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Why Do Pill Bugs Die on Their Backs?

Rain: Hi Danny, Why do pill bugs die on their backs?

Danny: In fact, not only dead pill bugs would lie on their backs, most of the bugs would do the same thing as pill bugs when their lives had fled. The main reason is that dead bugs do not have the energy to maintain the standing position anymore, thus lying on their backs which were more stable and occupied more area compared with other parts of the body, would be the best choice. Moreover, there is fluid flowing in the living bug’s body, but when they died, the joined legs shrinking to the abdomen would not support the body as a result of the loss of flowing fluid. So, it is common that a dead bug lay on the back at the very end of its life.

对胡雨凝“死鼠妇为什么是’躺’着的”问题的解答

胡雨凝:段老师,为什么鼠妇死了以后,大都会躺在地上?

段老师:实际上,并非只有死鼠妇如此,大部分虫子在它们的生命消逝后,都会保持这种背朝地面朝天的姿势。最主要的原因在于此时的虫子体内不再提供保持站立姿势的能量了,后背相对于身体其他部分来说,面积最大,也最稳定,以后背着地是最佳选择。另外,活虫子的体内有体液在涌动,但当它们死去,体液的流动停止,附肢中缺少体液的充盈,会萎缩贴于腹部,不再能够撑住身体。所以你经常能看到死虫子躺着的现象了。

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参考资料

1.  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/questions/question/3413/  Naked scientists 

2. http://insects.about.com/od/insects101/fl/Why-Do-Bugs-Die-On-Their-Backs.htm About Education

3. http://www.livescience.com/33334-dead-bugs-lying-on-back.html Live Science

4. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/ask-smithsonian/ask-smithsonian-why-do-bugs-die-on-their-ba/?no-ist (Video)

5. http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/dead-bug-sleeping-hand/ (Audio)

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