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ARTICLE

Classifying and identifying ferns

Scientists currently consider that New Zealand has approximately 230 species of fern in about 50 different genera. They are widely distributed throughout the country, including around 42 species ...

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What is a fern?

There are ferns in most New Zealanders’ backyards and local environments. Ferns are green flowerless plants with divided leaves that tend to grow in damp, shady areas. The developing leaves of ...

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ARTICLE

Monarch butterflies

New Zealand’s most identifiable butterfly is the monarch (Danaus plexippus). Although found in many places around the world, the monarch is considered a New Zealand native because it became ...

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ARTICLE

What is a plant?

What do you think of when asked to visualise a plant? Is it the feed crop growing in the paddock next door or a large kauri tree growing in a forest? Is it a tiny microscopic alga or the potted ...

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ACTIVITY

Plant parts

In this activity, students relate commonly eaten foods to different parts of the flowering plant life cycle. They use an interactive or paper-based graphic organiser. By the end of this activity ...

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Freshwater macroinvertebrates

New Zealand has over 200 species of freshwater macroinvertebrates. An invertebrate is an animal that lacks a backbone. ‘Macro’ means the invertebrates are large enough to be seen without ...

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Life of a green-lipped mussel

Green-lipped mussels are endemic to New Zealand. They make their home on rocks and solid surfaces around New Zealand’s coastline. Mussel life cycle   During its life cycle, the green-lipped ...

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Native frogs

Frogs are vertebrates and belong to the class Amphibia. They are the only amphibians naturally occurring in New Zealand. All frogs have delicate, semi-permeable skin that allows them to absorb ...

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White butterflies

Butterflies are appealing insects. We actively encourage them to visit our gardens, but white butterflies (Pieris rapae rapae) are an exception. We consider them unwelcome dinner guests because ...

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ACTIVITY

Fern propagation

In this activity, students learn how to propagate ferns. All ferns reproduce by means of spores. Some ferns, like the hen and chickens fern, reproduce asexually by means of bulbils. By the end of ...

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ACTIVITY

Create a lizard-friendly habitat

In this activity, students have the opportunity to create a lizard-friendly habitat in the school grounds. The extension activity involves designing a suitable environment for keeping lizards in ...

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Threats to native reptiles and amphibians

All of our reptiles and amphibians are fully protected by law. It is illegal to collect skinks and geckos, and you need a special permit to keep them in captivity. This includes any skinks and ...

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