Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

Well. I thought I’d finally come up with a tricky enough challenge that it might go un-guessed. Silly me.

The Geek in Question answered correctly in just 20 minutes. The mystery creature that lays an egg 1/3 its own weight is an ant cricket, Myrmecophilus. So, 10 points to TGIQ.


These small crickets are commonly seen in ant nests where they subsist on the ants’ secretions.

3 thoughts on “Answer to the Monday Night Mystery”

  1. Alex, I must say, I have guessed all sorts of things in less than 20 minutes.

    But I really came here, quickly, briefly, for another purpose altogether, i.e. to question the logic of your post.

    If the “ant cricket” (um … which is it?) lays 1/3 its weight, then when does it lay it? If the measurement is taken before it has the egg, then the little cockroach cricket nymph ant woman gains weight as the egg gets bigger – thus what is called “dwindling returns” takes place, where the proportion of egg-to-waist ratio goes down exponentially. But if the measurement is taken during the third trimester, then is the weight of the egg being considered in the total weight? This would be a bit bogus, no? If the egg is a third of the nymph during pregnancy, then why not just say the baby has to triple size to become an adult?

    So wait – is the egg a third of the pre-pregnant woman’s size, or is it a third of the during pregnant woman’s size?

    Be careful to, like the wise man, avoid paradox. Entomologists should not go down the unseemly road of the quantum mechanics, e.g.


  2. Why is the quantum mechaincs road unseemly? If the entomological consideration doesn’t mesh with the quantum world, isn’t this a problem…?

    But the measurement issue is a good one and matters in the world of population dynamics, maternal fintess, and maternal/offspring conflicts.

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