The word itself elicits a natural, visceral and divisive reaction from most humans.
Maybe it’s because from a young age we’re conditioned to think bugs are nasty, disease-carrying, fear-inducing pests destined to be smushed. Or, maybe we simply fear the misunderstood? Whatever the reason, one fact remains: Insects make up nearly 80 percent of all animal species on Earth. Without them, our lives would be remarkably different.
In that spirit, rather than view bugs as annoyances, perhaps we should instead look at them as beautiful, unique, and most importantly, necessary – and the Phoenix Zoo is making it easy for us!
Bugs. BIG BUGS! is the Zoo’s latest can’t-miss animatronic bug exhibit that features 21 gigantic bugs that you really need to see to believe.
The bugs in this limited-time exhibit are huge, but the ones underneath our feet are truly remarkable. The small size of bugs can make them hard to comprehend, so it’s perfectly natural to think of bugs as scary. The good news is we can learn to overcome our fears.
Here are some activities the entire family can do to “think before you eek!”
- Draw a picture or make a collage of your favorite bug and explain its role in the environment. You can even use “found” materials to create models of bugs!
- Make a capture kit to relocate bugs in your house. A net or a large container (coffee can, yogurt container, Tupperware, or a cup) and a piece of laminated cardboard (like on cereal boxes or postcard mailers). Keep it handy so you’re ready to move bugs outside. (Pro tip: Attach “handles” like popsicle sticks or wooden dowels to increase the space between hesitant humans and bugs.)
- Get a field guide to bugs or try out a cool app like iNaturalist and go on safari in your yard! Keep a checklist or photo guide of the species you see!
- Get a magnifier to view bugs in your yard up close. What are they doing? Hunting? Hiding? Eating? Building? Gathering resources? Why are they doing that? What other questions do you have? Is there a bug-friendly way you might start to find the answers?
For more information on the Bugs Exhibit, BIG BUGS! at the Phoenix Zoo, visit the website HERE.