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Carpenter Bees Stab Flowers to Steal Their Nectar

4m 2s

With their short tongues, Valley carpenter bees can’t easily drink the nectar from tubular flowers. So they use powerful mandibles to slice into the blooms and steal it. It’s called nectar robbing, since the plants don’t get the benefit of being pollinated by these enormous bees.

Episodes

  • Carpenter Bees Stab Flowers to Steal Their Nectar: asset-original

    Carpenter Bees Stab Flowers to Steal Their Nectar

    S9 E10 - 4m 2s

    With their short tongues, Valley carpenter bees can’t easily drink the nectar from tubular flowers. So they use powerful mandibles to slice into the blooms and steal it. It’s called nectar robbing, since the plants don’t get the benefit of being pollinated by these enormous bees.

  • Don't Go Chasing Water Bugs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Don't Go Chasing Water Bugs

    S9 E9 - 3m 49s

    Giant water bugs — aka "toe-biters" — pack one of the most painful bites of any insect. But they make the best dads ever. Rather than leaving the survival of his eggs to chance, dad will haul them around piggyback style for weeks, until they hatch right off his back.

  • This Freaky Fruit Fly Lays Eggs in Your Strawberries: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Freaky Fruit Fly Lays Eggs in Your Strawberries

    S9 E8 - 4m 33s

    The spotted wing drosophila may look like a common fruit fly, but it’s so much worse. Just as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are ripening in the field, this fly saws into them and lays her eggs inside. The growing maggots turn the fruit into a mushy mess. Could a wasp and its own hungry maggots save the day?

  • Silkworms Spin Cocoons That Spell Their Own Doom: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Silkworms Spin Cocoons That Spell Their Own Doom

    S9 E7 - 5m 13s

    Those precious silk garments in your closet were made by the caterpillars of a fuzzy white moth – thousands of them. Silkworms spin a cocoon with a single strand of silk up to 10 city blocks long. Humans have bred these insects into weaving machines that can no longer survive in the wild.

  • Barnacles Go To Unbelievable Lengths to Hook Up: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Barnacles Go To Unbelievable Lengths to Hook Up

    S9 E6 - 3m 58s

    Acorn barnacles might look like jagged little rocks at low tide, but they have a surprisingly wild sex life. These crusty little animals — related to crabs and shrimp — have the longest penis of any animal relative to their body size. It’s up to eight times the length of the barnacle itself!

  • Honeypot Ants Turn Their Biggest Sisters Into Jugs of Nectar: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Honeypot Ants Turn Their Biggest Sisters Into Jugs of Nectar

    S9 E5 - 4m 36s

    Deep in their underground nests, honeypot ants stuff members of their own colony until they look like golden water balloons. Drop by drop, worker ants deliver nectar and other liquid food into their largest sisters’ mouths. When food is scarce in the desert, the colony will feed from these living storage tanks, known as repletes.

  • The Vinegaroon Sprays Acid to Foil Its Foes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Vinegaroon Sprays Acid to Foil Its Foes

    S9 E4 - 4m 25s

    The vinegaroon – also known as a whip scorpion – looks like a Frankenstein creation of monster body parts. But unlike true scorpions, it doesn’t use venom to defend itself from predators. Instead, it aims its tail at their face and sprays a blast of acid that reeks of – you guessed it – vinegar. Only this weaponized vinegar is 16 times stronger than what’s in your salad.

  • This Mushroom Tricks Flies By Faking Its Own Death: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This Mushroom Tricks Flies By Faking Its Own Death

    S9 E3 - 4m 31s

    The cage fungus looks and smells like decaying meat — on purpose. Its goopy lattice gives off a rotten odor that attracts flies, which help spread its spores far and wide. It’s like a bee to a flower, but way more macabre and putrid.

  • Flying Termites Take a Dangerous Journey to a New Life: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Flying Termites Take a Dangerous Journey to a New Life

    S9 E2 - 5m 12s

    After the first big rain, western subterranean termites swarm by the thousands. Hungry ants, spiders and birds pick them off as they emerge from the soil. The survivors fly off to find mates, and quickly drop their delicate wings to start new underground colonies. If you’re really unlucky, they’ll build tubes of mud and saliva from their nest to yours.

  • These Stick Insects Are Three Times Weirder Than You Think: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    These Stick Insects Are Three Times Weirder Than You Think

    S9 E1 - 4m 59s

    The Australian walking stick is a master of deception, but a twig is just one of its many disguises. Before it’s even born, it mimics a seed. In its youth it looks and acts like an ant. Only when it has grown up does it settle into its final, leafy form. Along the way, it fools predators at every turn.

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