Sunday, October 20, 2013

fly bubbles?

I often say that nature is not always pretty, but it's always interesting.

The more time I spend looking into its processes, the more I'm amazed. After a lifetime of marvels, I'm still marveled almost daily.

My friend Rex McDaniel always finds the most interesting things as well. In this case, he sent me the above photo and asked, "Why do flies blow bubbles?" 

I had no idea they were so talented. Isn't flying alone enough?

As it turns out they blow clear or even opaque bubbles. I knew that some flies had an interesting way of eating. Digestion takes place externally. When they find food—say a bread crumb—they regurgitate essentially stomach acids on the morsel. It's then broken down into a liquid and the fly sucks it up like a bread crumb milkshake. (Flavor of the month at your local Tastee Dog.)

One theory has it that flies blow bubbles to eliminate some of the liquid in the pre-digested food, while holding onto the nutrients it contained. I assume it's too hard to fly so bulked up by extra fluid. For a fly to fly, even a teardrop would weigh too much.

Not pretty, but certainly interesting.

Thanks, Rex!

No comments: