How long do butterflies live?

Different butterfly species have different potential life spans for the adult stage.

By marking butterflies then recapturing or sighting them later, scientists gain information on how long butterflies can live. An average butterfly species has an adult life span of two weeks or less. For example one butterfly studied in Costa Rica had a life expectancy of about two days, and live ten days at the most.

Do badgers go on holiday? They could go to badger’s holiday park…

Poppy, we don’t go on holidays! Not like you lazy humans!! We like to go out and night and in winter we do not hibernate like some other animals (lazy!!!) but we do take it easy and do less hunting and roaming when it gets cold… and during the autumn, about now actually, we do like to eat lots more worms and get nice and fat to keep us warm in the winter!! So look out for some fat badgers!!! We won’t fit on your wildlife camera!!

Why is our invisible ink made with lemon juice, or vinegar not working very well?

Hmmm us badgers don’t use invisible ink or visible ink. The only marks we leave are on the nice soft grass when we are looking for……yep you guessed it…WORMS!!!

So…we don’t know what the best way is but we have researched a few alternatives which you can try twinsters.

Invisible Ink the Baking Soda Way

  1. Mix about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of baking soda and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water.
  2. Next, write using a toothpick or brush on a piece of paper.
  3. Let it dry completely.
  4. To read the secret message, paint grape juice concentrate across the paper with a paint brush or a sponge. Don’t forget – grape juice stains.

Why it works: Grape juice has an acid that reacts with the baking soda. A different color appears wherever the secret message is written.

Invisible Ink the Milky Way

  1. Put a little milk in a small bowl.
  2. Write with the milk on a piece of paper with a brush.
  3. Let your message dry completely.
  4. To read the message just heat the paper. Use an iron or 100-watt light bulb or stove element. Don’t rest the paper on the bulb.
  5. Ask an adult to help in case a fire starts and never use a halogen light.

Why it works: Milk is an organic product which means it comes from a living thing. When it’s heated, it burns at a slower rate than the paper. Your invisible message shows up brown

Invisible Ink the Lemon Way

Simply dab a brush into a bowl of lemon juice and write away. Just make sure you don’t use too much.
To see the message, simply heat the paper after it dries.
Another way to see the message is put salt on the drying ink.
Give it a minute and then wipe the salt off.
Use a wax crayon to color over the message.

Why it works: Both lemon juice and milk are mildly acidic and acid weakens paper. The acid remains in the paper after the juice or milk has dried. When the paper is held near heat the acidic parts of the paper burn or turn brown before the rest of the paper does.

These are only a few ways to make invisible ink. Using the same heat method, you can also use white wine, vinegar, apple juice, and even orange juice, to name just a few. Try some other fruit juices to see what works.

Are megalodon sharks still alive?

The earliest megalodon fossils (Otodus megalodon, previously known as Carcharodon or Carcharocles megalodon) date to 20 million years ago. For the next 13 million years the enormous shark dominated the oceans until becoming extinct just 3.6 million years ago.

We know that megalodon had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), when the planet entered a phase of global cooling. Precisely when the last megalodon died is not known, but new evidence suggests that it was at least 3.6 million years ago.

And so Poppy, yes you are right, they are now extinct.

If an animal as big as megalodon still lived in the oceans we would know about it Poppy. The sharks would leave telltale bite marks on other large marine animals, and their huge teeth would continue littering the ocean floors in their tens of thousands. Not to mention that as a warm-water species, megalodon would not be able to survive in the cold waters of the deep, where it would have a better chance of going unnoticed. 

Size comparison of Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark, 6 m) and current maximum estimate of the largest adult size of Carcharodon megalodon (18 m), with a human.

Badger Update from Uncle Derek

If someone is being bossy and it is really upsetting you, tell somebody that’s my advice, your mummy, teacher, sometimes people can be REALLY annoying and go just go too far. Yours wormily, Uncle Derek – stay happy !!

Why are some children bossy?

Aah Poppy, we have a few bossy badgers in our sett but we have worked out some clever ways of dealing with them!

Some badgers really are unable to tolerate it when someone else is in charge and always want to be telling us what to do and this makes them seem bossy. Us badgers have some clever ways of dealing with them though as they can be difficult to deal with can’t they?

I sometimes ask my badger friends to help me avoid bossy badgers by playing with me. I also just ignore bossy badgers by doing something else, like making worm sandwiches or filing my claws! The annoying badgers in our sett just want to see me mad and distract me so I make sure I don’t give them what they want!

I don’t really know why some turn out that way Poppy, I think you just have to set a good example and be kind which I am sure you are. Here is a picture of Uncle Derek who is very laid back and is kind and funny. He ignores the bullies and spends his time with his friends, he has lots of them because he is kind and lots of fun…and always knows where to find the BIGGEST worms!!

Why is sycamore so invasive?

It’s the time of year when sycamore seedlings start springing up seemingly everywhere. 

The seed is extremely fertile, so sycamore has spread quickly across the UK and colonised many woodlands to the detriment of native species. Helped no doubt by their tolerance of inhospitable conditions such as windy coastal sites, salt-laden air, or industrial pollution.

After pollination by insects, theire greenish yellow flowers develop into the familiar winged seeds, known as samaras (or ‘helicopters’ to generations of schoolchildren!) Autumn winds send the seeds spiralling down from the tree to land on the woodland floor, where, next spring, they will lose no time in sending out sturdy shoots to form a forest of saplings.

Sycamore seedlings
Sycamore seedlings

Sycamores (Acer pseudoplatanus) are one of those trees which fall into, out of and back into favour with the passing of time.  They are classed as “non-native”, but they’ve been in the UK for hundreds of years. One thing’s for sure: sycamores seed prolifically!

Why do sycamore leaves have mites and fleas, the red things?

Sometimes it’s tough being a tree…

This leaf is heavily infested with gall mites. But wait until you see how bad things are underneath...

The red galls on the top of the leaf are caused by the leaf’s reaction to damage inflicted by gall mites feeding. In response to the grazing, the leaf makes a little dome (the gall) and later on the mite lays its eggs inside that gall, where the larvae will hatch out and continue feeding and growing, perpetuating the infestation.

It seems tough for this tree, but it should be fine in the long run:)

Why do badgers have stripes?

Us badgers already have our black and white fur by the time we leave our sett for the first time and we are very proud of our stripes!!

When we feel threatened or afraid, we have learned to face our enemy with a lowered head and fluffed-up fur coat. This makes us look scary. Many people think that badgers like me evolved our dazzling black and white pattern as a warning and to show off our big jaws and teeth. We are very kind creatures though and looking mean is usually enough to see off unwanted visitors and neighbours who might want to steal our worms!!!

I thought you might want to know a few more facts about me and my family….

  • There are several species of badger living around the world. Badgers found in the UK are European Badgers, which have the scientific name Meles meles.
  • Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines. They belong to the caniform suborder of carnivoran mammals.
  • Badgers are thought to have got their name because of the white mark – or badge – on their head, although there are other theories.
  • Another old name for badgers is ‘brock’, meaning grey. You can often see the word brock in street names. Brock is also the name of a character in the Pokemon TV series!
  • A badger’s home is called a sett. A group of badgers living together is called a clan.
  • Badgers are fast – they can run up to 30km per hour (nearly 20 mph) for short periods.
  • Badgers mainly eat earthworms and insects, but can also eat small mammals and birds, as well as fruit and nuts.
  • Badgers can grow to around 70cm in length, and weigh about 12kg.