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CHECKING AIR INTAKES ON MOSQUITO WIGGLERS

We will become mosquito breeders for this project. During the season when mosquitos are breeding, we'll leave a jar of water outside where it won't be disturbed. Each day we will check it to see if there are little "wigglers" in the water. Some will be hanging from the surface of the water, and some will be moving through the water. The jar must have a screen immediately. A folded piece of cheesecloth (we can get it from the janitor) will fit over the top and can be secured with a sturdy rubber band.

Mosquito wigglers don't have gills, and so they need to come to the surface of the water to get air. (We will make sure that the water doesn't go all the way to the top of the jar; otherwise we couldn't get a good view of the surface.)

For this project, we will count the times a wiggler comes to the surface for air, in one minute, and note the amount of time (in seconds) that that wiggler stays under the water.

We can see that the wiggler hangs upside down in the water, and leaves his air tube just above the surface of the water.

--o0o--

Next, we will catch a large insect and look at it with a magnifying glass. Real scientists call this a "hand lens" because it is like a microscope, but you hold it in your hand, rather than placing that which you want to see onto a slide to view through a real microscope. We can look along the sides of the insect's body and find the openings there. These openings lead to tubes that go into the insect's body. Oxygen goes into the tubes, slowly, and then into the insect's bloodstream. They don't have to breathe, like we do. This system of getting oxygen is a characteristic of insects.

 
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