Tag Archives: Insects

Scientific Research shows that a mystery pheromone may create zombies

Wasps, hornets, and other Hymenoptera may live nearly solitary lives, live in huge colonies, or something in between. The European hornet, Vespa crabro, lives in a colony consisting of one queen mated to a single male. In Hymenoptera, females are typically diploid (having genes from both parents) while males are typically haploid (having genes only from the female parent). If you draw a diagram of this and stare at it for a long time, you may come to the same conclusions that Bill “Buzz Off” Hamilton came to several years ago. A female would benefit genetically from helping her mother raise more sisters to a greater extent than she would benefit from having her own offspring, because she will be related to her sisters by 75% but to her offspring by 50%. Depending on other conditions, of course.
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Monarch butterflies in the classroom

i-68efa548cdb44e33126c5936c96fe3ed-evolution_2008.jpgContinuing with our discussion of the Evolution 2008 conference …Karen Oberhauser talked about the “single species” approach to pedagogy. This involves focusing on a single species and using it throughout an entire course. Karen has taught classes on this approach for teachers’ professional development programs.The species she uses is the Monarch Butterfly.i-43aa3685b219a3a899cb18cca4e9fbba-monarch.jpgKaren is a world class expert on this insect, and runs a major research project with them.The idea of a single-species approach is that a student learns a great deal about one particular species, to the extent that this species becomes an organizing theme as well as a kind of living mnemonic device for all that is learned throughout the course. The individual seemingly disconnected aspects of biology and ecology can become seemingly connected by referring back to a single species. If there is something that this one species does not give you that you need to use in your class, there is almost alwasy a way to work it in. Continue reading Monarch butterflies in the classroom