At the BioX science day today; we setup a PrakashLab booth where everyone could come and talk to lab members. Although; things started slowly – eventually it picked up pace. During this time; Christine caught a fantastic sample which – from first glance – looked like an ant. It was alive and stuck to tape in a paper slide. Take a look yourself.
The tail acts like a little spring, which gets tucked under the legs. At the right moment – the tail (spring) is released leading to a massive jump equivalent to a human being jumping as high as an Eiffel Tower.
Can you imagine just standing on your feet, and thinking of jumping a 5-6 level (~ Eiffel Tower) tall building. But in terms of body length; springtails do this jump with almost no effort.
Shout out to Christine Kurihara; another Foldscope user for discovering and carefully mounting this incredible sample. Here is a little clip of when/where she found it.
In the past, I have also shared another species of spring tails that jump on the surface of water – you might enjoy comparing notes between these two species:
INaturalist cross post here: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3432705
Ps: David Attenborough – a hero for every naturalist; has a tiny segment on spring tail jumps. It’s shot so well, that I could not resist sharing it. Next time; I have to look for this “grooming fluid dispenser”!! Once you see this video, life will never be the same again.