How To Escape A Predator


Stalk-eyed flies have their eyes on long projections from the sides of their heads. It’s thought that the eyestalks of males are extra long to attract females, but does having long goofy eyes come with a cost?Does it make it harder to escape predators? Researchers wanted to test how differences in eyestalk length affected predation risk in male stalk-eyed flies, and how flies react to predators.

Data Nuggets are NGSS-aligned lesson-plans that build off of real-world research. Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

Supplemental resources for this lesson:

  • Grading Rubric
  • links to original research paper
  • Video showing how the flies’ eyes form
  • Videos of the experiment with flies and predators

There are several Data Nuggets focused on Stalk-Eyed Flies:

Additional information

Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present


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Audio/Video recording, PDF Download, Text/Web Page

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