A Mexican jumping bean is actually a section of seed capsule. A small grey moth inserts its larva into the seed capsule. The larva eats the inside of the jumping bean and flings itself from one wall to another; this is what causes the bean to jump (Science IQ, 2011).
Jumping beans are not actually beans at all, but seeds of a shrub that grows in some areas of Mexico and desert areas of southern US. When the shrub is in its flowering stage, a moth (known simpy as a jumping bean moth) lays its egg in the flower of the plant. The egg is then incorporated into the seeds of the shrub. When the moth larva hatches, it eats the contents of the seed, leaving only the outer casing, which it continues to live in. The sporadic movements of the jumping beans are caused by the movements of the moth larvae inside them, who snap their bodies in order to move the seed to a more hospitable location. Usually jumping beans jump when the larva gets too hot and is trying to move to a cooler area.
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