Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acorn weevils doing what they do

Our sophomore level course, Evolution and Population Biology, has been looking at parasite rates in red and white oak acorns for several years. Now we're collecting the larvae and hopefully learning how to get them to species using DNA bar coding. 

The larvae look much like maggots but they're not and they eat acorn flour. The amazing thing about these guys is that they can consume tannins without any ill effects. If we were to eat acorns, we would die quickly since tannins bind to proteins and keep them from being absorbed. 

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