Friday, 28 February 2014

Wonders of the animal kingdom (3): the antlion

Wonders of the animal kingdom (3): the antlion

Antlion exist in Europe, but I have never seen one in Europe.

I saw their pits before in Thailand, but couldn’t see their pincers in them.

Now in Sisaket province, walking through a forest with sandy soil, I saw these pits again and thought that there must be antlions. So I take a small stick and test if anything happens if I touch the side of the pit (causing sand to roll down). Nothing.

But when I gently touch the center of the funnel, there is some resistance, something grabs the stick, but nothing to see and it doesn’t hold to the stick when I pull it out. I don’t know how big they are and if they can bite humans, but my friend digs one out with the mocy key and takes in on his hand. It doesn’t bite. About 5 mm wide and 10 mm long, looks like the picture below. Set it back on the sand, it disappears in the sand within a second (digging in backwards).

Reading on Wikipedia (, I find the following:

Antlion larvae are unusual among the insects as they lack an anus. All the metabolic waste that is generated during the larval stage is stored and is eventually emitted as meconium near the end of its pupal stage.[/quote]

An animal without an anus!

That reminds me of the following picture (found on facebook):

which says more or less that all humans start life as an asshole (and I may add, some people remain an asshole their entire life).

[quote=Wikipedia] The cerebrum (brain) in humans, which is the most sophisticated part of the human being, develops last.[/quote]

(And I may add, some people never develop a brain.)

So much fun with biology!

Update: after reflecting on the evolution of humans in the womb during a bus ride, I came to the following conclusion:

The asshole is formed first and the brain last. Some people get stuck in between: all asshole and no brain.

(My sense of humor, you don't have to like it.)

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