Thursday, August 28, 2008

BIOLOGY 101

He managed to pee on Pamela's foot!

This morning we turned our backyard into a lab. Pamela found a toad inside one of my vacant planters -- it was full of rain water. We got excited when we saw tadpoles swimming around.

Click to zoom - larvae we had collected.

Upon further inspection, we were disappointed when we realized those swimming little things were MOSQUITO LARVAE. After collecting the specimen's and transferring them to a jar, we started to get excited. We were able to spot several larvae in numerous stages of development.

I guess we had interrupted the Toad's LUNCH.

Here's some interesting facts:

ONLY a female mosquito bites. She lands on your skin, sticks her proboscis into you, and then sucks your blood into her abdomen. Her saliva contains proteins that prevent your blood from clotting and leave behind an itchy bump (that's always nice to know.)

Mosquitoes rely on sugar as their main source of energy. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, fruit juices and liquids that ooze from plants. The sugar is burned as fuel for flight and is replenished on a daily basis.

SO, the next time you're stung, be aware that your blood is being used for EGG PRODUCTION.


If you're planning to visit any Texas State Parks --- make a point of going inside the office. Some of these parks offer really cool educational books! (Not to mention, free Texas road maps!)


At Brazo's Bend State park, we picked up a couple of books on identifying native insects, and Texas fishes. These books were a BARGAIN at $2.99 a book! On hindsight, I wish I had picked up a couple extra books for some friends and family. Some parks also offer free worksheets for kids and coloring books. If you're a homeschooler in Texas, a Texas State Park pass is a great way to take advantage of FIELD TRIPS.

Mini video clips of mosquito larvae hatching - http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/mosvid.htm

2 comments:

Posh And Trendy said...

interesting info.. glad the buggers don't like me too much.

Sunny said...

looks like fun, my kids love fishing for tadpoles and hunting for toads too.