Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In 2007, a paper was published that identified the Panamanian golden tortoise beetle with having the ability to change colors, like a squid. When threatened, the beetle fills certain channels in its exoskeleton with liquid, which causes the exoskeleton to reflect its surroundings, and thus, change color. This phenomenon immediately made me think of the Blue Morpho butterfly, whose scale aren't actually blue, they are iridescent and simply reflect certain waves of color. A second article (Switchable Reflector) even pointed out that this beetles special ability could be used to improve modern technology! 
       - Olivia C.-

Praying Mantis -vs- Hummingbird

As if the praying mantis wasn't cool ENOUGH, here is a video of what happens when it goes up against a baby hummingbird in the wild. Before seeing this video, I had never heard of a mantis seeking out such large prey. It prompted a lot of questions so I decided to search the internet for other views/speculation on this behavior. Eventually, I found this article: Praying Mantis-vs-Hummingbird, which states that a mantis will only pursue a hummingbird if other food sources are scarce. It also highlights some cool facts about mantises, like how it can rotate its head 180 degrees! Check it out!
     - Olivia C. -