Jumat, 07 Oktober 2011

Firewater Friday - Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down

When I was a kid I thought that Mexican jumping beans werethe coolest things. What could be neater than a little bean that bouncesaround?

Okay, so I was an easily amused child.  I admit it. 

They usually came in a little clear plastic boxes with ffour or five beans in them.  They areabout the size of a kernel of corn or a small bean.  Picture a little bean that moves a fractionof an inch every 15 seconds or so . . . pretty exciting stuff, huh? That'sabout as exciting as jumping beans get.

It wasn’t until I found out what they really were . . .  and what mad them jump . . . that they became lesscool.  WAY less cool.  Icky even.

The thing that makes these beans jump is a tiny mothlarvae that lives inside the bean. The moth lays its eggs in the flower ofthe plant, and the eggs are incorporated into the seeds. The larvae then eatout the interior of the bean and live there. When the larvae move, so does thebean. Eventually, the larvae turn into moths that emerge from the beans torepeat the cycle.  Unless, of course,their stuck in a little airless plastic box . . . then they justsuffocate.  

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