From Xplor for Kids
May 2015 Issue

Predator Vs. Prey: Dragonfly Nymph vs. Treefrog Tadpole

Publish Date

May 01, 2015

Booster Rocket 3, 2, 1, takeoff!

Dragonfly nymphs rocket forward on jets of water shot out of their bottoms. Oddly enough, their breathing gills are also located where the sun doesn’t shine.

Underwater Assassins

Long before dragonflies take to the skies, baby dragonflies (called nymphs) slowly develop underwater. During this early life stage, dragonflies are one of nature’s underwater assassins with killer skills and fantastical body parts.

Flying Face Harpoon

Whack! The dragonfly can shoot its alien-looking lower jaw forward in a flash. It does this by boosting the pressure inside its body in the same way you puff out your cheeks.

Bigger, Faster

Tadpoles grow bigger tails when the water’s full of critters that are trying to eat them. They swim faster, and the bigger tails lure bites away from their head and body.

Red Means Stop

Cope’s gray treefrog tadpoles develop red tails to try to slow down dragonfly nymphs in pursuit — a lastditch effort to stay alive by signaling, “Don’t eat me! I don’t taste good.”

and the winner is…

What could be tastier than a tadpole toodling through the water? Whack! The big tadpole’s speed, strength, and slippery skedaddle couldn’t outrun and outwriggle the dragonfly nymph’s ninjalike nabbers.

Also in this issue

Get Out!

Don't miss the chance to discover nature at these fun events!

Into The Wild: Glade

Dry, rocky glades are home to sun-loving plants and animals found nowhere else in Missouri.

Warning Signs

These creatures use color to keep predators away.

Nature's Gravediggers

American burying beetles have an interesting way of raising a family.

Strange but True

Your guide to all the unusual, unique and unbelieveable stuff that goes on in nature.

How To: Use a Map and Compass

What happens when the batteries conk out on your GPS?

This Issue's Staff:

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White

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Xplor: May/June 2015

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