24 September 2017


Another blog entry inspired by a crossword puzzle clue.  If I had spent all day pondering 8-letter words describing a praying mantis, I would never have some up with this one.  So I had to Ask An Entomologist:
Why do Mantids Only Have One Ear?

Mantids only have one ear, located in the middle of their [chest between the] middle and hind legs. It’s split in half, but both halves function as a single unit. There’s a single neuron which connects them, and it fires if either half ‘hears’ anything. In essence, they only have one ear. 
This is followed by speculation about why the structure evolved this way.  And one anecdote:
"Taylor Swift’s first job was picking mantis egg cases off Christmas trees to keep them from hatching in the houses of customers."
You learn something every day.


  1. I wondered about this myself, but didn't bother to look it up, as that was what fir in the puzzle. Thank you for being more diligent than I.

  2. I did that puzzle, too. I figured it was a membrane on the top of its head, or something. Thanks for looking it up!


    1. Actually, monomal (is that a word?) sensory organs are not unknown:



    2. http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2011/02/cyclops.html


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