am very impressed with Tristan’s ability to needle felt, my fish is lacking a portion of  face.  Tristan thought it would be nice to add a proper landscape, so he went to retrieve a couple of playsilks from his room.

Diagram of a fish by Tristan 2011


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