Tiny water creatures

2008-08-14 00:00

Springtails are minute creatures that few people can claim to have noticed. These fascinating animals belong to a group called Collembola and while some scientists consider them to be insects, they are often classified in a group all on their own.

I have come this far without mentioning the reason they are called springtails, so I need to put that right. These tiny creatures are excellent jumpers. Another of my books states that springtails can leap eight inches‚ — that’s 20 centimetres. For an animal of this size that is almost unbelievable. That’s about 200 times their body length and equivalent to a human jumping 400 metres. Be that as it may, it’s the way they jump that is really interesting.

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