Buggin' Out

A caterpillar that doesn’t like being yelled at? Chalk it up to biodiversity.

May 02, 2015

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, nature serves up yet another heaping portion of weird wonderfulness. For instance, this video is of a tentacled caterpillar in the Peruvian Amazon that has a spaz attack when it gets yelled at. (I imagine the insect’s inner monologue during filming went something like this.)

Entomologist Aaron Pomerantz found the crazy critter from the the genus Nematocampa in the Tambopata National Reserve, and they think the tentacle waving may be some sort of defense mechanism, but that’s about all scientists can surmise.

Tambopata is a hot spot of biological diversity teeming with all sorts of never-before-seen life and behaviors, which makes protecting it (and areas like it) from deforestation and poaching all the more important. After all, it would be a shame not to get a chance to yell at, er, research all the odd organisms still out there.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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