Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fun: Five Gross and Goofy Body Facts

  • Crickets and katydids have ears on their knees. They’re perfect for hearing the mating songs the males make with their wings.

  • Green lacewings and some kinds of butterflies have ears on their wings. They’re just what these insects need to avoid predators.

  • Cicadas, grasshoppers, tiger beetles, and many kinds of moths have ears on their abdomens. Cicadas and grasshoppers use their ears to find mates. Tiger beetles and moths rely on their ears to help them escape from enemies.

  • A praying mantis has a single ear on the bottom of its thorax. It’s tuned in to the high-pitched cries of the insect’s worst enemy—the bat.

  • A female tachinid fly’s ears are located near the tops of her legs. When she hears a cricket’s high-pitched mating call, she flies over her victim and sprays it with larvae. The young flies burrow into the cricket and devour it from the inside out. Yuck!
Looking for more gross and goofy facts about ears? Check out my new book Now Hear This: The Secrets of Ears and Hearing. To find out more about the whole Grosss and Goofy Body series, read this very thorough review from School Library Journal.

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