Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Manduca goes aquatic!!

Caterpillar locomotion is slow and quasi-static. However, it is very robust over a wide range of environmental conditions. In addition to maneuvering in highly branched vegetation, caterpillars can burrow underground and even crawl underwater. In my experiment, water submersion converts gravity into buoyancy and increases the external pressure by a factor of two. Nevertheless, a Manduca 5th instar caterpillar can continue to function up to ~3min before the hypoxia kicks in.

1 comment:

  1. Robust worms!