Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bug House

Winner of a 2010 competition to design a hotel for insects. It was made to sustain multiple species in an urban setting, specifically London.


Micromachina (I heart beetle art)

Check out some of this lovely and hilarious human/beetle art by Scott Bain.  It plays so well off of the issues of physical scale as well as mechanical biomimicry we've been talking about the last couple of weeks!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Worm inside your face

I thought of this video during our talk about flies laying their eggs in living flesh. I am not certain what these worms are specifically, but still fascinating and disturbing.


Bedbug problem? ~ Wasp Hounds to the rescue

Usually the Business Day section of the New York Times doesn't have any insect-related topics included - I guess they are finally becoming a little more enlightened?

This article discusses an idea called the "Wasp Hound." Though technically rudimentray, it relies on the very sophisticated ability for wasps to not only detect minute chemical traces, but also signal they detect it through associative learning techniques that they (much like a dog) can be trained to perform!

In this case, these entomologists have trained them to seek out that modern resurgent scourge - bedbugs!  (Which this blog has followed with some interest)

And hey, they are looking for investors!  A very interesting read - check it out~


Monday, February 21, 2011

Pollen, pollen everywhere ~

A wonderful article in this month's National Geographic called "Gold Dusters" about pollinators, a big topic for us in these weeks.  Of course they discuss insects a lot (as the wonderful images by Mark Moffett attests to).  

Do check these photos and the accompanying essay!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fossils show that chiton exoskeletons are old school...

Unexpected Exoskeleton Remnants « Articles « NASA Astrobiology

Interesting article from NASA's Astrobiology website about some newly discovered arthropod fossils.


Sunday, February 13, 2011


Insect dissection on February 7th.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Everybody now: Jump, Jump!

A fascinating little article about flea jumping (with video!) in the New York Times.

As we talk about insect locomotion, the flea is certainly one to consider closely (as these scientists recently have).


"When fleas jump, it is no ordinary leap. The insects can shoot as high as 38 times their body length, about three inches. And the acceleration is so intense that fleas have to withstand 100 Gs, or 100 times the force of gravity. “You and I pass out if we experience five Gs,” said Malcolm Burrows, an expert on insect jumping at the University of Cambridge."

They article also mentions Robert Hooke's early microscopic observations and illustration of these creatures in his book Micrographia (you can flip through it just as you would the real book at this link!)