a horned toad

Frogs and Toads

Fanciful tales of Frogs and toads fill the pages of folklore and fairy tales in many cultures. The earliest frog story is attributed to Aesop, a slave of Phrygian origin who lived on Samos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea. Aesop is said to have authored many fables, including "The Frogs Who Desired a King" a political allegory and one of the 38 Aesop's fables.

Reptiles, Frogs and Amphibians

Large Crocodiles, Alligators and Caimans are very dangerous to humans and kill hundreds of people every year in south-east Asia and Africa. Because the crocodile is so dangerous to humans who worked or traveled on the Nile, ancient Egyptians prayed to Sobek, for protection from being attacked by crocodiles. The crocodile god Sobek appears in Egyptian art works depicted as both an ordinary crocodile, and as a man with the head of a crocodile. The Sobek is usually depicted holding an ankh to represent his ability to undo evil and cure illness.

  • Mischievous toads and frogs that rule the underground decorate totem poles in the Pacific Northwest
  • Ancient Egyptians worshipped the frog-goddess as a symbol of life and fertility
  • In Scotland the frog is considered a sign of good luck
  • Native Americans saw the frog as the guardian of all the Earth's fresh water springs and wetlands
  • Sobek, the crocodile/Nile god, was part of Ancient Egyptian creation mythology
  • Plagues of frogs raining down upon Egypt (Exodus 8:6)
  • Medieval convictions that frog were witches familiars (companions)
  • Symbolic of demons and devils

Animal World

There are over 7 million zoological (non human) species of animals on Earth. The study of animals is called zoology or animal biology. The word "zoology" comes from two Ancient Greek words: zoion ("animal") and logos ("knowledge, study").

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies all aspects of the animal kingdom, including:

  • Structure - How the animal is shaped, its molecular structure
  • Embryology - development of embryos and fetuses (babies)
  • Evolution - changes in heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations
  • Classification - the arrangement of animals and plants in taxonomic groups according to their observed similarities
  • Habits - behavior and usual ways of living and migration patterns for a particular species
  • Distribution - where the animals live
  • Ecosystems - dependencies, how a community of living things function together

Species of animals are categorized into ecological groups which are determined largely by the particular eating habits or diet of the creatures:

  • Carnivore - an animal that feeds on flesh.
  • Herbivore - an animal that feeds on plants.
  • Omnivore - an animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin
  • Detritivore - an animal which feeds on dead organic material, especially plant detritus.
  • Parasite - an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species and benefits by deriving nutrients at the hosts expense.

The largest animal is the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). This ocean-dwelling creature can weigh up to 210 tons or about 420,000 pounds! (In metrics this amounts to 190 metric tonnes or 172,365.101 kilograms.) The largest land animal is the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana).

The smallest know animals can only be seen through a microscope. Among the smallest species is a fish parasite, the Myxobolus species of microrganism. The smallest is the Myxobolus shekel which only grows to be about 8.5 microns. To view this nearly invisible creature you need to get your hands on an electron microscope. The electron microscope uses a wavelength of accelerated electrons to illuminate up to 100,000 times visible light.

Animals in Art and Literature

From the first cave people to skyscraper dwellers of modern times, humans have created art and stories about real and imaginary animals. spirit world creatures which traverse between dimensions of good vs evil. Dragon myths exist in virtually every culture each with features distinctive of the region. Winged dragons, beasts with sharp talons, some could breath fire, others protect the universe within the mouth. The Welsh Griffin appears on the flag as the national symbol of Wales. Fantastic illustrations of sea serpents appear in ship history logs, children's fairy tales and horror stories of the open sea.

Materials To Keep On Hand

Paper Trivia: Did you know that you can only fold a sheet of printer paper in half seven times? Give it a try. It doesn't matter how thick or thin the paper is, once you get to the seventh fold, the paper will not bend or budge.

Sun catchers. To create a translucent, stained glass ornaments effect, apply a bit of lemon oil to the back sides of paper ornaments to create a.

Hang the ornaments on trees, in windows, anywhere bright colorful decorations are desired.

Construct a large paper-tree for the wall with shades of green construction paper. Draw a large tree on a sheet of easel pad paper to tack onto a wall or other flat surface, then decorate with paper ornaments.

  • Types of Paper:
    • Construction - many colors
    • Copier - many colors
    • Tissue
    • Crepe
    • Cardboard
    • Cardstock - many colors
    • Tracing
    • Water-color
    • Drawing
    • Onionskin
    • Paper tubes - TP tissue, paper towel and gift-wrap
    • Foam craft sheets - many colors
    • Magnet sheets - Make refrigerator magnets
    • Stiff Stencil - Paint repeating patterns on items, embroidery, latch-hook rug patterns
    • Felt sheets - Make filled or layered ornaments
  • Some Mediums & Tools to keep handy for the creative process.
    • Colorful Markers - fine to thick point
    • Wax Crayons - stock up around school sales
    • Water color sets - and plastic tablecloths
    • Chalk - many colors
    • Colored pencils - many colors
    • Tempura finger paints - primary colors - mixing to discover is half the fun
    • Paint brushes - fine tip to standard school size child's brush size at least.
    • Straws - paper not plastic
    • Tooth picks - age appropriate
    • Sponges - cut into shapes or purchase for blotting paint shapes
    • Needlepoint, embroidery thread and stretcher hoops
    • Puffy paint and glitter - to draw words, images and shapes on cloth
    • Wine corks
    • Celluclay - A handy pulverized paper product that resembles clay for paper mache'
    • Modeling clay - reusable, come in colors, good for making molds
    • Pottery clay - Only if you expect to use a kiln
    • Silicon molds and release spray
    • Wooden shapes - to paint for ornaments and gifts
    • Decal sheets for window decals
    • Cloth scrap pieces left overs from sewing
    • Clay modeling tools - ll sorts, combs, forks, dental picks, anything to make interesting cuts and patterns
    • Plain tee shirts