Learning Through the Lens of Dragonflies

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ENTOMOLOGY: Dragonfly

The Secrets of Nature has a 50min film on the dragonfly. In “Sky Hunters, The World of the Dragonfly,” get an overview of this amazing flying insect, which begins it’s life underwater and is one of the most skilled predators on earth. “This film presents dragonflies as they have never been seen before. Fascinating close up shots take us into the world of these insects, which have lived on earth since the age of the dinosaurs’. Spectacular super slow motion shots and elaborate computer animation uncover, for the first time, how dragonflies capture their prey at lightning speed while flying and how they mate in the air. Underwater photography reveals the development of the predatory dragonfly larvae, while time-lapse sequences show the emergence of the fully grown insect.”

ENTOMOLOGY: Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Benthic freshwater macroinvertebrates are animals without backbones visible with the naked eye, which living on the bottoms of waterways. These animals include beetles, crayfish, snails, and dragonflies! In this Deep Look video, “A Baby Dragonfly’s Mouth Will Give You Nightmares,” discover dragonflies in the aquatic states and learn about their adaptations in their underwater form.

NEUROSCIENCE: Dragonfly

“Dragonflies can catch prey with near-perfect accuracy, the best among all predators. But how does something with so few neurons achieve such prowess?” In this episode of TED, “How a dragonfly’s brain is designed to kill,” neuroscientist Greg Gage and his colleagues conduct neuroscience experiments on a “shoestring budget” to “explore how a dragonfly unerringly locks onto its prey and captures it within milliseconds.”

METAMORPHOSIS: Dragonflies

“The colorful, acrobatic dragonfly may seem familiar, but this stunning macro film reveals the mysteries behind its metamorphic life cycle—and some surprising adaptations.” Check it out in this National Geographic video, “The Secret World of Dragonflies.

ART STUDIES: Dragonflies

Dragonflies can inspire learning about natural history, ecology, entomology, mythology, and art! Here are a few tutorial videos to learn about origami, watercolor painting, and sketching through the lens of the dragonfly! Take these new skills, learn about dragonflies at home, and then step outside this summer to study them in their natural habitat.

[Photo credit: (cc) Michele Dorsey Walfred]

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