Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sponging mouths and sweeping acorns
Today in science we learned about the three different types of insect mouths -- chewing, sucking, and sponging. A very disgusting fact I learned today? ...flies have a sponging mouth. That is, their mouth works on the same principle as your kitchen sponge. When it comes in contact with liquid, it soaks it up, thereby nourishing the fly (yum yum). However -- and this is the gross part -- if a fly wants to eat a solid (think of a fly sitting on your piece of candy?!), it vomits onto the solid, which liquefies some of it enough for the fly's sponging mouth to absorb. Oh, and by the way, along with whatever else is in the vomit that causes the solid to liquefy, there are also germs. Still want that piece of candy off of which you shoo'd that fly?! We did a really cool experiment with M&Ms, a cup of water, a straw, and a paper towel to demonstrate the different types of insect mouths. (Again, have I mentioned how much fun I'm -- er, we're -- having?!) David is still looking for jobs to earn extra money, so today we bought a push-broom so that he can sweep the acorns off of the driveway. We have a towering oak that gives us a bumper crop of acorns every other year, and this is its "on" year. Unfortunately, it drops a large portion of its harvest on the driveway, which makes it hard to ride bikes and rather dangerous to try walking without twisting an ankle. Ergo, David's newest job!