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Kids News: Weird looking creatures sighted in Queensland | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


Crazy creatures are popping up in parts of Queensland, leading residents to put on their detective hats and hunt for clues.

An alien-like insect was found attached to the wall of a Gold Coast home, while pink ibises were spotted in the northeastern city of Townsville.

Luckily, science was on hand to help.

MYSTERY OF THE “ALIEN” CREATURE
The resident of a Gold Coast home turned to online forum Reddit for answers after spotting a creature on the outside wall of their home that appeared to be made from leaves and twigs.

“Just seen this alien thing outside my back door, it moves so it’s alive,” the resident wrote.

“I was freaked out when I saw its head. I thought it may attack but it moves very slowly.”

The post attracted plenty of replies from other Aussies who had no idea what the strange animal was.

“I have one at my house too,” another user replied.

“Mine just looks like an innocent piece of bark until you see it move, it’s horrific.”

“It’s the thing (out of) Alien (versus) Predator,” said another.

Eventually, the creature was identified as a case moth caterpillar, which are found across most of Australia’s east coast.

The insect makes its own “mobile home” — its case — and spends most of its life as a caterpillar.

This animal’s case could be seen in the picture resembling pile of twigs or bark. The caterpillar was tucked away inside.

“The caterpillars who make their own mobile home are often seen attached to fences and walls in urban settings,” the Australian Museum website says of the creature.

“Case moths, bag moths or bagworms are names given to a group of moths whose caterpillars make mobile homes from silk, usually attaching plant material or sand grains to the outside.”

According to the Australian Museum, the Saunders’ case moth first attaches leaves then short twigs arranged lengthwise.

“Case moths spend most of their lives as caterpillars, the larval stage, which may last for up to one or two years in some species. Once constructed, the female caterpillars never leave their cases,” the museum’s site states.

The case has two openings — a larger “mouth” which the insect pokes its head out of to feed and move, and a smaller hole at the opposite end to release droppings.

Case moths, which can be up to 15 cm long, are not considered dangerous to humans. Some species eat plants, while others eat lichens or scavenge for food in ants nests.

THE CASE OF THE PINK IBIS
Further north in Townsville, a mystery surrounding a flock of pink birds, including two pink ibises, has been cracked by resident Janet Jackson, with the help of local newspaper the Townsville Bulletin.

Ms Jackson was left scratching her head on Sunday when she came across several pink birds, including two bin chooks, which are normally white in colour, in the suburb of Deeragun.

After looking closely, she noticed a pink patch of grass on a nearby easement which appeared to have pink water in it.

“There is definitely something pink in the water of the easement,” Ms Jackson said.

“It is normally quite clear and used quite a bit by the local wildlife.

“It wasn’t just the ibis; I saw a peewee and two corellas with pink feathers as well.”

The Bulletin wrote that the pink colouring came from local school St Anthony’s Catholic College, which had pumped pink colouring into its rain tank water supply in order to find out where a leak was coming from.

That leak was welded shut, and the pink water flushed out, which led to it collecting in pools.

The birds then took a little dip in the water, which led to their feathers becoming stained from the colouring, which is believed to be harmless.

A North Queensland Wildlife Care spokeswoman said they were concerned about the wellbeing of the pink ibises in Deeragun.

“If there is a risk that the pink substance could be toxic to these ibises or any of our wildlife, we urge the council to investigate and remedy the damaged area promptly,” the spokeswoman said.

POLL

GLOSSARY

  • mobile home: a home that moves with the creature, like a snail shell
  • identified: found out what it was
  • urban: city
  • larval: early form of an animal or insect that changes into an adult form with different features
  • constructed: built
  • easement: in this case, a part of land that water drains into from another property
  • lichens: a type of plant made up of fungi and algae
  • toxic: poisonous
  • remedy: fix

EXTRA READING
Tiny sharks attack sailors off Qld
Secret world revealed in startling ocean images
Rare spotless giraffe born in US zoo

QUICK QUIZ
1. Why did a flock of birds, including two ibises, turn pink in Townsville?
2. How long does a case moth caterpillar live in its mobile home or case?
3. How many holes does it make in its case?
4. What does it use to make its case?
5. In what part of Queensland is Townsville?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Create your own collector card
Design and create your own collector card with a fact file on the case moth caterpillar.

Your card should be similar in size to other collector cards that kids collect and swap. It should have a picture of the caterpillar with key information about the moth from the Kids News article.

Use language suitable for kids and make your card attractive and interesting. Cut it to size and swap with your classmates to compare yours with others.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Art, Science, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
If you had to create a mobile home to carry it around on your back, what materials would you use to make it? Sketch your ideas and design below for your portable house!

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Design and Technologies, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Read this!
A headline on an article – or a title on your text – should capture the attention of the audience, telling them to read this now. So choosing the perfect words for a headline or title is very important.

Create three new headlines for the events that took place in this article. Remember, what you write and how you write it will set the pace for the whole text, so make sure it matches.

Read out your headlines to a partner and discuss what the article will be about based on the headline you created. Discuss the tone and mood you set in just your few, short words. Does it do the article justice? Will it capture the audience’s attention the way you hoped? Would you want to read more?

Consider how a headline or title is similar to using short, sharp sentences throughout your text. They can be just as important as complex ones. Go through the last text you wrote and highlight any short, sharp sentences that capture the audience.



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