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The Secret World of Moths

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Running time: Approximately 25 minutes


The Secret World of Moths is a magical journey to the world of moths. Using 3D X-ray tomography we shed light to their hidden macrocosm and explore their way of life in an unprecedented way. Geograp hically the film spans from the Arctic Circle to the Equator. Observing these two extreme environments helps us learn about and understand the diversity and complexity of their macroscopic world and our fragile existence on planet Earth. The secret world of moths through the eyes of a scientist Moths are a highly diverse group of insects. In terms of species richness among all animal groups, m oths come second only to beetles. Moths and butterflies belong to the same order, Lepidoptera, but the vast majority of all lepidopterans are indeed moths. Despite their abundance, moths have not at tracted much attention and they may seem like an odd choice for a film. However, filmmakers Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen show that moths do have fascinating tales to tell. This film pre sents stunning views of moths using 3D X-ray CT scans. The film, for example, explores the complex respiratory system of a moth which consists of branching tubes that deliver oxygen directly to the cells. Efficient respiration allows flying insects to exhibit higher metabolic rates than any other animals. We do not know much about how the morphology of the respiratory system is connected to in dividual differences in flight capacity, but micro CT scanning would be a promising tool for studying this question. The film does therefore more than just deliver existing information; it also pro vokes new scientific questions to be answered. In our changing world, the study of moths is more important than ever. Lepidoptera are very sensitive to environmental change and being cold-blooded, they serve as excellent indicators of changes in their environment.