Everything You Know About Minibeasts Is Wrong!
Dr. Nick Crumpton, illustrated by Gavin Scott
Adopting a gently humorous, entertaining style, the author explores common misconceptions about creepy crawlies in this highly informative, fascinating and entertaining book. Hands up all those who think that all bees die when they sting you: wrong! That’s just one of the almost thirty main myths cleared up in this book, but contained within each topic spread are several others, in the case of bees: not all bees live in hives, in fact over 90% are either solitary or live in small groups; nor is every bee black and yellow, indeed the orchid bee is actually green and some carpenter bees are blue.
Prepare yourself for another surprise (unless you are an entomologist): no centipede in the world has one hundred legs. It’s not possible because the number of pairs of legs a centipede has is always odd – try the maths.
Interestingly, minibeasts aren’t all small. Some – fairy flies for example – are microscopic, but there’s a species of stick insects that in adult form is, at around 64 centimetres, longer than an average cat. And the wingspan of a giant grasshopper is greater than that of a sparrow.
Another misapprehension is that all eight-legged minibeasts are spiders, but as the author tells readers, vast numbers of arachnids including scorpions definitely aren’t spiders; neither are tardigrades.
One particular erroneous piece of information that really annoys my partner who knows a considerable amount about butterflies, is that they all come out of cocoons. It’s a mistake fairly often found in books, especially those for young children. The spread entitled ‘Butterflies emerge from cocoons’ is particularly entertaining with its gentle dig at a very famous picture book creator.
No matter where you open this captivating book, you’ll find superb illustrations by Gavin Scott presented in a variety of ways to heighten visual interest. Including a wealth of statistics, it’s a terrific look at some creatures that are vital to human life. I’d strongly recommend it either for interested individuals to enjoy at home or as an addition to school STEM resources.