Systems and System Models
Do bugs have elbows? That’s what Clare wants to know. Her question starts a debate between Team Bug Arms and Elbows, and Team Bug Legs and Knees! Choose a side, and come on the trail of a bug bod mystery with superstar entomologist and dragonfly specialist Jessica Ware. Turns out, dragonflies are a lot weirder (and ancient!) than you might think!
MEET JESSICA WARE
When we got a question about bug elbows, we were excited to reach out to Dr. Jessica Ware! She is an awesome entomologist, who has done a lot of amazing work not just studying insects, but advocating for Black people in entomology. She's also featured on a great new Netflix show called Getting Curious.
You can also see/ hear her on Star Talk:
And Getting Curious, the podcast!
LEARN MORE ABOUT DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES:
Dragonflies and damselflies are among the oldest flying insects on Earth. And they used to be much bigger! Check out these "reenactments" of ancient, mega dragonflies that were fearsome predators.
National Geographic has a short film about the secret world of dragonflies:
WHAT ABOUT BUG LEGS? (OR ARMS?)
Scientists study insect legs for all sorts of reason. The New York Times did this video on a study of how stick bug legs can help build a robot:
Another mysterious bug leg discovery:
And read all about insect leg research:
THE BUG LEG/ ARM CHALLENGE
As Jessica suggests in the episode, examine the legs of the next dead bug you find on the street or in nature! The shape and features of its legs can give you clues as to what purpose they serve.