Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Frog and the Damselfly

So I'm watching Life on the Animal Planet and noticed something really interesting. It's something that I never noticed before, I guess because I never watched these things in slow motion.

To set things up, let's talk about the Damselfly. It's an insect that looks a lot like a dragonfly, but its wings are different. Their wings move independently, as opposed to being fixed together like most other insects. Yeah, that was an interesting fact that I didn't know before. Actually, I wasn't even sure what a damselfly was before watching this. Sure, I'd heard of it, but didn't know what it looked like.

Anyway, I'm getting off my train of thought. The show was following the day in the short life of a female damselfly, in which she had to mate and lay her eggs before sundown. Apparently these bugs are on a fairly tight schedule with only a three week life span. So she finds a male, they get it on, then she goes to lay the eggs. The female has to lay the eggs inside a plant stem under water. To do that, she has to get past the frogs that are waiting at the surface of the pond to pick off the damselflies one at a time.

It was funny watching the frog go after the flies. When you watch these amphibians go after insects filmed in regular speed, you pretty much see the tongue shoot out and snatch something out of the air. I never noticed that they like to use their hands to help shove the bug into their mouths as well. It looks like it's an instinctual motion. The shows editors were showing off that the damselfly we were "following" got away from the frogs. The frog that missed reached out and tried to shove what it didn't catch into its mouth.

I was just waiting for Oprah to narrate, in the voice of the frog, "Crap! Now I look stupid in high definition!"

No comments:

Post a Comment