Tales of Te Papa resource masthead


Nature's Hitchhikers

Episode:56Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:2 – 5

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Nature of Science Living World

Description:While most of us want to avoid lice, lice expert Ricardo Palma wants to add them to Te Papa's collection!

Questions for students

  1. What is a 'hitchhiker'? Why is this a good word to describe headlice? What does it mean to say they are 'nature's ultimate hitchhikers'?
  2. Why does the presenter say, 'Lice are the crème of the crème of the parasite world'? Research the life-cycle and ecology of lice. What features make lice so well-adapted to a parasitic life?
  3. The presenter calls birds 'flying zoos'. Why do you think birds would have so many lice compared with, for example, a furred animal?
  4. How are lice collected and preserved? Use a flow diagram to show the stages in the process. Why is Ricardo Palma considered to be a world expert on lice?
  5. Different chemicals are used in the preserving process. Use the 'Words' response template to record and explore the names of chemicals mentioned in this Tale.

Related templates: