We used straws to represents the mole rat’s tunnel. However the globules we made could not flow through due to the joining. We felt that it will be interesting if the audience gets to see movement of the globules. Hence, we replaced it with a transparent air tube and made the globules colourful.
Making of Final Model
We added a lot of globules, we thought that by doing so, we could reduce the amount of time for it to travel through the air tubes. However, we realised that it will cause a jam. It takes a long time before it exits.
We remove all the globules and tried putting in 5-8 globules. It only takes 6 pumps for the globules to exit the 5metres air tubes. It was much faster than what we expected.
How we show movement of animals
The Simethyltryptamine Slug produce a special chemical, (globules), The Hominid Frog(plastic cup) will follow the slug to absorb these molecules. These molecules will land on the Hominid Frog. When the frog releases its feces, the Pygmy Mole-Rats (toy car) uses the frog’s feces to line the entrance of their burrows.
Relationship between The Hominid Frog, The Pygmy Mole Rat and the Simethyltryptamine Slug
The delicate relationship between these remarkable creatures takes place only in the Brazilian rain-forests.
Slugs feed on one particular fungus that only grows near one particular type of Cecropia plant, given the presence of pygmy mole-rats. This fungus allow the slug to produce a special chemical called the Simethyltryptamine or SMT.
The Hominid Frog will then follow the slugs to seek out the SMT. The slug secretes the SMT molecules through its skin which contained mucous. The frog will place its hands on the slug and absorb the molecules through special receptors in its finger tips. The Hominid Frog is the only species of animal with receptors in its brain able to bond with the SMT molecule.
Mole-rats will attach themselves to Hominid Frogs. As the Frogs seek out the SMT Slugs, so too do they encounter female Mole rats, essential to the irrigation and propagation of the SMT Slugs nutrients.
Once a pygmy mole-rat has found a mate, they will pair for life and dig burrows around the roots of the Cecropia plants.
Offspring do not stay near their birth plant, and leave to find other colonies to widen the gene pool. They will either venture by themselves or attach directly to another Hominid frog.
The pygmy mole-rats will also use the Hominid Frog’s feces to line the entrance of their burrows. This in-turn keeps predators away from their burrows, as the Hominid frog is deadly poisonous. The Pygmy mole-rat is the only animal equipped to resist the poisons of the frog.
Naked mole rats are rodents, but they live in communities like those of many insects. Several dozen rats live together in colonies led by one dominant rat—the queen. As in some insect species, the queen is the only naked mole rat female to breed and bear young.
Worker animals dig the burrows that the whole clan inhabits, using their prominent teeth and snouts. They also gather the roots and bulbs for the colony to eat. Other rats tend to the queen.
Most other types of mole rats live on their own or in small families. Though mole rats spend most of their time excavating and foraging in their burrows, they occasionally emerge to search for seeds or other plants.
One interesting fact is the mole rats cuddle each other to sleep, to keep themselves warm.
The legs of a Pygmy mole rat is thin and short. However, they are highly adept at moving underground and can move backward as fast as they can move forward.
Their large, protruding teeth are used to dig and their lips are sealed just behind the teeth, preventing soil from filling their mouths while digging. About a quarter of their musculature is used in the closing of their jaws while they dig.
A pygmy mole rat is almost blind, they live underground, in the dark. Therefore the main senses it uses is hearing, sight and smell.