Hello folks who wonder if Velveeta is the polyester of the cheese world,

When people become accustomed to comfort and luxury without effort, they often struggle when suddenly they are required to work for it. How does the current generation cope with this challenge?

Crying and screaming are common behaviors. But I'm not referring to recent graduates posting TikTok videos lamenting that their entry-level jobs don't match social media influencers' million-dollar monthly incomes. I'm talking about newborn babies.

Life for babies in the womb is relatively simple. They aren't asked to share opinions on world problems or take sides in celebrity conflicts like Drake vs. Kendrick. They don't even need to breathe on their own, as oxygen comes directly from their mother's blood. However, everything changes at birth. The baby must suddenly breathe independently for the first time. This initial breath of air typically triggers crying, and with that cry, the celebrations begin.


Among my favorite pastimes, aside from pondering the marital challenges of Bennifer 2.0, is observing the intriguing drama that unfolds on a Sow-Thistle plant. This particular plant serves as a host to various aphid species, with the Currant-sowthistle aphid being especially captivating. These tiny insects can often be spotted on the plant, busily engaged in one of two activities: either feeding on the plant's sugars or, giving birth while simultaneously feeding.

Female aphids have a unique approach to reproduction that might appeal to those frustrated with patriarchal systems. Instead of relying on males, these insects reproduce asexually, giving birth to daughters that are essentially clones of themselves. This all-female reproduction method allows aphids to rapidly increase their population. From the aphids' perspective, this could be seen as a way to create an all-female world, free from male influence.

I caught one in the act of giving birth to her daughter. During the aphid's birth, I watched anxiously, holding my breath. The newborn showed no signs of life, which was concerning. Although I knew aphid babies don't cry like human infants, I still couldn't detect any movement or other indications that it was alive.


Until. Phew! I thought I was going to pass out having held my breath for so long.


After some time, the baby grows restless while dangling in the air. It wants to turn on the iPad to watch the Cocomelon YouTube channel - often called "toddler crack" due to its addictive nature. Unable to communicate verbally or catch its mother's eye, the baby resorts to constant, energetic flailing to get its message across.


Sensing the baby's message, the mother lowers her abdomen. This allows the newborn to detach itself and begin its independent life.


Another fascinating drama you might witness on the plant is the aphid midge larva wandering around in search of its next meal.

 


Aphid midge larvae paralyze aphids by attacking their leg joints and then suck them dry. Here is one in action.




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