Mini-Superheroes and other fun insect facts!

I'm a leaf! Or a Katydid? Santa Elena Reserve, Costa Rica

Why do I call insects mini-superheroes? Well, E.O. Wilson put it well when he said (to paraphrase) without invertebrates we humans wouldn’t last more than a few months. This is because insects play so many roles in ecosystems and so many of them that we depend on, such as: pollination, decomposition, seed dispersal, regulating food chain, nutrient recycling, and aerating the soil to name a few. On top of that, they are pretty bad-ass and if they were a little bit bigger would be a force to reckon with! Why?? Because they can run, jump, and fly faster than we could ever dream! Plus, they have the ability to shoot poisonous chemicals out of their heads, leave a drop of blistering liquid on their nemesis, change color with their background, and have eyes or huge sharp fangs cover over 90% of their head (just to name a few). Some facts:

-Cockroaches can live for over a week without a head

Michael Johnson (that guy who won the gold medal running in the Olympics a while back) can run about 5.6 body-lengths per second. Tiger Beetles (the fastest, in Australia, Cicindela hudsoni) can run 125 body-lengths per second!!!! That means they can run 200 meters in 0.87 seconds!! Sorry Michael.

-If we all could jump like a flea, we could jump 200 meters (~660 feet)

-On average, ants can carry up to 20 times their own weight. That would be like us carrying something that weighs 3000lbs!!!!!

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