Hooked on Science: Crickets can help you know the temperature

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Don't have a thermometer? Don't need one. All you need is a little help from an insect.

MATERIAL

Cricket

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: *Count the number of chirps a cricket makes in one minute.

STEP 2: *Subtract 40 from that number, divide the result by four and add 50.

EXPLANATION

The final result is close to the temperature of the environment the cricket calls home. A cricket is cold-blooded, which means it produces little or no body heat. Basically, the temperature of a cricket tends to match the temperature of its environment. The warmer the temperature around the cricket, the warmer the cricket. The warmer temperature creates an increased metabolism, which causes the cricket to chirp faster.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science. Send him your science questions at jlindseyhookedonscience.com. More science experiments can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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