Saturday, December 20, 2008

Great Leapers, or Greatest Leapers?

Dalhousie University (remember them? Famous for their groundbreaking study of psychopaths?) has crowned a new highest jumper of the insect kingdom: the spit bug.

Have you ever seen spitbug nests? Maybe you have and didn't recognize them. It looks like someone hocked a big loogie on a plant (hence the name). Those bubbles? The spitbug blows them out its rear to build a frothy nest.

Anyway, as nasty as they are, they're apparently incredibly high jumpers. They can leap 100 of their own body lengths in a single jump. That's like a person jumping 600 feet.

It's supposed to be a defense mechanism to escape birds. It builds up muscle power and --KAPOW-- jumps away at 13 feet per second. Pretty impressive.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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