Kids amazed

Last week I teamed up with CASME for two days of educational outreach at the American Corner in Bessie Head Library, Pietermaritzburg. Talking about biodiversity with about 150 high school kids was so much fun. Are you wondering what they are all getting so excited about? Science! Nature! Insects! Genetics!

stalk eyed flies
Stalk-eyed flies sizing each other up.

Insects are full of surprises, and there are so many of them, that one can never run out of fresh, interesting material. For example, we kind of know about courtship displays in birds. We may have seen male impalas battling it out to win the favour of their ladies. We know mammals feed their young with milk. But courtship, territorial battles and suckling of young – in flies???

The children were riveted by the idea that female aphids make ‘photocopies’ of themselves, then giving birth to these clones, which already have the next generation developing inside them. I mean, that’s just CRAZY!