Bugs not gay, just confused

Bugs not gay, just confused

Many species of insects and spiders engage in homosexual behavior, like courting, mounting, and trying to mate with members of the same sex. But it is unclear what role evolution plays in this curious situation. Like heterosexual behavior, it takes time and energy and...

Robotic insects make first controlled flight

In the very early hours of the morning, in a Harvard robotics laboratory last summer, an insect took flight. Half the size of a paperclip, weighing less than a tenth of a gram, it leapt a few inches, hovered for a moment on fragile, flapping wings, and then sped along...

Insects’ survival, mating decrease with age in wild

A unique insect has given researchers the opportunity to study aging in the wild for the first time. “Aging – or senescence – has been seen under controlled conditions in the lab, but never before in insects living in their naturally evolved habitat,” says U of T zoology doctoral candidate Russell Bonduriansky. “Our study of antler flies shows these animals do age in the wild.” Bonduriansky and co-researcher Chad Brassil, both of the evolutionary ecology group at U of T, studied male antler flies to see if there was aging – a term used to denote a deterioration of the body’s vital functions, not chronological time. The two zoologists examined the flies to see if their abilities to survive to the next day and to mate deteriorated with age.

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