Big, Big Bugs

Possible Big Bug

A giant weta (Deinacrida heteracantha) from New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island is as large as “three mice” and weighs 2.5 ounces (71 grams). This specimen is reportedly the “biggest bug” ever found.

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Impossible Big Bug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insects are limited in how large they can grow. Mama asks if you know why?

For some campy bug fun your kids are sure to enjoy Them!

About Anne Crumpacker

I like to read. I also like science, art and drama. I like really big numbers, but I don’t understand them. I like kids and being silly, but sometimes I feel serious and that’s when I like thinking BIG THOUGHTS. You can visit me @ SocraticMama.com
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2 Responses to Big, Big Bugs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Because volume increases as a cube while area increases as a square. As the organism gets larger, it’s surface area must contain an exponentially greater volume. The exoskeleton rapidly becomes too heavy to even move.

  2. Michael Fisher says:

    No the limitation on insect size is respiratory ~ insects don’t have lungs. The insect respiratory system involves many tiny tubes that run from the surface of the insect, providing gas exchange channels for the tissues inside. This works fine if the body is small, but if the insect’s body gets too large, there simply isn’t enough surface.

    Insects are a small class within the phylum Arthropoda (familiarly known as Arthropods). Arthropods are ALL invertebrate animals having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. I’ve broken the phylum down for you below into the five subphylae:

    Trilobitomorpha ~ all extinct
    Chelicerata ~ includes the spiders & scorpions
    Myriapoda ~ includes centipedes & millipedes
    Crustacea ~ includes lobsters, crabs & shrimp
    Hexapoda ~ this is all the insects & the Entognatha (look it up)

    The coconut crab is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit of terrestrial animals with exoskeletons at a weight of 4,100 grams (or 9 lb), that’s 60 times the weight of the weta! Coconut crabs have evolved organs known as “branchiostegal lungs”. The heaviest verified arthropod, was caught in 1977 off of Nova Scotia and weighed 20.13 kg (44.4 lb) at a length of 1.07 m (3.5 ft) long.

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