Sunday, July 25, 2010

Science Sunday: Insect Mouths



 

I bet that got your attention didn’t it?
Basically insects have three different types of mouths: chewing (think ants, caterpillars, crickets); sponge (fly is the primary example I can think of); and sucking (butterfly, mosquito).
Purpose of experiment: to see how the different insects eat (inspired by this post from the Work Plan).
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First we tried eating with a sponge mouth.  We all agreed this was very hard to do and we wouldn’t get much food if we had to eat that way.

As a side not, I think it would have worked better if I had more thoroughly saturated the sponges beforehand.

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Next we tried to use a proboscis like a butterfly has on the plate, and agreed that butterflies would not really be able to eat from this.



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Then we tried it in a flower to suck up the nectar.  This worked so much better.  It was still a challenge to try and get them not to use their hands.  But, eventually they mastered it.

I have no pictures of the chewing, because obviously that is how we normally eat, and figured pictures were rather unnecessary, and potentially gross depending on my kids’ manners at that moment.
Results:  The kids all agree that they like chewing food the best.  The straw was fun, but it was challenging to get in without using their hands.

Oh, and look what I found in my garden (picture from here):
001And he would be why my tomato plant has produced NOTHING.  As soon as a leaf grows he eats it, and he was huge!  About 5 inches long, and when I found out what he was I was going to transplant him somewhere else, but he had already gone underground to form his cocoon.  But in the meantime the kids had a lot of fun observing him.  Sigh, that’s going to be a rather useless plant.

But look what I did successfully grow!  And it actually tasted good, unlike say the bell peppers I grew last year, which tasted all weird from the horrid drought and heat.  Hurricane Alex did good for us in the rain department.  The entire time we were out of town Texas was getting rain.

Sigh, Superman just woke up and came downstairs with the announcement, “Nobody talk to me,” guess my blogging time is done for now.
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