Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prime numbers and Cicada

Lost on how to find meaningful ways to introduce prime numbers?

Why don't we look at Cicadas 



These are winged insects that evolved around 1.8 million years ago.  What is interesting is that their life cycles follow prime numbers.  They emerge, mate and die quickly during the spring of either the 13th or 17th year.    On these such years, they build an exit tunnel where millions quickly exit and overcome any predators, such as birds, by using their vast numbers to their advantage.

Why every 13 and 17 years?

This way, it will be impossible for any other life cycle to line up with the life cycle of the Cicada.

For example, lets suppose they emerged every 12th year.  This would have animals with life cycles of 2, 3, 4, and 6 years to line up perfectly every time they emerged.

The life cycle being a prime number is, what scientists predict, what has been their greatest strength in their survival for over 1 million years.

1 comment:

  1. Great post on journaling, Carrie. I have only tried this after completing my book, usually for character blog posts. Most times my books evolve from an idea or story question, and the characters evolve from that...except with Renner. He was Trey's partner in Journey's End, and I knew as soon as he hit the page that he'd star in his own book.
    Thanks for sharing your method, Carrie. I shall try this. :-)
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