Maggot paintings used to interest kids in forensic entomology

Steve Silberman sez, "A forensic entomologist -- who calculates the time of death in murder cases by studying the presence of insects and larvae near (or in) the corpse -- uses maggot 'paintings' to get kids interested in science. 'I stay away from talking about murder with elementary school children,' says Erin Watson, 'but there's still something for them to learn.'"

Maggot art is made by gently dropping the larvae into blobs of non-toxic, water-based paint. As the maggots crawl across paper using their hook-like mouths, they drag streams of paint behind them creating what Watson calls "Maggot Monets." After a little coercion, children become enthralled with the project, says Watson, which has caused throngs of eager youngsters to crowd around her table at past exhibits.
Maggot Monets (Thanks, Steve, via Submitterator!)


  1. “After a little coercion”? Just what else do these demos involve?

    “Timmy didn’t want to watch the maggots. Timmy was never seen again. You don’t want to disappear like Timmy, do you?”

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