Category Archives: Physiology

Why is spider silk so strong? Can we scale it up?

Written by Joe Ballenger Hi, I’m on a Lego League team with my school and we are wanting to know more about spiders for our research project. Some questions I hope you can help us with are, what makes a … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Culture, Ecology, Economics, Physiology, Research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Striking Gold: Why Are Butterfly Chrysalises Gold?

  Written by Nancy Miorelli Many butterfly chrysalises glimmer in the sunlight with golden studs or gold leafing. Rather than looking like something living, these delicate pupa decorate the surrounding foliage like miniature ornaments.┬áTheir beauty and stunning brilliance has been … Continue reading

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Are Brown Widows as Dangerous as Black Widows?

Written by Joe Ballenger As a rule, Widows have pretty nasty venom. I was knocked on my butt for about 3 days after a bite I received from a Southern Widow (Lactrodectus mactans) after mishandling her. These sorts of incidents … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Pest Management, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Never growing up: why are there insects which *don’t* go through metamorphosis?

Written by Joe Ballenger If someone begins a statement with ‘this might be a dumb question, but…’ my ears usually perk up, because it’s very likely that something interesting is about to follow. @Stylopidae whoa! this is a dumb question, … Continue reading

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How much water can ants drink?

Written by Joe Ballenger Your Name: charles Your Bug Question: How much can an ant drink of water? I thought this question about how ants drink was really cool. It’s a question that has a pretty simple answer at first, … Continue reading

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Do insects feel pain?

The last two questions we tackled revolved around the cognitive abilities (communication, and personality) of arthropods, specifically insects and spiders. These are really tough questions to tackle because a lot of people, even (especially?) those who genuinely like insects and … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cockroach milk is not the next superfood. It could be a lot more important than that.

Written by Joe Ballenger A number of articles circulating everywhere online are claiming that a new ‘superfood’ has been found in cockroaches, and although I’m happy popular culture is focusing on the fact cockroaches are good moms…they’re missing a far … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Culture, Developmental Biology, News, Physiology | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments