Biology 3602A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 34: Komodo Dragon, Tergum, Insect Flight

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5 Aug 2016
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Review: 2 diff kinds of insect flight muscle: synchronous and asynchronous; 2 ways to
connect wings: direct and indirect
Indirect flight muscles are contained within the thorax of the animal but don’t attach to
the wings; they attach to parts of that thorax, changing the shape of that thorax causing
the wings to flap up and down
Usually asynchronous but sometimes synchronous
Thorax here is divided into a pot with a lid; you’ve got a large pot on the bottom and a
tergum “lid” on top, and the wings fit between the top and the bottom
Dorsoventral muscles contract and flatten out the tergum and that pushes the wings up,
and also puts some elastic energy into the tergum so that when these dorsoventral
muscles relax and the ant-post depressor muscles contract, the tergum pops up and the
wings go down
So not directly connected to wings; might not be advantage but it’s a different way (it’s
more evolved)
Continuing with inverts and how they move on land, 1 thing we find regardless of the
invert you look at is that they always have at least 3 legs on the ground at any given
time
Looking at an insect: have 6 legs; at 1 point of their walking motion, front leg on left
side, hind leg on the same side and middle leg on other side are on the ground while
the other ones are moving forward
Always 3 legs on the ground at any given time
There are many inverts with more than 6 legs (centipedes: put leg where previous leg
was)
How do insects move when they’re moving at diff speeds (slow or fast)?
Experiment: They put them on a treadmill and sped up the treadmill and looked at how
fast they like to run; when they’re running at diff speeds how does their movement / gait
differ?
2 preferred paces: 10 cm/s or 30 cm/s
Regardless of how fast they’re going they’re still using that alternating tripod gait
Just speeding the whole process up
So insects can’t gallop; they just walk faster
Posture in reptiles compared to mammals
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