Lovely lice

Kids love rummaging about in the garden - and they love woodlice. Woodlice have an awful lot of pet names - pill bug, cheese log, coffin cutter, roly-poly, monkey pea and penny pig. We should welcome woodlice into the garden because they clean up rotting vegetation and animal poo. All woodlice look rather alike, unless one is pregnant. This one is and it won't be long before she gives birth from a special pouch where she keeps her eggs. She needs a safe place to give birth. Woodlice aren't insects - they are crustaceans just like shrimps and they still have gills. They like damp, dark places, so the mother has to find a hiding place before the sun dries her out. A centipede attacks another woodlouse, but the mum is safe. A woodlouse spider has special jaws for crunching woodlice. Mum hides and the spider leaves. Toads also eat woodlice. The pregnant woodlouse finally finds a safe, shady place to give birth to 100 baby woodlice.

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6 minutes

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