Goofy Monday: What I get for taking my kids to the Natural History Museum

Warning: This post contains some graphic images depicting violence in the animal world. And some pretty silly conversations. Read at your own risk.

We have an annual membership to the San Diego Natural History Museum and visit its exhibits about once a month. A couple of months ago, the museum launched a new exhibit called Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders, where you can see some unusual insects and arthropods in an old-fashioned circus sideshow format. My kids found the setup a little scary the first time, but they enjoyed it the second and third time around.

We were talking about this exhibit this past weekend and our conversation ended up with this question:
Me: “By the way, do you know what an entomologist does?”
Son #1: “Study ants?”
Oh, so close! But I guess someone who studies ants should be called an “antomologist” after all. Don’t you agree?

By the way, let me share what Son #1 spotted yesterday with his eagle eyes while we were strolling through the San Diego Botanic Garden. This is a tiny larva being attacked by an ant (the black spot on the right on the picture). The ant was crawling on the larva and in response the larva was squirming. I’m not sure it was in pain or it didn’t like being tickled. It’s a tough world out there…

Ant attacking larva

Ant attacking larva

But let me go back to the Natural History Museum before I digress. The museum launched a brand new exhibit called Dino Jaws last week and we’re thinking about going to see it next weekend. Son #2 loves dinosaurs and is close to becoming a dinosaur expert (he knows more about them that I do, for sure). I guess the new exhibit inspired him to come up with a few new jokes. Usually his jokes aren’t very elaborate but I think these are actually pretty good for a five-year old. You tell me.

Dinosaur eggs
Son #2: “What do you call a dinosaur made out of eggs?”
Me: “Er… er… I have no clue.”
Son #2: “An eggosaurus!”

How many horns?
Son #2: ” What do you call a triceratops with five horns?”
Me: “Oh, I actually know this one. A pentaceratops!”
Son #2: “No, mama. It’s called a five-o-saurus!”
I can’t believe I didn’t get this one right…

Pentaceratops / five-o-saurus

Pentaceratops / five-o-saurus – Courtesy Wikimedia

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15 responses to “Goofy Monday: What I get for taking my kids to the Natural History Museum

  1. Those are pretty good for a five year old. My 12 year old still struggles to figure out the art of joke telling. I always tell him I need to send him to clown school for some remedial help.

    • I’m hoping by the time my kids are 12, they’ll have had plenty of experience in joke making to be really good by then. I know plenty of adults who are terrible at making jokes, so don’t feel so bad for your son.

  2. I’ve often wondered why boys are so enamored with dinosaurs. My kids both went through a dinosaur phase, but I guess they weren’t as enthralled with those as they were trains. The train thing went on forever. Or so it seemed…

  3. Kathy posted a video that your kids will LOVE (you too):

    http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/earth-day-nature-is-a-force-of-good-a-wonderful-louie-schwartzberg-video-fantastic-fungi/

    It’s 2 minutes long . . . time lapse photography of mushrooms.

  4. Loved your goofy Monday. :-)

  5. You almost scared me off by the graphic images warning. :) Most people probably wouldn’t notice an ant-larva battle going on right in front of them – that’s great that your son is curious enough to notice things like that. The insect circus sounds like a lot of fun too!

    • My son really has eagle eyes. Yesterday he spotted a painted turtle in the woodchips and mud. It was actually laying eggs so we got to look at it for a while. I think I may put my (bad quality) photos on my photography website, just because it’s a cool thing to witness (first time for all of us!).

  6. I’m impressed that you take your kids to the museum regularly. I can barely get my kids to look up from their phones to have a conversation, let alone get them to look at exhibits. Sigh.

    • Oh, they’re still young and don’t have cell phones or video games to distract them. They’re very curious so we often go through the exhibits pretty quickly. But since we’re members, we go often and get to see it all eventually.

  7. Pingback: The Giver Series: Learning from Fictional Societies | Sheila Hurst

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