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The Caterpillar in the Cup

Submitted by akoundinya on Fri, 09/08/2017 - 15:33

The organism appears to be a worm of a white-tan color with a segmented body. It has a brown head and a curled tail. It also appears to be the larval state of some sort of flying insect such as a moth or butterfly. For movement, the worm has 3 pairs of legs under the upper torso area right below its head. These 6 legs move constantly and allow the worm's upper body segments to move around. In the middle to lower torso, the worm has 4 pairs of legs that don't move as constantly. When the worm climbed on the ruler, it became apparent that the the middle 4 pairs of legs provide a type of suctioning support that allows the worm to stick to the surface of a leaf despite gravity. The worm usually stays in a somewhat curled state, most likely as a strategy to become less visible to potential predators. However, it its fully extended state, the worm was approximately 2 cm in length. The worm has tiny hairs all along the length of its body. These hairs allow for sensory detection of the environment and allows the worm to react to stimuli that it cannot see. The worm reacts quickly to touch and becomes visibly agitated and moves away from stimuli. The worm does not have any features that look like eyes but I assume that even if it has eyes on the front of its head, the worm relies on the hairlike structures for the majority of it's enviromental awareness.  

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Comments

I like that there are a lot of anatomical descriptions of this worm; the reader can definitely get a sense of what the worm looks like and even some of its behavioral tendencies. I think that the 2 cm should be kept as 20 mm since we used a ruler that was in mm to measure the worm. 

I like that you focus on the specific movements of the specimine in such great detail. It's really easy to imagine exactly what you were seeing. I think you could have focused more on specific physoilogical observations. You could talk more about its locomotion or now you determined that the hairs specifically are used for sensory. You assume that it does not have functional eyes but can still move away from objects in its path. How do you know that it is not seeing them? Great paragraph overall!