Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tiny Reproductive Systems

Insect success can be measured in the number and survival of the progeny produced. Tiny insects have tiny abdomens andĀ little room to devote to reproduction. A space saving arrangement in some featherwing beetles (Ptiliidae) is a reduction in the reproductive … Continue reading

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Living With Tiny Antennae

Antennae are the primary olfactory organ (sense of smell) in most insects. The olfactory receptors on antennae are hair-like structures that contain fluid and one or more neurons. Most olfactory receptors are within a narrow range of size and shape. … Continue reading

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Living With Tiny Heads

In most insects, the brain is located in the head. As is true for any electrical signal, the shorter the distance the signal must travel, the faster it will be received. The location of the brain in the head minimizes … Continue reading

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Living With Breathless Insects

Insects have a series of tubes that supply all the cells of their body with oxygen and release carbon dioxide to the outside. Most insects that live in aqueous environments have adaptations that allow gas exchange between their tracheal system … Continue reading

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Living With Fewer Wing Veins

Insect wings are flat acellular cuticular structures with rigid tubes for support. The wings of insects are formed from two layers of cells that secrete the upper and lower wing cuticle and then go away. With the cells no longer … Continue reading

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Insect Posture

How do mammals maintain posture? Joints in mammals have two opposing muscles. A low level of contraction in each muscle balances the contraction of the opposing muscle. Two opposing muscles must work together to hold a joint at rest. Mammals … Continue reading

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Miniature Insects

Scale is important in the interactions of the biological and the physical world. As humans, we experience a narrow range of scale, from a minimum of one foot to a maximum of eight feet which is less than one order … Continue reading

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