British photographer and filmmaker Levon Biss is best known for his shots of famous athletes, but his passion for nature changed the focus of his most recent project from people to insects. What started as a side project at home with his son has turned into a full-fledged art project for his many fans to enjoy. Biss’ “Microsculpture” project is a unique study of insects through photography with each subject magnified to incredible levels, letting viewers see each insect in striking detail, revealing the often unnoticed beauty in insects. Call the New Jersey Pest Experts today for a free pest inspection!
Biss’ project began with him and his son capturing insects out in the wild. To create the stunning photographs in his project, Biss took each insect and pinned them to a black background. For each shot he used a 36 megapixel Nikon D810 fit with a 10x microscope objective, all working through a 200mm prim lens. These aren’t simple single photographs of insects pinned to a black sheet. Each picture is actually composed of 8-10,000 different individual shots of the specimen. Biss lit up and photographed the different segments of each specimen separately with strobe lights, which was designed to highlight the micro sculptural beauty of each particular section. These images are photographed “stacked”, so as to maintain sharp focus throughout each segment photographed. These thousands of separate shots are then combined into one single high-resolution file, creating an incredibly detailed and beautifully colored and lit photograph of the entire insect. You can see the tiniest changes in textures and color, and every section of the insect is photographed in perfect detail to produce an amazing image of the entire insect. I never thought I would be calling a picture of a lowly beetle beautiful, but they definitely are when seen in this manner.
What other insect inspired works of art really touch your soul and give you a new look at those tiny insects we usually ignore when going about our daily lives?
Missiles Laced With The Zika Virus Could Become A New Warfare Tactic |Pest Control New Jersey
It seems that there already exists a variety of ways to kill people, but spreading disease as a method of fighting wars is not something new to humanity. The term is “biological warfare,” and this form of warfare, although not yet perpetrated on a large scale by any government body or terrorist organization, is generally agreed upon by experts to result in mass amounts of civilian deaths. However, For Pest Control New Jersey Call us today!
NATO commander and retired US Admiral, James Stavridis, is making public his concern over the use of such destructive weapons. If a missile that is laced with Zika were to be launched into a major metropolitan area, the world could see an epidemic that would be comparable to the Spanish influenza outbreak from the early 20th century. Imagine if any of these biological weapons wound up in the hands of terrorists. So thanks to mosquitoes, the world has been introduced to a more efficient method of mass killing.
Do you think that using insect-borne diseases as a form of warfare will become a source of even greater fear and anxiety than nuclear weapons?
Cockroach Eating Contests Are A Thing, And They Can Be Tragic | New Jersey Cockroach Control
Numerous people, in the past and present, have entered contests where they compete to see who can consume the most food. We have heard of pie-eating contests and maybe hotdog-eating contest, but what about insect eating contests, or more specifically, cockroach eating contests? I am sure that no prize in the world could get me to enter a roach-eating contest, but some people enter the contests just for fun. However, as one case from a few years back shows us, these roach-eating contests can be a deadly game.
Back in 2013 a man named Edward Archibald, died from what still looks to be a result of his vast consumption of roaches. Archibald died shortly following his win at a local roach-eating contest near Miami, Florida. However, no other contestants became sick. Not only that, but an entomologist, Michael Adams, claims that the consumption of cockroaches, no matter how many consumed, cannot result in a fatality. Whatever the cause may be, the tragic fact of Archibald’s death remains a source of grief for many people, but at least he won the contest.
Have you ever eaten a bug either deliberately or by mistake?
If someone asked you which type of insect was the toughest of all insects, you might remember the cockroach as being a nearly indestructible organism. Actually roaches do not even come close to the durability of the tiny arthropod that is commonly known as a “water bear”.
Despite being only half a millimeter in length the water bear is generally recognized among experts as being among the most durable organisms that exists today. The water bear has been found in just about every type of environment that you could imagine. For example, these tiny bugs have been spotted thriving in freezing cold mountaintops, the rainforest, the arctic and even the deep sea. These bugs can obviously withstand extreme temperatures with no problem. In fact, the water bear can withstand temperatures ranging from -450 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If that is not impressive enough, the water bear can even survive a full ten years without food. I think it is fair to say that this bug will be around long after humans have left.
Can you think of any other animal/s that can build populations under any type of climatic condition?
Can Insects Sense Pain? | Horizon Pest Control
So can a creature as simple as an insect experience the physical sensation of pain? Can insects anticipate pain? According to Matan Shelomi, an entomologist, insects can sense damage being done to them, but they don’t experience emotional distress as a result of such damage. Insects also cannot recall past injuries that well, and there is an evolutionary advantage to the lack of attention that bugs pay to their own injuries.
The lifespan of an insect is not a long one, and therefore it is advantageous for an insect to avoid spending too much time wallowing in its own pain. It is also a good thing for insects that they rapidly forget about severe damage to their bodies because insects need to spend their precious time trying to reproduce. The rate of insect reproduction would decrease sharply if every insect took a week to rest and heal every time it sustained an injury. In other words, the feeling of pain is only felt in animals with long lifespans and animals that can put off mating until their health has returned.
Are there any examples in nature of either spiders or insects resorting to methods of self-care after sustaining an injury?
After a spider was spotted in a shipping container a panic ensued. Ten different firefighters, all decked out in HAZMAT suits, were dispatched to the alleged location of the very important spider. So why all fear over a single spider that a person only claimed to have spotted? Looking for New Jersey Spider Control Experts? Call us today for a free estimate!
Well, the arachnid in question was, after all, the Brazilian wandering spider. These spiders produce a venom that can ultimately destroy a human male’s ability to achieve an erection, so now you can understand the HAZMAT suits.
The BWS transmits a venom through its bite that will cause a painful erection that won’t subside naturally. Even after a few hours of avoiding treatment, the male genitalia can become completely nonfunctional. If that horrific scenario is not enough to make you cringe, then it must be mentioned that bite victims can straight up die from the venom’s resulting oxygen depriving effects on the human body. I think that it is great that people today are becoming less fearful of spiders and insect, but when it comes to humans’ relationship to the wandering spider, I don’t think humans will embrace this particular arachnid.
Are there any other arthropods that possess venom that induces sexual dysfunction?
The European Union recently gave the “green light” for the authorization of using insect proteins for fish feed. This is a major step forward for advocates of using insects for animal feed, and promising step towards the development of a formal insect production sector. The legislation will take effect starting the spring of 2017. The hope is that this first step towards using insects as feed will encourage officials to authorize insects to be used for feed for other animals such as pigs and chicken in the near future. This is the first step to really legitimizing and using insects for animal feed, which will bring with it huge benefits for our environment as well as world food security. For one thing, the current practice of trawling for fishmeal in our oceans is very destructive to the environment. Insects are also much cheaper to farm, meaning their further introduction into our food ingredients could make feeding our poorest members of society much easier and possible. Even if we don’t directly eat insects, but rather simply use them as feed, that will make farming our animals cheaper and in the process give us the ability to feed more people for less money. It seems like a win-win situation to me.
Would you support insects being used for animal feed?
Many convicts being held in an Australian jail have taken up a new hobby to pass their time, which involves milking the venom from the well-known native spider known as the “redback spider.” Obviously the convicts are bored and looking to pass the time with any old activity, but spider milking is a new one to me. However, it must be mentioned that the prisoners are extracting the venom of the redback solely to become intoxicated by its venom. Now that is pretty resourceful coming from maladjusted convicts.
Four of these dangerous redback spiders have been found within the prison grounds, which is a safety concern even for hardened Australians since the redback can kill a child or an elderly person with just one single bite. Then again, if only four of these redbacks were found, then where are the prisoners finding their collections of deadly spiders? It turns out that the prisoners bred the spiders inside of their cells. The prisoners then diluted the venom with water before injecting the risky cocktail. And if that is not enough, a fully-grown cannabis plant was found in a nearby prison. At least the spider venom junkies used their imaginations.
Could spider venom help improve a person’s health when suffering from a particular medical condition? Have any animal venoms been approved for medical use?
Humans can survive brutally cold winters with much greater success than every kind of bug species. Even if a grasshopper could throw on a parka and muffs it would still die from the extreme cold since spiders cannot regulate their internal temperatures, in other words, spiders are cold blooded. It has been commonly assumed that spiders could not alter their blood temperatures through natural physiological processes, like humans can. However, recent research is telling a different story.
According to a recently published scholarly article from NYU, a researcher discovered that insects can control their internal bodily temperatures indirectly by influencing the levels of salt present in their circulatory systems. The cold weather causes the insect’s blood to move into its gut, which will result in a fatal buildup of potassium in the spider’s internal structures, successfully killing it. It’s clear that without salt spiders would end up six feet under every winter.
Do you believe another factor is responsible for preventing the deaths of spiders during the winter?