Connected on 2012-05-24 13:00:00 from York, Pennsylvania, United States
- Bugscope Team presets are done, and we are ready to roll!
- Bugscope Team Mrs Musone!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team Cate made the presets today, and this one, with bacteria, is super cool.
- Teacher Hello! We are just getting situated and will be ready in a minute!
Bugscope Team Sweet!
- Bugscope Team be sure to let us know when you have questions
- Teacher We will. The students are excited. Are these the beetle and caterpillar we sent?
Bugscope Team the caterpillar and beetle are in the microscope along with a few other critters. If you click on the left arrow you can scroll through some presets we made and jump right to one of your insects if you want
- Bugscope Team Mrs. Musone you have control of the 'scope but be sure to let us know when we can help.
- Teacher What exactly are we looking at? It looks kind of like a spider web.
Bugscope Team these are bacteria. The spider web is a biofilm the bacteria make when they are healthy. It gets really thread-like as you see when it goes through a drying process. Normally the biofilm is more like a blanket laying over the bacteria
- Bugscope Team so this is a sample of bacteria that we added to what you had sent us
- Bugscope Team now we're looking at the end of one of the beetle's arms, or legs, and you can see that it has two claws
- Teacher It looks as though part of the claw is broken. There's also something thread-like that we are not sure of. What are those threads?
Bugscope Team the beetle had clearly led a full life, and he or she was a bit scratched up
- Bugscope Team the beetle had likely worn down that part of its claw
- Bugscope Team the thread-like things we see are setae, which are what insects use to help them sense their environment
- Bugscope Team and now we are looking at one of the caterpillars 'prolegs,' which is covered with lots of tiny hooks called 'crochets.'
- Teacher What are caterpillar crochets?
Bugscope Team i believe they help the caterpillar 'hook onto' whatever it wants to cling to so it doesn't easily fall off- like a leaf
- Bugscope Team these crochets are on the back legs that from our view look like little suction cups
- Bugscope Team adult insects have six legs, and even as larvae they usually have six legs. caterpillars have six fairly normal looking legs, and they also have other leg-like elements, further down the body, called prolegs, which is what the crochets are attached to
- Bugscope Team I should say that caterpillars are actually larvae; they're not the adult version of the insect, yet.
- Bugscope Team notice that in insects, the mandibles open from side to side, like a gate
- Teacher What is the white stuff inside the mandibles? What are the thread-like things for?
Bugscope Team the threadlike things are setae, which are just insect hairs. They help the beetle feel what is going on- in this case when an object is by the mouth. They act like cat whiskers
- Bugscope Team this is really cool-looking salt that we used to get from Wendy's restaurants
- Bugscope Team thanks Cate I keep having people stop in
- Bugscope Team so the salt still forms a cube, since it is sodium chloride, and it even forms smaller cubes, but the whole form is broken up a bit by as Cate said, some anti-clumping agent
- Teacher What do you suggest we look at next?
Bugscope Team the pollen is kind of cool
- Bugscope Team insects do the same things we do, but they do them differently
- Bugscope Team so for example, we see that insects have jaws (mandibles), but unlike our mandibles, they open from side to side
- Bugscope Team and insects breathe, but not through their mouths or noses like we do
- Bugscope Team instead, insects breathe through pores on the side of their body segments that are called spiracles
- Teacher How did you find pollen since it is so small?
Bugscope Team they look like pieces of dirt at lower magnification, but there are more pollen grains in this region as well. Scot brought this fly from his house and it seems all the flies he brings have pollen on them.
- Bugscope Team the thoracic spiracles (the thorax is the part of the body the legs and arms are attached to in an insect) in flies are very large, probably because they need to bring a lot of oxygen in to the muscles that control the wings
- Teacher What are those leaf-like things?\
Bugscope Team there are little hairs here as well. They help keep big particles out of the spiracle, which is where we are on the fly. The spiracle is a breathing hole
- Bugscope Team the spiracles are the outer component of the respiratory system in an insect
- Teacher Do we have time for one more?
Bugscope Team sure!
- Bugscope Team insects do not have skin, like we do; instead they have a shell, called an exoskeleton
- Bugscope Team having an exoskeleton is like wearing a suit of armor, for us
- Bugscope Team if we were wearing armor, we would not feel something touching the surface of the armor
- Bugscope Team many of the setae (hairs or bristles) we see are what the insect uses to help sense its environment
- Bugscope Team the setae, like the one on the left here, are often touch sensitive, so they help the fly sense touch or wind against the compound eye
- Teacher What is that gunk on their eye?
Bugscope Team there seems to be some dirt or dust on here. There is a hair to the lower left
- Bugscope Team flies have eyes with many facets like this, many individual lenses -- that are called ommatidia
- Bugscope Team each ommatidium can collect a whole image; it is only one of many lenses
- Bugscope Team the compound eye is often bulbous, like this, so the fly can see quite a lot of the area around it without having to turn its head
- Teacher Do they have good eyesight?
Bugscope Team it's not as good as a human's, but they can see things move in what appears to be slow motion to them.
- Bugscope Team flies and other flying insects also often have three more eyes, called ocelli -- the simple eyes
- Bugscope Team yes as Cate said, with so many eye facets the fly can see changes in the visual field (motion) very quickly. that is one reason it is hard to swat flies
- Teacher Scot, SEM & Cate...thank you for sharing with us. It was an incredible experience to see things this closely!
Bugscope Team Thank You for connecting with us today!
- Bugscope Team I hope you all had fun using this microscope. It costs around $600,000!
- Bugscope Team See you again next year!
- Bugscope Team https://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-090
- Bugscope Team this is a link to your member page
- Bugscope Team Bye!