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Norwich Science Festival: Eight amazing animal facts that will blow you away

PUBLISHED: 08:24 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:49 18 October 2017

Most perfect thing, a birds egg. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Most perfect thing, a birds egg. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Norwich Science Festival

Thursday at the Norwich Science Festival is all about nature. From the smallest insects to soaring birds and big mammals, Nature Day, programmed by the Norfolk Festival of Nature and partners, is full of fun activities and opportunities to get up close with animals. Here are eight amazing facts about animals.

Nature day heritage apple varieties. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Nature day heritage apple varieties. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

1. Spiders are known for making webs but did you know that not all spiders make them?

In fact, only around half of spiders use webs to catch prey.

2. The Jumping Spider is so quick it can actually pounce on its prey.

3. Not all bird eggs are white or brown. Wild eggs are often an array of colours including blue, green and red. The strength of the colour can be completely different, creating amazing patterns.

Otter Country, Miriam Darlington. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Otter Country, Miriam Darlington. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Find out more at The Most Perfect Thing: A Birds’ Egg, on Thursday, October 26, 2.30pm-3.30pm, The Forum’s Auditorium, tickets £6, £4 concessions. Birds’ eggs are amongst biology’s most beautiful creations. Ornithologist Tim Birkhead explores how eggs are made, the strange way they are fertilised and how chicks develop.

4. Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, otters are actually carnivores. River otters eat frogs, crabs and have also been known to eat small mammals and birds.

Find out more at Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter on Thursday, October 26, 11am-12pm, The Forum’s Auditorium, tickets £6, £4 concessions. Join journalist, author and academic Miriam Darlington as she describes her adventures in the search for otters and how to spot them in the city and countryside.

5. The Arctic Tern has the longest migration of any bird in the world. These birds fly more than 50,000 miles in a year between the Arctic and the Antarctic. In its life, it will travel the equivalent of to the moon 
and back three times. Find out more at the Bird Migration in a Changing World on Tuesday, October 24, 6.30pm-7.30pm, Julian Study Centre, University of East Anglia. With UEA Prof Jenny Gill’s free talk on the migration of birds find out some of the extraordinary facts about birds’ flights.

Norwich Science Festival logo 2017. Norwich Science Festival logo 2017.

6. Giant African land snails have both male and female reproductive organs. Although snails mate with each other, when isolated they can reproduce by themselves.

7. Giant millipedes do not have a million legs. The giant African millipede only has around 300 to 400. But it is still the largest of the 10,000 species of millipede.

8. Snakes can not chew food, meaning they have to swallow it whole. A snake has even been filmed attempting to swallow a whole cow.

Spiders. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Spiders. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Find out more about all these fascinating animals at a series of events.

• Spiders, Stripes and Sorting Hats, Thursday, October 26, 12.30pm-1.30pm, The Forum’s Auditorium, tickets £6, £4 concessions. Beyond fear, hairy legs and dusty corners is the fascinating and colourful reality of spiders.

• Bee Quest: Saving Bees and the Planet, Thursday, October 26, 4pm-5pm, The Forum’s Auditorium, tickets £5.

Bumblebees are amongst the most important of wild pollinators. But with numbers declining how can we make sure they survive?

Bee Quest. Picture: Pieter Haringsma Bee Quest. Picture: Pieter Haringsma

• Mini Monsters Creepy Crawly Roadshow, Thursday, October 26, 10am-11am and 11.30am-12.30pm, The Forum’s Gallery,

tickets £5.

The Mini Monsters Creepy Crawly Roadshow gives children the chance to get up close and personal with a selection of critters.

• Can you Survive in the Wild? Thursday, October 26, 1.30pm-2.30pm, The Forum’s Gallery, booking required.

Bee Quest, Dave Goulson. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Bee Quest, Dave Goulson. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Wildlife and children’s TV presenter Lizzie Daly needs your help as she tries to survive on a journey through different habitats.

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