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Woodlouse naming

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Hans Mof
218661.  Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:36 am Reply with quote

Ahem, if I may just point out one little mistake in The Book of Animal Ignorance:

The woodlouse doesn't got its Dutch name for its urin-sweating but due to its medical use. As I've alreaday explained here: post 161891

220253.  Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:10 am Reply with quote

Thanks for this Hans. I have two resonably reputable sources for the 'no-wee' hypothesis, but your explanation rings truer. If you have a source do send it across and we will amend for the reprint.

Hans Mof
220568.  Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:43 am Reply with quote

My sources were:

Van Dale Etymologisch Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal

Sorry, if thats double Dutch to you.

220590.  Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:39 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:

this site also says that a 'pissebed' is an insect.

392744.  Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:18 am Reply with quote

There is a classic experiment in basic animal behaviour that uses woodlice. To keep moving in one general direction, woodlice are "programmed" to make alternate turns. That is, if the little critter bumps into a wall or something and is forced to turn right, it will then turn left at the first opportunity.

So you have a maze-like construction in which you can force the woodlouse to go straight ahead or make a turn, and then measure what direction it turns once it leaves the "maze".
Experiment 1: As described above, the basic experiment. Force the woodlouse to turn in the maze, measure its turn as it leaves.
Experiment 2: After it turns in the maze, hold it down gently using a soft brush, see how long it takes to forget it turned.
Experiment 3: Put a turntable in at the T-junction and turn it yourself, see if it knows it was turned passively. (Answer should be no, it thinks it went straight.)
Experiment 4: Run a mini treadmill that covers half the width of the maze corridor, see if it thinks it turned because its left legs had to walk more than its right legs. (Answer should be yes, this is how they sense they've turned.)

These experiments are described as being ABSOLUTELY FOOLPROOF, suitable for all classes because they NEVER FAIL. Hah!

Everybody else was getting textbook results. My partner and I had the world's most recalcitrant woodlice. Our results:
Experiment 1: Woodlouse liked being in the maze, wouldn't come out. Eventually turned around and came out the entrance.
Experiment 2: Woodlouse didn't like the brush, refused to walk once released.
Experiment 3: Woodlouse hesitated in doorway of the turntable, got cut in half by turntable.
Experiment 4: Woodlouse immensely enjoyed the treadmill. Walked to end, stopped, was carried back to the beginning of the treadmill (whee!). Kept doing this. Refused to leave the maze.

So we ended up calling them lots of names...


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