Why Are Some Insects Able to Walk on Water?


Why are some insects able to walk on water?

Did you know that some insects can walk on water? The most famous is the water strider, and how it managed to do so was a mystery for many years. Scientists now know that the insect uses its long legs to help spread its tiny body weight uniformly. The weight is distributed over a large area so that the fragile skin formed on the surface of the water supports the bug on the water. The water strider legs are also water repellent, and this helps too. additionally, the in sect moves at just the right speed to prevent it from sinking. So, it is truly a combination of many things that allows the insect to walk on water as if by magic.

The first insects

We get our knowledge about the first insects on earth from fossils that have been discovered. Do you know what fossils are? Fossils are the remains of animals and plants that have been preserved in the earth crust. Insect fossils preserved in rock and amber provides evidence and clues of how and when different insects evolved since their first turn up on earth around 450 million years ago. The oldest insect fossils so far discovered are tiny imprints of wingless insects found in sandstone rocks.


Free Board and lodging

Nests of termites, ants and some wasps are so crowded and busy that no one notices a strange insect in the hustle and bustle. So, some insects like the crickets and certain varieties of beetles make their home there. These uninvited guests enjoy free lodging, including the delicious food gathered by their hosts!

Why are there so many insects in the desert?

Though deserts have very little rainfall and appear to be empty, lifeless places, they are truly teeming with different kinds of insects. This is because an insect body is very appropriate for desert life. The hard outer covering of an insect called the cuticle is made of a tough substance known as chitin. This covering traps moisture inside the insect body so that they loose less moisture by evaporation.

Water loss while breathing is also kept to a minimum. Most desert insects do not drink at all. They get enough moisture from their food. So, they do not have to use time finding waterholes.

A lot of insect eggs are hidden underground. They wait for the rains to hatch, and come out only then. At that time, there are lots of fast growing plants, and they have plenty of food. When they come out to the surface, the baby insects grow and lay eggs quickly, before they die. These eggs will wait for the next rains. In that way, some desert insects are able to escape from the harsh desert life and come out only when there is rain and food.

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