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Could Insects Reach the Size of Humans?

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35 replies to this topic

#16    dharma warrior

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

I just killed a cockroach. Squashed it with my foot.
Glad I didn't have to resort to hand to hand combat.


#17    Nathan DiYorio

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

View Postdraconis, on 22 October 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

Now, ive been thinking about this one for years, what the scientists should do is, in a "very" controlled environment, build somewhat of a bioshere/habitation module with X% of oxygen and sufficient nutrients, and put various insects/arachnids in said "controlled" environment, from say, a larval stage and watch and see how big they really could get. I know this sounds like the premise of some sort of scifi/horror.. But i reckon we'd see some promising results.

I saw an experiment like this performed somewhere, I forget where exactly. It may have actually been a link from the main site at some point. Anyways, they used a controlled aquatic environment with higher portions of oxygen and raised some piranha in there. The fish ended up growing three times as large as they normally would.

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#18    Cherry-

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:13 PM

1) ew. 2) ew. and 3) ew!


#19    Arbitran

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:05 PM

In our modern atmosphere? No. Insects can't grow to human size; it's just biologically impossible. People don't seem to think about the fact that scaling a thing doesn't mean that it can keep its structure at larger scales. A human-sized insect (retaining its proportions) wouldn't be able to move, as its legs would be too weak, its head and thorax too heavy; it wouldn't be able to breathe, given it would need a far greater amount of oxygen than is ever thought to have existed on this planet.


#20    Child of Bast

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:42 PM

View Postdharma warrior, on 22 October 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

I just killed a cockroach. Squashed it with my foot.
Glad I didn't have to resort to hand to hand combat.

LMAO!

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#21    Sundew

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:23 PM

We don't need bigger insects, we need bigger shrimp, crabs and lobsters! (Pass the cocktail sauce!)


#22    Sufjan

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

Just build a biosphere and wait. It's not like they're going to evolve based on the multiplied oxygen and then escape into the real world. :D

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#23    skookum

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:54 AM

View PostAlex Smith, on 22 October 2012 - 09:42 PM, said:

Just build a biosphere and wait. It's not like they're going to evolve based on the multiplied oxygen and then escape into the real world. :D

(the start of a horrormovie)

Think they tried this and worked in getting them larger.

http://www.scienceda...01029132924.htm

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#24    Ashyne

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Instead of insects growing smaller due to lack of oxygen and growing larger with more oxygen due to limitations of their trachea, why don't they develop a more efficient breathing system that is able to better utilise the low oxygen without overall body size being shrunk?


#25    DieChecker

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:20 PM

View PostStill Waters, on 21 October 2012 - 02:07 PM, said:

Director Edgar Wright, known for movies such as "Shaun of the Dead," announced earlier this week he would be making a movie about Ant-Man, a comic superhero who can shrink to the size of an ant and communicate with his formic brethren, according to the news site Grantland. If it's anything like the comic, it will also feature ants as big as humans, which got us thinking: Could ants be as big as people? And why aren't insects bigger than they are?

The short answer is, researchers don't know exactly, although there are several hypotheses as to why insects and other arthropods don't get bigger....

http://www.livescien...not-bigger.html

It's just as well they can't! :D
The cool thing about Ant-Man is that his powers totally ignore physics. He can shrink or grow, from small enough to not be able to be seen (microscopic) to being as tall as a 20 story building. And he can do that same trick with just about anything.... plant, animal, mineral...

I thought that scientists did an experiment with oxygen levels with flys of some kind, where some of the eggs from one fly were put in control conditions and hatched and appeared normal, and another group that was put in high oxygen and was 25% or some such thing, large on average. It was a significant percentage larger.

I'm pretty sure that the giant scorpion was a "water scorpion" and not a land scorpion, and so was breathing water, which is a different set of variables that limitis the size.

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#26    draconis

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

Im sure someone could do an experiment at home, a few scuba tanks filled with oxygen, a big enough sealed plexiglass box/enclosure, some food and some spiders (or whatever suits your fancy).. Hey presto an oxygen rich, controlled(ish) environment, Much richer than that piddly 31% oxygen. See how big they can get in that habitat?

Edited by draconis, 24 October 2012 - 09:49 AM.


#27    The Unseen

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:13 AM

View PostKing Fluffs, on 21 October 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

I wouldn't like human sized spiders...
Oh god... that gives me an idea.

EDIT - I know why they don't grow bigger.
In my biology classes (several years ago) I was taught that they have open (or it may have been closed) circulation systems and so alot of oxygen would have to be in the environment in order for them to grow to massive proportions.
You are one smart person,I went to a pestcontrol class to get my licence,and that was one part of the lesson,If they had an open circulation system the oxygen would allow them to grow in such a manner that they would look at us like meals,not that ticks and mosquitoes don't already do.They would grow way beyond our own imagination and being that they outnumber us a million to one we would be on the indanger list.Makes my skin crawl.

Edited by The Unseen, 26 October 2012 - 04:13 AM.


#28    Shiloh17

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:40 AM

Just gotta have bigger windshields.


#29    The Unseen

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 06:00 AM

View Postdharma warrior, on 22 October 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

I just killed a cockroach. Squashed it with my foot.
Glad I didn't have to resort to hand to hand combat.
You are so right.My hand to hand training only showed me how to fight humans,dont know what would happen if the thing i was fighting had six arms.Eeeeeeee No Way.And I think our small arms would only make them a little angry and not to mention a can of raid would only make matters worse buy them asking for more.


#30    Jinxdom

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:20 AM

Great now all I can picture is mad scientists making earth in to an even worse(I say worse but love the movie) version of Starship Troopers.






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