Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lord of Antarctica

Meet the Antarctic midge, literally the world's coolest bug.
OK, I know I publish a lot of strange stuff in this blog, and this is one of them.

Did you know there is only one insect native to Antarctica?

Neither did I until Twitter.

Among the things that batter my consciousness every work day are the pop-ups from "TweetDeck," a program that allows me to follow and sort Tweets in all sorts of interesting ways.

One of the tweeters I followed on a whim is called OMG facts.

I will confess that I consider the "facts" part of their name dubious at times, but this one caught my eye.

I checked it out on several sites, including one called the Encyclopedia of Life, or EOL, and it seems to be true.

This remarkable insect is called the "Antarctic midge" and, as you might expect, it is a species with some remarkable characteristics.

Here is the EOL entry:
The midge is flightless, which probably helps it stay put during the high winds that can buffet the area. It can withstand being frozen, and nearly complete dehydration (just add water and it pops back).

Their lifespan is about two years - all but the last ten days are spent as a juvenile. Those last ten days are important, though. In that time they must find a mate and have eggs laid for the next generation.
It's other remarkable characteristic is that it is the only animal species in Antarctica that does not spent at least some of its life in the ocean, making it the Lord of the Frozen Land.

And why am I sharing this with you, you would be right to ask.

I have no other answer for you than to say I think it's kind of cool...or perhaps I should say interesting.

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