National Insect Week – Day 3

Five Fascinating Facts

Butterflies taste with their feet. They have receptors on their legs and feet very similar to the taste buds we have in our mouths; these receptors are used to taste whether the plant they are standing on will be alright for their caterpillars to eat.

Fruit flies were the first living creatures to be sent into space. They were launched in a V2 rocket as part of a research mission in 1947 and travelled 108km into the air before parachuting back to Earth. Space officially begins 100km from Earth, which makes fruit flies the first animals in space.

Mosquitoes are attracted to smelly feet! According to entomologist Daniel Kline, there is a specific bacteria that grows on human feet that lures mosquitoes in. The foot bacteria stays in your socks after you take them off, so dirty socks will also attract them. In Africa, researchers are designing mosquito traps that replicate the smell of dirty feet.

Grasshoppers existed before dinosaurs!

Sensible and renown biologists have estimated that there are ten quadrillion ants on our planet: 10,000,000,000,000,000! This is about 1,600,000 ants for every person on Earth; Jonah, who told us yesterday how to rescue Bumblebees, says that his 1.6 million are living in his front garden.

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