Rolly pollies, which are also sometimes called pill bugs, are pretty interesting little animals. They’re most well known for their ability to roll up into a tiny ball when they get startled. They do this to protect themselves! Their backs are covered with hard plates that are like a suit of armor. Their fronts are not as well protected, so they have a creative solution: they curl up!
They tuck themselves into a tight ball so that the hard plates on their backs surround their whole bodies. They’re actually a lot like armadillos!
It’s also interesting that rolly pollies are not actually insects. They’re crustaceans. That means they’re more closely related to shrimp and lobsters than to beetles! Unlike shrimp and lobsters, rolly pollies can live on land. We’re most likely to find them living on dead trees or around garbage.
We don’t have armor on our backs like armadillos, pill bugs, and turtles, but people have many ways to protect ourselves. What are some that you can think of? We have reflexes that help us out quickly. Those are responses that our bodies have without having to really think about them! One is flinching. We close our eyes, protecting them, if something quickly comes near our faces.
What else can people do? How does our size help protect us from other animals? How do our brains help? Why don’t we need armor on our backs?
Sources & links
"crustacean." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Dec. 2009. “Family Armadillidiidae ”“ Pillbugs.” BugGuide.net. 4 Dec. 2009. "pill bug." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 05 Dec. 2009.