World’s Largest Creepy Crawler
Why are we talking about Weta bugs? Because in Book One of The Primortus Chronicles we encounter one of these amazing insects. So let’s find out a “little” more about a “big” bug.
The following is from AsianScientist:Source Animal Planet (Dec. 7, 2011) – An American researcher at the Smithsonian Institution says he has found the world’s biggest bug on New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island.
The insect has a wing span of around 18 centimeters (7 inches) and weighs three times as much as a mouse. It was thought to be extinct after European settlers brought rats to New Zealand.
“Three of us walked the trails of this small island for two nights scanning the vegetation for a giant weta. We spent many hours with no luck finding any at all, before we saw her up in a tree,” he said.
However, Moffett did what a responsible explorer would do – he returned the bug right where he found it.
Did you know that Weta Digital (visual effects studio for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit films) is named after these creatures?
Warning this part is totally disgusting!!!
Don’t worry there are about 70 species of bug that go by the name weta. And I’m told Bear didn’t eat one of the endangered types. Well, let’s hope so!!
The following is an excerpt from Eleventh Elemetum:
Chrism let out a loud gasp, pointed at Will and yelled, “BUG!”
Everyone froze. There, sitting on his shoulder, was the largest bug Skylee had seen in her entire life. The brown creature resembled a giant cricket with long hairy looking legs. It was so big in fact, that if Skylee could have mustered up the courage to pick it up it would have barely fit on her palm. Usually Skylee wasn’t afraid of insects but she found herself taking a small step back as chill bumps rushed over her arms.
Will slowly craned his neck around and was eye to eye with the enormous insect. He closed his eyes for a split second and when he reopened them, they were as wide as saucers. He looked straight ahead and didn’t dare move an inch.
“KILL IT! KILL IT!” screeched Chrism.
“NO, don’t! Don’t hurt it,” ordered Nika, holding her hands up.
“Maybe it will jump off,” Skylee quickly said as she considered how she might use the power of the Elementum to control the huge creature.
“What should I do?” whispered Will trying not to disturb it.
“Hold still mate,” said Airon with a bewildered look on his face. “Crikey, what is the bloody thing?”
“It’s a weta bug. I haven’t seen one in years,” said Hera in a hushed voice. “They—they almost went extinct after The Day. So, we should try not to harm it.”
“Weta-bug? Well, do they bite?” asked Airon curiously.
“I don’t think so, unless they’re feeling threatened,” said Heather. “Stay still. Let’s think, what can we do to keep from harming it?”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? SOMEBODY, JUST SMACK THAT UGLY THING!” screamed Chrism frantically shaking her hands in front of her.
“Hey, I’ve read about these,” said Skylee, leaning in for a better look. “There are lots of different species. They’re flightless so, I don’t think it will jump off. It must have crawled on your shoulder when we were under the trees. Oh, do you think it is a tree weta?”
“Possible, yes,” answered Heather.
“They’re nocturnal, normally. Will, you must have woke him up,” Skylee said smiling at the bug.
“Hopefully, he’s a good sport about it,” he replied as he glanced at her.
“He seems okay, he hasn’t raised his back legs in defense, so you should be okay.”
She placed her hand over her necklace, hoping she could use her power without having to pull it out for everyone to see. She might be able to control the weta. Skylee searched her mind for the right thoughts to concentrate on.
Almost at the same time, Zane bounded up to Will. He smiled broadly and bent forward looking closely at the bug. Then to everyone’s amazement, he calmly picked the gigantic insect up and looked admiringly at it.
“Well, take a gawk at that!” he exclaimed. “I thought I’d never see a weta bug again. Little fella, you better find somewhere else to sit. I’m afraid you’re not welcome here.” He walked over to a tree and carefully placed the bug on a branch.
“Little,” gasped Chrism. “You call that terrible monstrosity little?”
Zane started to speak but Will reached out and placed his hand on his shoulder. “Thanks, mate. I wasn’t scarred of it or anything but I just, well I didn‘t…”
“Of course,” he said as he patted Will on the back then turned his attention to Chrism. “Let me clue you in on a secret, little lady. What you call a terrible monstrosity is a survivor and we should all consider ourselves lucky to have seen it.”
“That’s right,” said Hera nodding her head. “It’s a sign…a cause for hope.”
Chrism’s eyes got big. “I don’t get it! You’re saying that awful looking thing is some sort of special sign?”
“Don’t you see?” said Skylee. “The weta bug means the natural world is continuing to recover—the planet is healing.”
Her stepsister rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, okay you don’t have to go all environmentalist wacko on me. I get it, that gross, horrid bug is mankind’s link to utopia, yeah, whatever.
“No, it’s not like that,” said Skylee, frowning. “You don’t understand.”
“Yeah, I do, ” Chrism shot back. “But what I’m trying to comprehend is why Weta Studios is named after something that hideous. Go figure.”
Before Skylee could respond, Hera and Nika chimed in and tried to get through to her, explaining the significance of protecting the fragile environment. Skylee’s heart sank for she could see from Chrism’s bored expression that their words fell on deaf ears.
Posted on April 11, 2013, in Adventures in The Primortus Zone, Nature Facts and tagged Book excerpt, Fantasy, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Nature, Wildlife, YA fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.