Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Bug Bytes: Tiger Beetles

Feb 5, 2019
Tiger beetle.
Missoula Insectarium

Imagine a grizzly bear that can run over 135 miles per hour.

Obviously, a grizzly can’t run that fast, but factoring in their smaller size, that’s what tiger beetles are to their potential prey.

Bug Bytes: Parthenogenesis – Walking Sticks

Feb 5, 2019
Austrailian walking sticks.
Missoula Insectarium

When it comes to finding a potential mate for female Australian walking sticks, they can afford to “swipe left” all day.

That’s because many species of walking sticks (or phasmids) are parthenogenic, meaning they can successfully produce offspring without needing to mate. This is a form of asexual reproduction where the growth and development of an embryo occurs without fertilization.

Bug Bytes: Thar She Glows – Scorpions

Feb 5, 2019
All scorpions glow a beautiful blue-green color under ultraviolet light.
Missoula Insectarium

There are nearly 2,000 species of scorpions in the world. And while individual species may live thousands of miles apart, they have one thing in common: they glow a beautiful blue-green color under ultraviolet light.

A thin, transparent film in the outermost layer of their exoskeleton contains a protein that glows when exposed to ultraviolet rays, which are found in regular sunlight.

Bug Bytes: Dragonflies

Feb 5, 2019
Missoula Insectarium

Beware the dragonfly – This is great advice if you are just about any other flying insect, because dragonflies are incredible predators that rule the buggy skies.

They are considered some of the best hunters in the insect world. Thanks to a combination of amazing eyesight and maneuverability, they catch whatever prey they set their sights on 95 percent of the time.

Bug Bytes: Can You Hear Me Now?

Feb 5, 2019
Praying mantis.
Missoula Insectarium

Praying mantids are among some of our best-known and well-liked insects. Part of their popularity comes from the fact that:

  • They can be found in all of the lower 48 states, so you’ve likely had an encounter with one at some time.
  • They are more animated than other insect species, moving in ways that are almost human-like.
  • And they’ve also been popularized by being featured in movies like "A Bug’s Life," "Kung Foo Panda," and "Goosebumps" to name a few.

Bug Bytes: Sheer Numbers

Feb 5, 2019
Goldsmith beetles (Cotalpa lanigera). At any given time, there are an estimated one billion billion arthropods (that’s insects, arachnids, millipedes, centipedes and crustaceans) alive on earth.
Missoula Insectarium

As described by Edward O. Wilson — who is perhaps the best known American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author — invertebrates are: "The Little Things That Run the World." And indeed they do, in so many ways.

Some diseases are contagious.
Pixabay (public domain) / Pixabay

Hi! I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic family physician. I’m here today with health tips for kids about being contagious.

Whenever kids are sick, the first thing that other people, like teachers or parents or even your friends, want to know is ‘are you contagious?’ That means they’re wondering if they might catch what you have.

GMOs: The Food Guys Remain Skeptical

Feb 3, 2019
Flickr user, ElizaIO. (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys, Greg Patent and Jon Jackson, don't trust the claims of agribusiness regarding the safety and importance of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. "The industry asserts it's like natural plant breeding. But anytime you insert genes from one species into another, you're disrupting the entire genetic structure of the organism. Putting a bacterial gene into a rat or a plant might have long-term effects on the physiology of the rat or the plant," says Greg.

Scott Parker

"A Way Home" is a love letter to Oregon and an ode to living in the present moment. Living for several years in Minnesota, Scott Parker finds himself longing for the Oregon of his youth. He explores this longing by returning to his home state both over the course several visits and through the unfolding of memory, to find out what he is capable of understanding about time, home, and himself.

Snow Fleas

Every autumn I begin to wonder – where do all the bugs go? Unlike people, and other warm-blooded critters that can maintain a consistent internal temperature, insects cannot. So, you might wonder, what do insects do to survive the cold?