Insecta: Science that Stings

2017, Animals, Nature, Environment  -  27 min Leave a Comment
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Believe it or not: not everybody is grossed out by insects. There are many scientists who legitimately love and adore these critters. In fact, they spend many years learning about them and even living and interacting with them. And we’re not only referring to the usual butterflies, ants, wasps, and bees, although those are certainly interesting. We mean cockroaches and flies too.

Insects have developed many mechanisms to protect themselves from predators. The most common is by inflicting pain. Stinging insects are interesting to study because the intensity of the sting varies widely. One entomologist even took the time to record and publish a scale of how painful each sting can be. He warns that there’s no need to act brave if one has been stung. Screaming and lying down are the best approach. He says that by the time you run out of energy to keep screaming, the pain will be all gone.

A group of scientists and collectors go out at night to look for their subjects. In this particular case, they are out looking for specific species of moths and bombardier beetles. They are rewarded beautifully when they find a mating pair of Agoniotropus Cunsnai. Of course, true to their nature, the beetles try to defend themselves by sending out a painful blast.

One biologist refers to insects as flying crustaceans. It is this hard protective shell that some species have been able to develop that has made them so successful over such a long period of time.  It is a known fact that when a species can’t adapt, it faces extinction.

Insects dominate the earth because they have been here for a lot longer than other living things. Insects make up 52% of all described species and they can be found in almost every habitat. The only exception would be benthic in the sea. What has allowed them to modify their different structures is precisely the fact that they can survive in so many different habitats and niches.

In many places around the world, insects are used as an important source of food because they do have nutritional value.

Human curiosity is what drives the men and women who are passionate about studying and working with insects. They realized early in life that the natural world is spectacular and as such it needs to be protected.