Today we’re talking about loneliness;
not to be confused with introversion, or social anxiety, while those subjects are worthy topics. Loneliness actually has been defined in many ways: “a state of solitude or being alone,”
“inability to find meaning in one’s life….” Okay, this is already a downer, so look at
a picture of a panda. Aw, it’s cute! Now I want a panda. I’m gonna overnight one to my crib. I’m gonna do that. Of course, we’re not the only generation
to experience loneliness, even though listening to The Weeknd
really does make it feel like that. Health insurance provider Cigna recently published a study citing that 18-22 year olds have the highest “loneliness score,”
followed by millennials, then Generation X… so yeah,
young people, we just killin’ it right now. Generation Z cited that they feel people are
around them but they aren’t really with them, feel shy, and they feel like people
don’t know them very well. The old man in me really wants to say, “these
kids right now are out here spending too much time on the Twitters and the Fortnites!”,
but that’s not exactly what Cigna found. Cigna cited lack of an IRL social life
as part of the problem, saying that “levels of in-person interactions, physical and mental wellness,
and life balance” are better predictors of loneliness
than social media alone. So, if your IG game is on point but you like to hang
out with your friends, you should be good… but if social media IS hanging out with your
friends, go outside! Humans are social mammals and need social interaction to survive; that’s
part of why solitary confinement in prisons is so torturous. Why do that to ourselves
on the outside? “Y’all best go out to the quarry for some stickball and a swim!” You know, I’m not doing this voice again. One study breaks down three types of loneliness. Situational loneliness is when unpleasant events
or circumstances cause us to retract from society. Developmental loneliness can hinder
our capacity to balance individualism and intimacy. (Psychological disorders like depression or schizophrenia could cause developmental loneliness). And finally, internal loneliness, when a self-perception of worthlessness intensifies
the feeling of being alone. This got dark again, bring in another panda pic. Lifestyle influences our neurophysiology, so lonely people perceive the world very differently. For instance, people suffering from loneliness tend to see benign events as more threatening,
living in self-defense mode… even in their sleep. Some research suggests that lonelier
people have more restless sleep patterns, which could impact cognitive development. Research suggests that there are
neural correlates for loneliness. A 2009 study revealed that lonelier people
showed less activation in brain centers associated with reward when viewing pictures of people in pleasant situations, and less activation in parts of the brain linked to empathy when viewing images of people
in unpleasant situations. Other researchers also discovered that neurons in the dorsal raphe nuclei are sensitive to social isolation. Those neurons in question, taken together
with the ones from the ventral striatum, deal with the reward neurotransmitter dopamine. So, it’s possible that low social interactions=less dopamine=less feeling good. Of course,
the latter study was run with mice, so more research is always needed. On top of that, a meta-analysis from 1980 to 2015
found that loneliness and its accompanying
depression was as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is a risk factor for mortality.
This is so dark; bring in the pandas! Please, don’t leave, don’t leave! I’m
not gonna leave you on a downer. Loneliness is a social epidemic, yes,
but there are remedies. Don’t replace friendships and happiness with likes and text messages.
Go out and meet people! Humans need social interaction in real life –
it’s developmentally necessary. Easier said than done, but remember, you’re
not alone in feeling alone. And if you’ll excuse me, I have a panda
waiting for me at home. I did order one, and I can’t wait to play with it. Yo, thanks so much for watching. If you’re
like, “ooh, I need a little bit more loneliness content!” watch this video about what solitary
confinement does to your brain. And if you’re like, “that’s a little bit too dark for me,”
watch this video about pandas watching… watching porn? Watch this video about pandas
watching porn. Thanks for watching my video, and also, subscribe to Seeker for more videos! Pandas watching porn?
I’m definitely gonna hafta watch that. I gotta find out what’s going
on with pandas.
You’re probably familiar with the basic
life cycle of moths and butterflies: an egg hatches into a caterpillar, which becomes
a pupa, which then transforms into a fully-grown moth or butterfly. But that transformation isn’t easy: if you
sliced open a pupa at just the right point, you’d find nothing but bug soup. Caterpillars grow the beginnings of their
adult body parts before they even hatch. They have these tiny clumps of cells called
imaginal discs spread around their bodies, and during metamorphosis, each disc develops
into a different part of the adult butterfly or moth. When a caterpillar becomes a pupa, it releases
enzymes that dissolve almost all of its tissues. Only the imaginal discs, plus certain muscles
and portions of the nervous system, survive. The rest of its body basically melts into
goo. This protein-rich slurry helps fuel an explosion
of new cell division, as the imaginal discs grow into full-fledged wings, eyes, and legs
for the adult insect. But even though they almost totally dissolve
and rebuild themselves from scratch, adult moths /can/ actually remember things from
when they were caterpillars. In one study, researchers gave mild electric
shocks to tobacco hornworm caterpillars, a type of moth, while exposing them to specific
smells. After metamorphosis, the adult moths still
avoided the smells they’d learn to associate with unpleasant shocks. So at least some of the caterpillar’s brain
seems to stick around through metamorphosis, even as most of its body dissolves. Even though metamorphosis is a complicated
process, we know that it’s helpful for insect species. The total rearrangement of body parts means
that adults and young can rely on different food sources. Usually caterpillars eat leaves, while butterflies
and moths specialize on nectar. Preventing different life stages from competing
for the same resources gives these insects a big evolutionary leg up. We’re still not entirely sure how metamorphosis
evolved, though. One theory, which has since been discredited,
suggested that metamorphosis became a thing when an insect that flew and an insect that
crawled happened to mate. Instead, it probably evolved gradually from
less-complicated forms of development. No matter how metamorphosis evolved, it does
make moths and butterflies super hardcore. They might look delicate and pretty, but those
critters dissolved their own /bodies/ and survived. Thanks for asking, and thanks especially to
all of our patrons on Patreon who keep these answers coming. If you’d like to submit questions to be
answered, or get some videos a few days early, go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
[ INTRO [ How many different animal sounds can you make? I like to quack like a duck, or moo like a
cow. And Squeaks is really good at … [Squeaks squeaks] Squeaking like a rat! Lots of animals make noises, and in the summer,
I like to listen for one of my favorite animal sounds. Can you guess what animal it comes from? [Cicada Call ] This noise does sound loud, so I can see why
you would think it comes from a big animal. But this animal tricked you, Squeaks! The animal that makes this noise is smaller
than my hand. It’s a cicada. Cicadas are a type of insect that live all
over the world, and they’re famous for the noises they make when it’s hot out. A lot of people only hear the cicadas, though,
and never actually see them. They’re not very big insects, and many cicadas use camouflage
to blend in with trees and plants. But you can recognize them by their big eyes
and clear wings that lie across their back. Cicadas may be small compared to humans, or
even Squeaks, but they still make some of the loudest animal sounds in the world. [Squeaks is impressed] And there’s a very good reason why! Those cicadas we see in the trees? They’re
actually pretty old for insects, but they’ve spent almost all of their lives underground. It takes a baby cicada either 13 or 17 years
to grow up, and while they’re growing, they stay underground where it’s safe from predators
that might want to eat them. Then, when they’re old enough and it gets
warm outside, they fiiiinally crawl up out of the ground. Can you imagine seeing the world for the first
time after years underground in the dark? The thing is, once they come up above the
ground, cicadas don’t live for very long — usually just a few weeks. They really
want to find another cicada to have more cicada babies with, but they have to do it quickly! So, the male, or boy cicadas make a REALLY
loud noise so the female, or girl cicadas will know they’re there. But cicadas make noises a bit differently
from how other animals do. For example, if I wanted to make a loud noise,
I could use my voice and shout — although I won’t, since we only use our inside voices
in the Fort. But cicadas can’t make noises with their
mouths the way we do. Instead, they use a special body part, called
a tymbal, to make their sound. Cicadas have two tymbals, one on each side
of their body. Each tymbal is made of a a very thin material
called a membrane. Along the tymbal, there are stripes of thicker
membrane, creating what look like ribs down the cicada’s side. When the cicada wants to make noise, they
pull the ribs of their tymbal close together very quickly, creating clicking sounds as
each rib hits the one next to it. It’s a lot like how you can make sounds
with a bendy straw. When you move the bendy bits together and
apart really fast… It makes a noise. Cicadas can pull apart the ribs on their tymbals
and then click them together again so quickly that each clicking sound runs into the next,
creating one big, loud sound. Can you hear each click in the cicada song,
Squeaks? [Squeaks listens, then shakes his head] Neither can I! They’re so fast that it becomes
almost impossible to tell each click apart. Not to mention almost painfully loud. Some cicadas can be as loud as a motorcycle
engine! One of the loudest cicadas in the world is
the Walker’s Cicada, which lives in North America. Walker’s cicadas can be as loud as a honking
car horn, and the sound can hurt your ears after a while. But if there’s a female cicada around, she’ll
definitely hear it! Then she can fly over to find the cicada making that sound. So if you hear that loud buzzing sound in
the trees this summer, now you’ll know where it’s coming from. It means there’s a cicada
nearby! [Squeaks squeaks a warning] You’re going to make a loud sound, too? [Squeaks makes a loud squeak]. That’s one loud squeak! You’d make a pretty good cicada. Have you ever heard any cicadas in your neighborhood? What’s the loudest sound you’ve ever heard? Let us know by having a grown-up help you
to leave a comment below, or send us an email at [email protected] We’ll see you next time, here at the Fort! [ OUTRO ]
Hi Guys. I am Trisha with Insectopia here to talk to
you about magnetic termites. These termites build tall mounds that some
people say bear a resemblance to headstones. They build them in plains and they all face
the same direction. Mostly North-South, which is where they get
the name magnetic. But why in the world would they build a mound
that is 9-12 feet high with a North/South axis of 7 feet, and an East/West axis of only
3 feet? The leading hypothesis for their North/South
orientation is, temperature control. In the early morning the termites spend their
time on the east wall to warm up. By noon, when the day is hottest and the sun
is directly overhead in the Australian Outback, the termite mound is thin so the mound does
not have a large amount of surface area that the sun can heat. As the day is ending, the mound can pick up
enough heat to make it through the night. How does this help you? Well, now with the knowledge that the termite
mounds are built North to South. The next time that you are lost and wandering
around the Australian Outback and you run into one of these mounds, you will have a
50/50 shot at picking North instead of walking around completely lost. Before we dive into this mound, I want to
clear up a common misconception. Termites are eusocial cockroaches. Let’s try to clear this up a little, termites
are a kind of cockroach and are closer related to grasshoppers, praying mantids, and walking
sticks than they are to ants. This has to do with termites having an incomplete
metamorphosis and ants having a complete metamorphosis. Now, let’s look inside of this mound. In each mound there are varying ages of individuals
from eggs to adults and the individuals are specialized for different jobs. These special groups of individuals are called
castes. The 5 castes are: queen, king, soldier, worker,
and reproductive. The life cycle of a termite mound goes something
like this: The queen lays every egg in the colony and
is the mother to every individual in the colony other than the king. The eggs are cared for by the workers. In fact, the workers do all of the hard work
in the colony. They clean and repair the nest, gather food
and water, care for the young, construct the tunnels and galleries, and control the numbers
of soldiers and reproductives by killing and eating them based on chemical cues. The workers are very busy. Every single worker in the termite mound is
a nymph and most of them will stay nymphs for their entire life. These insects never molt into adulthood! It is as if most termites live in Peter Pan’s
Neverland. The lucky few individuals that come into adulthood
turn into either soldiers or reproductives. The soldiers have large mandibles and it is
their job to protect the colony. The reproductives gain wings and will wait
around in the colony until the external conditions are right so that they can go on a mating
flight. On a mating flight, a reproductive female
and a reproductive male will mate and become a king and queen. They will land on the ground and shed their
wings. The queen will find an ideal location to start
a colony. At that point, it is the king’s job to tend
for the colony and the eggs until there are workers to do these jobs. The king will stay by the side of the queen
in her chamber for the rest of his life. The queen will become as large as a human
index finger and lay an egg every 3 seconds. She actually becomes so large that she is
no longer able to move or leave the chamber that she is in. The workers will carry the eggs to another
chamber and care for them. This is how the cycle starts anew. These are real life pictures of the magnetic
termite’s mounds. This is what a termite looks like in real
life. On the left you can see an egg on the right
you can see a worker. On the left you can see a soldier and on the
right you can see a reproductive. On this final slide you can see a queen. Thank you for listening! If you have any questions about magnetic termites
or a thought on which caste you would be if you were a termite, let us know in the comment
section below! Make sure to like, comment, and subscribe
for more videos like this one. I will be posting videos frequently. Come and check out our next epic insect tale.
hello my name is Eleni and 52-degree
quickly worlds together so let’s discover together what is the
theme for this week bugs and insects Melissa B yes in Greece we have a lot of
medicine so we had a lot of bees because we have a lot of bees we are eating a
lot of honey a pv acumen polis mary says drama polymerase in eleven
I love bees Miramichi and there are a lot on the countryside of Greece they
bite you too much and so I’m a little bit scared of the red ants that Coquina
media Kate Amara Mir media the red ant and the black ant kunape mosquito during
summer i suffer from mosquitoes cata TV RK – kal aquario Ipoh pharaoh Apodaca
nokia in greece we have a lot of mosquitoes cats Areva cockroach so
increase we are doing twice a year we are doing this asking for a professional
antique cockroach or Hakan we can call it just to disinfect all the building
via forest or on local my apollomon see to act eerie oh it’s polka the Kias Lajo
yet scott Erebus Pascal it’sa ladybug when I was a
children I love ladybugs until one day I just crush one in my
hand so since then when I see our ladybug I’m just keep some distance so
basically some pastelito a pathologist in a polymer face upon McCrea the
ladybugs are sweet or are very beautiful from a distance thank you very much for
watching us you can let your comment if you want to tell us to share with us
what is your preferable insect or which one you are afraid of and if you want to
learn more Greek words please check out our website in Greek bored 101.com thank
you very much for watching us bye
>>An innovative Australian startup
business is really our story, that’s trying to produce a sustainable source
of protein within a local environment. I’m Paula and I’m the founder of GrubsUp
Australia.>>And I’m Amanda one of the directors of GrubsUp Australia.>>GrubsUp Australia is a insect protein company. We produce insects for human food and
animal feed.>>Crickets particularly have about seventy percent protein and a whole range of other
vitamins and minerals including really high levels of vitamin B12.>>Yeah, they’re a sustainable food production system as well. They have a really quick
production cycle compared to other traditional agricultural systems.>>I studied a Bachelor of Agribusiness and that’s where I met Paula.>>I worked in
mosquito management and my love of insects was born out of those few years.
Woke up one day and went, insects, protein, agribusiness and started the business. So, initially we thought we would enter an animal feed market. When we established
the business we got so many emails in regards to human food, that we thought
right let’s get into the human food market. I’m lucky enough to have a
husband who is a chef, so he does a lot of the food tastings and preparation for
new products. Innovation to me is really about adapting to a market or a problem
and coming up with a solution whether it’s been done before or not, but it’s
about finding a different way to go about it.>>It’s constantly having to think outside the square and come up with new ideas and being prepared to take it on the chin when it doesn’t work and move on
and try something else. Realistically, we would really like to
commercialise an animal feed into, say, the poultry market, piggery market, or the aquaculture market and if we can drive that, that then may lead to a human commodity product that would be able to be used around the world.>>One of my major motivations is that the business makes sense; a future source of protein.>>And I can just see a real potential here to actually make some
difference and actually shape what the future, particularly, in Australia, but
hopefully a bit wider than that, will look like. And we want that future to be bright for, not just our kids, but for the world going forward.
Welcome to the insect division at The Field Museum. We’re here today to look at some of the things that we’ve collected up in Hanover. When we were up and we were up there with the middle school and Emily was up there beating trees and all that kind of good stuff. Okay, so this is one of the carrion trap samples that we found in Hanover, and this is the one we took out of the middle of the prairie when the kids from the middle school were there. So they helped pick up this trap. The first thing I find is a histerid, it’s a Hister beetle, and they eat a lot of dead animals. This one’s a little bit bigger. This is a Necrophila americana. These just come to a big carcass, like a deer, and lay their eggs on it, and then the larvae eat the deer carcass. And this is a Onthophagus hecate. It’s a type of dung beetle. They’re out in the prairie eating things like deer poop. So they take the deer poop and they take a ball of the deer poop and they roll it around and then they lay their eggs in it and they bury it in the ground and then the larvae eat the deer poop. This is a thomisid, or a crab spider, and these are little spiders that can move forwards, backwards, and sideways. Crab spiders are the only spiders that can move in all four directions like that. How do other spiders move? Either forwards or backwards.
– Oh. This is a cricket, like a house cricket- the ones you find in pet stores. This is a fly, this is called a sarcophagid, which is a flesh fly. It’s one of the big flies that we have around here. What are all the wormy things? Are all those larvae and maggots and stuff? Yeah.
– These? Like this? These are the millipedes. Oh, these?
– Well no, the white ones, yeah. The white ones like this?
– Yeah. Yeah that is fly larvae, so that’s a maggot, and fly larvae are called maggots. And we can’t identify fly larvae, so I don’t pull them out. This is called a broad-headed bug, and these suck juices out of plants. This is a carabid, or ground beetle, and there’s a whole bunch of different ground beetles living out in the prairie. This is a daddy longleg, or Opiliones. Daddy longlegs aren’t actually spiders. You can tell the difference because there is no waist between the abdomen and the thorax. It’s all one part. Spiders have a waist between the abdomen and thorax.
– Yeah. So daddy longlegs don’t, and also they have no venom and no fangs. So they’re not gonna bite you, they’re not spiders.
– They’re not spiders, they’re not gonna bite you. What about that giant grasshopper?
– Oh yeah, I missed him. Where’s he at? He’s over here some place.
– He’s down in the… Oh down here, okay, this is a big old grasshopper. This is an adult because it has fully developed wings, and that’s what happens when grasshoppers and crickets and things reach adulthood. The wings go from just being little wing buds to being full wings. And there are flying wings under there so these can fly. And this is called a differential grasshopper. It’s just one of the really big grasshoppers found around here. So that’s most of what’s in this dish. There’s gonna be lots of other things in the rest of the sample. Then people want to know what we do with them after we take them out of the sample. So I’m just gonna move this over to the side. And then we pin them. These are quite a bit longer than pins that are used for sewing. They’re also much thinner. So that allows you to put it through the body of the insect and then have room on the underneath to put the collecting labels. To pin it, you just take the pin, stick it through the thorax, you stick the pin in so there’s about a quarter inch or a little more left. Then I set them on these trays so that they dry and the abdomens don’t fall down, and the legs stay in place, so that when it’s time to put the labels on, you can put the labels on and they don’t get caught up in the legs, and the abdomen doesn’t break off when you put it into the collection.
– Yeah. And then in two weeks it’ll be completely dry and hard, and then you can put it into the collection. So you pose the legs and everything so they kind of dry in place?
-Mhmm. When you pin a beetle, the wing cover is called an “elytra,” and you put the pin through the elytra, just to the right of center and just below where the thorax attaches to the abdomen. Put it on the drying board, and you’re done.
– Nice! Let me find something little.
– There’s some tiny, tiny spiders in there. Spiders don’t get pinned.
– Awww. Spiders, if you pin them, they just dry out and shrivel up or the abdomens rot and fall off.
– Ew. So, here’s a little ant.
– Does that not happen with insects because they have… Insects have a thicker exoskeleton. Spiders have a thin exoskeleton, so they just don’t pin well.
– Yeah. Okay, so little tiny things obviously, we aren’t going to be able to put a pin through that.
– Oh my gosh, yeah. So what we do with these, these are just little points that we punch out of cardstock, and we bend the tip over a little bit. And then we use a very sophisticated glue. Ta-da! Clear nail polish. I was gonna say, I think I have some of that at my house. Wow, that’s so tiny.
– Okay. And the point goes between the second and third leg on the right side of the insect when the insect is facing away from you. I can’t even— I would have no idea how to look at that. So I’ve got the second and third leg spread apart. Put a little dab of nail polish on the end of the point, stick it on there. Wow!
– Make sure the insect is as straight across as you can get it, and then just put him on the board. That’s how little tiny insects are prepared to go into the collection. These trays are all spiders that have been collected up in the prairie in Hanover. We’ve collected 137 different species of spiders so far.
– Oh wow. Which is a whole lot of spiders for a small prairie of 65 acres or so. At this point, between spiders and insects, we have 837 species. And doing a full summer worth of collecting next year, we could come up with as many as 12 or 15 hundred species.
– Oh my gosh. And these were all of the insects that were like in the…
– In the carrion traps, or the sweep netting, or the beating of trees. So these are insects that were collected in all the different ways we’ve collected up there.
– Wow. So, what we have found that’s really interesting and important, we’ve found some habitat indicator species. So in this drawer…
– *Gasps* There’s the— You recognize these guys.
– Yeah! These are the Phanaeus vindex carrion beetle that is an indicator of habitat species. And what’s really cool, we’ve found not only females, that don’t have the horn, we found some alpha males with the big long horn, and some beta males with the little short horn. So the alpha males are the ones that are gonna get to mate, to carry on their species.
– Nice! They’re so beautiful, too. And there are others in here, like these are Nicrophorus marginatus, and those are one of the burying beetles. I think we talked about those, they find dead animals, shave the fur off, dig underneath them, bury them, and lay their eggs in them.
– Yeah. And those beetles actually provide parental care.
– Oh yeah! They hang around, and they protect the eggs from predators, and they clean the eggs because they’re in a dead animal.
– Yeah. So they keep the fungus and bacteria and things off of the eggs, and then they do the same thing for the larvae. So it’s one of the few beetles that actually does provide parental care for their babies. You wouldn’t— I wouldn’t expect a lot of insects to have that kind of like, maternal instinct. There aren’t a lot of insects that do, there are quite a few spiders that do.
– Really? There are— like the nursery web spiders and the wolf spiders.
– Yeah. The wolf spiders, when the eggs hatch, they run around on the baby— on the female, on the mother. And the mother protects them, and they stay on the mother until they shed their skin once, and then they disperse and go all over the place. Wow, that’s pretty cool. It makes them sound cuddly. Yeah, kinda. And you know, like most things around here, almost everything around here, they aren’t gonna hurt you.
– Yeah. There are a few things: if you mess with a wasp, it’s gonna sting you.
– Yeah. But if you leave it alone, it’s gonna leave you alone. They’re mostly just curious when they’re like buzzing around. When they’re buzzing around, they’re just curious about what you’re doing there, they’re trying to figure you out. They’re more scared of you than you are of them. They know that they can’t really hurt you. They know that you’re way too big for them to do anything with. They aren’t going to be able to reproduce on you, they aren’t going to be able to eat you, they aren’t going to be able to do anything with you. So they’re just curious as to what you’re doing out there.
– Yeah. There were a lot of questions about the wasp of death.
– Yeah! Here’s the wasp of death. This is one of the cricket hunters. And what they do is fly around and hunt for crickets, and sting them, and paralyze them, and then lay their eggs on them. They bury them in a burrow, and then over the next six to eight weeks the larvae of the wasp eats the paralyzed cricket. And the cricket is still alive. So nature isn’t always nice, and fine, and gentle, and cool. They’re really kinda gross sometimes. And there’s lots and lots of wasps that do that to all kinds of different insects and spiders. These are Platydracus maculosus, and though they aren’t prairie indicators, they’re only found really in good habitats.
– Oh, good. So a lot of these things are habitat indicators, and they all indicate that it is a good habitat.
– Good! So they’re doing everything right up there in Hanover. Is there anything that you would have expected to find that you didn’t find this time? Um, there’s always lots of stuff. There’s so many different things living there. Like I said, if we continue going we could find twice as many as we’ve found so far.
– Yeah. And you’re always catching new things. Every time you go there’s new things. And the way you determine when it’s time to stop collecting is a species curve.
– Oh. You start out from zero, and as you’re collecting, the curve goes up, up, up, up, but then it levels out. And when it starts to level out, and you’re only getting a few new things, then it’s time to quit. Good! So…
– So that’s how we determine when it’s time to quit, we don’t just keep collecting forever. Does collecting this amount of insects— is that going to have any kind of negative impact on the populations? No, you really can’t hurt insect populations by collecting. They have so many babies. What controls insect and spider populations is food availability. If there’s plenty of food, you’re going to have plenty of insects and plenty of spiders.
– Right. Are you afraid of accidentally, like, catching the last of a certain species, and then the species goes extinct? The chances of catching the last of a species is basically zero. If you’re down to the last of a species, you’re never gonna find it. Also, if you have a species that is endangered, you’re unlikely to find them. Up in that area, there’s only one insect species that could even be considered endangered, and that’s the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, and I’ve never seen one up there, in all the time I’ve been collecting up there and other places in that area, I’ve never seen a Hine’s emerald. And one of the rules is if you collect an endangered species, you’re done.
– Really? You can’t collect anything more on that site. So if we were to collect, say, a Nicrophorus americanus, which is an endangered carrion beetle, we’d stop immediately. That’s the last time we’d collect at that site.
– Really. Oh, that’s good to know. So we’re never going to collect a bunch of something that’s endangered. Well that’s cool! I’m happy to see them all pinned and everything. Yeah, they’re all pinned up, they’re all identified, we know what they all are. Yay!
-So, it’s fun!
– Yeah! It’s really fun to go out there and it’s fun to be out in the field.
– Yeah. There’s nothing better than being out in the field, and getting your hands dirty, and playing in the carrion traps, and digging in the soil. There’s nothing better than that. And that’s something that I really want to get across to kids. Get out there. Have fun with it. Collect insects. You can’t hurt the populations if you collect a few insects. Have fun. Get into it. That’s what it’s all about. That’s good. Well, thank you so much, I had so much fun going out and collecting, and then to see everything laid out here and pinned and identified is really gratifying.
[MUSIC] Think about this: Wherever you’re sitting
right now, chances are there’s a spider nearby. Which means there’s also a spider web. And you should be excited about that, because
spider silk is awesome. Spiders manufacture something stronger, stretchier,
or stickier than just about anything humans have engineered. A thread of spider silk is nearly invisible,
which is why you’ve probably walked through it with your face. Yet when it comes to strength, some spider
silk fibers rival steel and Kevlar. Imagine this: A silk cord about the diameter
of a garden hose could hold up a passenger jet. So how does such a tiny animal weave such
an amazing material using nothing but its rear end? I wanted to find out, so I went to the American
Museum of Natural History to meet Dr. Cheryl Hayashi, who’s maybe the world’s #1 expert
in the science of spider silk. Everybody knows that spiders make silk, but
I don’t think most people realize just how many kinds of silk spiders make. There’s over 46,000 described species of
spiders – and most spiders make four, five, six, seven, eight kinds of silk. So if you do the math, it’s huge! So this is Nephila clavipes, the golden orb-weaver,
and she can make seven different types of silk. Seven different kinds of spider silk? In that tiny little body? Yeah! Well, some people don’t think it’s a tiny
little body… It’s not the smallest spider I’ve ever seen! When you look at the golden orb weaver’s
trademark web, you’re actually looking at several different types of silk. There’s the dragline silk: The spider drags
it behind like a climber’s safety rope. It also makes up the web’s outer frame. There’s one silk to guide the web’s construction. The spiral that traps prey, is actually a
mix of two more silks: A stretchy silk covered in a sticky glue-like silk on top. There’s a cement-like silk to attach the
web to whatever it’s hanging on. There’s a silk for wrapping up prey. They even wrap their eggs in silk. Seven different silks, all made by one spider. So what exactly is this stuff? Spider silk is made of proteins, and the dominant
proteins inside a silk fiber are these specialized category of proteins called spidroins, which
stands for spider fibroins, that are unique to spiders. Inside the body, all of the silk glands have
liquid protein in them. So it’s liquid protein, and when I dissect
a spider and I take out a silk gland, and I break the gland open, it has the consistency
of honey! It’s a viscous, gooey substance that’s
in there. And it’s highly-concentrated silk protein. It kind of makes you wonder what an anatomically
correct Spider-Man would look like. The raw ingredients for every protein chain
are twenty amino acids, and the recipes for these chains are coded in genes. The order of amino acids in these chains determine
what a protein looks like, and what it will do. And spider silk proteins are built in a very
special way. Imagine a silk molecule like a long train,
made up of different boxcars. Inside each type of boxcar is a string of
amino acids. In any one type of silk, we see the same boxcars
over and over all the way along the train. This unique pattern is what makes each silk
so specialized. Spiders have cooked up some equally specialized
ways to use these silks. Like the trapdoor spider, which weaves a camouflaged
shelter from silk. The ogre spider, that it casts out a silk
net like a fisherman. Or the redback spider, who weaves a trap in
the form of sticky spring-loaded snares. Other spiders shoot venom-laced deadly silly
string silk. Small spiders can even ride the winds on silk
sails, a trick called “ballooning” that can carry them kilometers into the sky. To find the origins of spider silk, we have
to go a long way back. This is fossil amber, it’s from a Burmese
deposit, and there’s a spider in here, and this is 100 million years old. Do you want to touch a 100-million-year-old
spider? I need to be very careful. I’m holding a piece of the world from 100
million years ago, and there’s a spider in there that was already making silk like
spiders do today? Yes. 100 million years old! I can keep this, right? It’ll be our secret. Here’s another fossil spider, this one’s
not quite as old: only 20 million years old. Only 20-million-years-old? Practically yesterday! This one is just beautiful. I mean, you can see the spider inside. It’s posing like a spider! It knew that we would find it one day, and
it was like, “I’m gonna give them a really good pose. I’m going to do my best spidering.” Thank you, I really appreciate it! But Dr. Hayashi doesn’t just study how spiders
evolved and how they make silk. She also studies its mechanical properties. If you’re picturing her pulling on spider
silk with tiny tweezers, you’re not far off. This is one strand of dragline silk, that
what’s on this card. She unweaves these single silk strands by
hand, and mounts them into a special machine to test how much pulling it can take before
it breaks. And you can see there’s a fiber connecting
that. So the only thing connecting this part of
the machine: this clamp to this clamp, is the silk fiber. Can we pull on it? We can pull on it! We’re going to break this spider silk so
good. [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] Weight for weight, almost nothing we humans
have invented is as strong, as stretchy, or absorbs energy as well as some spider silks. So naturally, we’re trying to figure out
how to manufacture and weave this stuff for ourselves. The approach is you take the spider silk gene,
and you move that silk gene into another organism such as bacteria, a plant, a silk worm, or
even goats. Goats… like? Where is it coming out of the goats? So in the goat, it actually comes out, it’s
expressed in the mammary gland. So it comes out with the milk. What happens if you drink that milk? Do you get special powers? Um, I haven’t tried that myself. I’m going to market spider silk milk goat
cheese. You heard it first! Spider goat silk is still experimental, but
it shows us something really amazing about the power of evolution. With all our tools, and all of our knowledge
we haven’t invented a material as awesome as spider silk. We’re still no match for millions of years
worth of nature’s experiments. Well, I made a new friend. I made two new friends. [SPIDER NOISES] She’s like, waving to the camera. You know, that’s what they say about spiders,
you put a camera on them. I know! Hamming it up! Hamming it up. She’s saying “Hi Mom!”
– [Narrator] Hey, kids. Remember, everything you’re about to learn is real. ♪ Look at all the wonders ♪ ♪ That a single class can find ♪ ♪ If they decide to shut their mouth ♪ ♪ And open up their eyes ♪ ♪ Sex and shit and crime and pain ♪ ♪ All this crap will be explained ♪ ♪ While we’re at it ♪ ♪ Let’s try to have some fun ♪ ♪ Talking’ ’bout ♪ ♪ What The Fuck 101 ♪ ♪ Come and see the worst of history ♪ ♪ What The Fuck 101 ♪ ♪ Come and see that life and victory ♪ ♪ So if you think learning sucks ♪ ♪ Well, let me show you ♪ (screams) – Come on, no, no, no,
no, no no, no, no, no, no. ♪ It’s What The Fuck 101 ♪ – With me, Professor Foxtrot. (upbeat music) Who’s ready for another exciting session of detention? – Who’s this fucking bitch? – Don’t call her a bitch, asshole. – Fight! (aggressive music) – God. – The fuck? – I am Professor Foxtrot, and I’ve been charged with taking over detention to make sure you all learn your lessons. – Detention isn’t for learning. We’re just supposed to sit here and quietly destroy school property. – Hot. – And why are you here this week? – He copied off me. I spent hours studying for the exam, and Jason cheated. – I see. Good strategizing, Jason. – What? – I got the idea when I saw how hard the questions were. – You shouldn’t praise him. He’s a, he’s a parasite. – Am not. – Of course you are, but you should be proud. Parasites are some of the most successful, powerful
creatures on this planet. – I don’t care. – Don’t believe me? – No, I just don’t care. (animal sounds) – Stop with the screaming. Oh, for heaven’s sakes. I’ve only shrunk you down and transported you
halfway around the world to learn about the most vicious parasites on Earth. (ominous music) – Hello there, students. – Wait a sec. This little wuss is a vicious parasite? – My name is Kevin, and I’m. (screams) – What the hell was that? – Copidosoma floridanum,
a parasitoidal wasp, a creature so terrible, it made Charles Darwin doubt the existence of a
living, omnipotent God. – Hey, are you okay? – Yeah. I think I’m all right. It takes more than one sting to being down Kevin J. Caterpillar. – Don’t be fooled. Kevin J. Caterpillar may feel fine, but that stinger was
actually an ovipositor, which means his insides are
brimming with wasp eggs. – What? Those larva will eat
him from the inside out, saving his vital organs for last to keep him alive as long as possible. – Oh, dear. Well, at least things can’t get any worse. Yeah, it’s only up, up, up for old Kevin J.– – Also, you have AIDS. – What? – Bummer. – That is not funny. AIDS is a serious epidemic. – It’s not a joke. Those wasps naturally carry viruses that suppress the immune system, the same way HIV does. – What, why? – So his body can’t fight off the larva. In time, they’ll burrow out of his skin, and spin cocoons on his still-living body. – Oh, dear. Well, maybe my story will inspire
and Oscar-nominated movie, like Philadelphia. – Dude, you’re no Tom Hanks. – Oh, things aren’t looking good for old Kevin J. Caterpillar. – Do something. We can’t just leave him like this. – You’re right. Or can we? – Guys? Hey, guys. Guys? Oh, okay. Well, Kevin J. Caterpillar is just gonna jig, jig, jig. – It looks like we can
just leave him like that. Amazing. – Bummer. – Jason? Jason? Jason? Did you see how parasites like you flourish unchecked while others suffer? – Oh, come on, I didn’t Mindy. We were more like a team. – Ooh, then I think you’ll like learning about our next parasite. – Hello, students. – Ah, dude. – Are you here to learn
about oceanic ecosystems? Let me help. – Cool. ♪ In the ocean, there’s ♪ (screams) – (in a muffled voice) It’s in my mouth! It’s in my mouth! – This is the tongue-eating
louse, Cymothoa exigua. This little guy attaches
to the tongues of fish and sucks their blood. Over time, the tongue
atrophies from blood loss and falls off. – (in a muffled voice) What? But I need my tongue. – Yeah, he needs his tongue. (screams) – Oh, don’t worry. He’ll get a new one. – How? – The louse itself. It will grip the severed stump and become his new tongue. – Oh, hello, students. ♪ When it comes to tongues ♪ ♪ I’m just as good ♪ ♪ I can help you sing ♪ ♪ Or swallow your food ♪ – See, Jason? Just like you and Mindy, a perfect team. – Oh, my God. – If that fish wants a tongue, he’ll have to have a
cockroach living in his mouth for the rest of his life. – (in a muffled voice) Help me, please. This is a nightmare. – Okay, I get it. Parasites are gross,
and I should work hard instead of leeching off of others. Can we please go home? All this shit is freaking me out. – No. That’s the lesson at all. – What? – Look at this frog. – Kill me. – Oh, what the fuck? – Look at how tremendously fucked this frog is. It’s incredible, and it’s
all thanks to the aptly-named frog-mutating flatworm. – Kill me. – These mutated frogs are slower due to their extra limbs, and therefore, are more likely
to be eaten by predators, so the flatworm can continue its lifecycle in a second host. The parasite system works. Should we denounce it just because it causes others pain and looks stupid? – Yeah, duh. – Well, let me tell you about someone else who caused pain and looked stupid. – Do not say. – Jason.
– Jason. – Oh, come on. – But he’s still here, thriving, surviving. He’s gonna keep living, keep getting by, making dozens, no, hundreds of people miserable, but that’s never gonna slow him down. Okay, let’s go home. (fish screams) See how wildly inventive successful parasites are? And we didn’t even talk about the thousands that infect humans, the ones that make you so itchy you scratch yourselves to death, the ones that make your scrotum swell to the size of duffle bags, the fish that lodge themselves in your urethra. – Please, stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop. – If you wanted to convince
us that parasites are good, you didn’t. These are monsters, taking advantage of us. – It’s not about good and bad. It’s about successful. Some people estimate that the number of parasitic species outnumber free-living species four to one. This is their world, a world ruled by Jasons. – Bummer. – And that’s not all, pretty much every miserable
thing in the shitty, fucking universe is fucked, and has been fucked since time began. We experience mere islands of decency in a great sea of what the fuckery, and now, you get to spend
every detention learning what the fuck all this is. – She’s crazy. – Ah fuck, it sucks. – Free tapeworms for everyone. (screams) (upbeat music)