Monday, 9 August 2010

Do flies go paddling?



‘Mum? Do flies go paddling?’

‘Um, what?’

‘Do flies go paddling?’

‘Well - perhaps, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen any wearing wellies or swimsuits…’

This question was sprung on me whilst preparing breakfast this morning, and it led to a rather surreal discussion about what it would take for a fly to drown whilst ‘paddling’, the conclusion being that a huge wave of water catching the fly unawares would definitely cause one or two problems. The question also led to a rather less surreal and arguably more interesting discussion about those insects that have evolved to live at least some of the lives in water (without drowning!), such as mayflies, stone flies, caddis flies and dragonflies - all partially aquatic, and diving beetles, water boatmen, water scorpions and some species of springtail, which spend all stages of their lives in water. After succeeding in spending three-or-so minutes discussing some of the means of leading a fully aquatic life, unfortunately, the desire to consume a sweet-smelling bowl of cereal on the part of the Small Person soon took precedence. I guess that’s what happens when you’re only four-and-three-quarters!

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