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The Stomach Bug (3:30)

A stop-motion animation telling a short story of an insect's affliction.

c. 2017


The main character (a cricket afflicted by a devious hairworm parasite) waits at the local doctor's office with two other characters - a specific honey bee, and a deathwatch beetle.

The bee is a particular specimen of the Austrian scientist Karl Von Frisch, who discovered much about communication and sensory perception in bees, as well as that, if you cut a bee in half as it is sipping nectar, it will continue to attempt to fill up until it dies, while the liquid drains out from behind. 

The deathwatch beetle is a wood-boring beetle. These creatures spend many years in the dark, living in the small tunnel it chews inside a tree or wooden beam, such as one in a house or piece of furniture. When it finally emerges in its adult form, it has no mouthparts - it cannot eat. It has about three weeks to live and reproduce before it will die of starvation. So the beetle searches for a mate with a signal - a repeated tapping sound made by banging its head on the ground or walls. A miserable existence indeed: concussed and starving, this particular death watch beetle has decided to seek help. You can hear a fantastic podcast about deathwatch beetles on Radiolab here

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