Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Dragon in the Sky

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Dragonfly Infographic

Here is a brief infographic that gives a few of the interesting facts about the dragonfly.
I hope you will enjoy!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Survey says!

Click the paper to read all about it!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

SCUBA Anyone?

Last week I revealed that there are several other cast members that will grace the pages of my story… Due to the lack of parental involvement in dragonfly species, the main character for my story will need to rely on the surrounding beings that he/she encounters in life and along his/her migratory journey. Today, I will introduce to you one of those characters. However, the first matter of business is, to ask you, the public, if you have a preference for a male or female dragonfly in the leading role. Please take a moment to visit this link or my personal website and cast your vote.

Now, onto our first introduction… Dragonflies begin their lives in aquatic environments. In this first ecosystem, our main character will meet several living beings in this surrounding watery setting. Yet, one of these characters is a very special spider, the diving bell spider. It’s special in that it spends most of its life underwater, but not without the help of a very unique ability. In order for this spider to survive underwater it must carry with it an oxygen tank! This air supply is collected by trapping air in its abdominal hairs during brief visits to the surface and creating a bell-shaped web to act as an oxygen tank. This diving bell spider is known as Seymour (in honour of Roger Seymour one of the researchers that studied the oxygen dynamics the diving bell spider, Argyroneta aquatic). Now although Seymour would normally be the prey of dragonfly larvae, his distinctiveness will allow him to be a mentor to our main character. Seymour will be the guide that helps our dragonfly transition from his/her watery birthplace to the world above the surface…

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I love hearing all the ideas that you would like to contribute to this project. Please feel free to comment below. As always, I look forward to reading all your comments!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Fuxianhuia Who?

Who has heard of fuxhianhuiid? 

In 1995, an article about fuhianhuia gave a thorough description of their morphology. However, just this week scientist uncovered a spectacularly well-preserved specimen of
fuxhianhuiid. The structural qualities of this arthropod could help to shed light on the biological development of arthropods over time. And, from a quick glance we can see the stunning resemblance in morphology to several common present
arthropods, namely the dragonfly...

Dead Leaf Butterfly
Arthropods are members of the largest phylum (Arthropoda) in the animal kingdom. They make up over 80% of the Earth's species. As such a large group it is easy to see how they would have staggering diversity and adaptability among their members. The range in arthropod environmental adaptableness means that they are not limited to one particular environment. The extreme flexibility in this phylum has enabled them to propagate every liveable environment on this planet. They range from the terrestrial like most spiders, to the aquatic like the horseshoe crab (also known as the "living fossil") and roam the skies like the dead leaf butterfly. Some like the dragonfly live in all three environments...

The dragonfly is one of the most intriguing of the bunch since it inhabits all three of the planet's ecosystems. Most of the dragonflies we see as humans are adults in the final stages of their lives. However, their history on earth is one that dates back hundreds of millions of years. As a ravenous predator the dragonfly is a great population controller for various insects—mosquitoes are at the top of the list. They are also ecological markers for the health of a particular environment. Although we may not think that dragonflies require conservation efforts for the preservation of their species there are several ecological reserves around the world. These ecological reserves help preserve dragonfly populations that are being decimated as a result of habitat destruction through deforestation and pollution.

As I work on Beautiful Creatures, I am exploring these ecological themes, in addition to several other ideas, through the construction of various characters that the main protagonist, the dragonfly, will encounter through his or her life cycle. Dragonflies are mainly solitary creatures that maintain no parental involvement with their offspring. As such, each arthropod that our central character will meet will impart valuable knowledge so that they can make their way to their final migratory destination. There are numerous roles up for grabs and casting is just beginning with a few key players... 

Feel free to comment below if there are any characters that you think would be crucial to contributing, or even hindering, our dragonfly’s journey.

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