LJWorld.com weblogs Dangerous Ideas



Traffic was heavy today on the Intercolony Freeway. Must be Mother's Day .


Paul Decelles 5 years, 10 months ago

A leaf: clearly the collective intelligence of an ant colony is great enough to avoid building roads to nowhere. ;-)

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

I am wondering just how well the ants exoskeleton protects them, and from what height a fall would kill them. This seems to me to be a lot more efficient than the human skeleton which is inside the body and more easily broken.

Paul Decelles 5 years, 10 months ago

Well for small critters an exoskeleton works pretty well but as the critter gets bigger the advantage shifts to the sort of internal skeleton we have. Also the insect exoskeleton has to be shed as the insect grows and the newly molted insect's skeleton is soft at first rendering vulnerable to attack. Our skeleton of course grows as we grow.

There is a nice qualitative look at exoskeleton scaling at: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/_0_0/arthropods_toc_01

Paul Decelles 5 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for these. What I find interesting is that the creatures loose a pair of limbs when they become teenagers.

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