Origins: From Jungle to Lab.  The Story of Life's Complexity
Picture: Pinned Insect
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Malaise Trap

A Malaise trap like this one is an easy way for entomologists to take a survey of the insects flying in the area. Basically a mesh tent that’s open at the bottom, the Malaise trap’s design takes advantage of an insect’s natural tendency to fly upward when startled. When insects enter the trap, they fly up and are funneled toward a jar of ethyl alcohol. Knocked out and preserved by the alcohol, the insects form a soup of species that researchers can sort through and study.

image: insect soupA tangible census, this insect “soup” from a Malaise trap equals hours of potential information gathering for an entomologist.



image: Malaise Trap

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Origins: Exploratorium: From Jungle to Lab

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Origins From Jungle to Lab: The Story of Life's Complexity Origins Exploratorium From Jungle to Lab