Friday, April 8, 2011

Ireland ~ Did you know?

Today, we spent most of our time learning about Ireland. We discussed world geography, noticed the similarities between Ireland's, Italy's and Mexico's flags, looked at pictures of castles, coastline and countryside (GORGEOUS!), talked about ancient Ireland, religion, politics, agriculture, found recipes we want to make, searched native animal species, discussed the Ice Age and glaciers, B.C. and A.D. When we got to the animals, I learned something I did not know....something I've never heard or read before. I wonder if the whole world knows this and I didn't.

There are no native species of snakes in Ireland. Or turtles.

"There are famously no snakes on Ireland. Reptiles in general are scarce. Ireland has no turtles and only one salamander. Interestingly enough, there is a lizard in Ireland that bears live young, much as a mammal would. Fishes are also not very diverse, again owing to the ancient glaciers that prevented many native species from evolving on Ireland. Freshwater fishes are few in number, other than the ones that swim upstream. The salmon and sea trout that spawn in Ireland's streams have made the island's riverine habitats famously rich in food."

There are no fossils or any other indication that snakes ever lived there. I also had not heard the myth about how St. Patrick was responsible for banishing snakes from the island. Britney knew about this though. Then we discussed how it was most likely a metaphor for St. Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland and driving out pagan religions.

So, did you know that? Greenland, Iceland, and New Zealand are native snake free.

Always learning :)

Sites we used today

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