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. … Read more
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 … Read more
A new study by Rice University scientists reveals that plants can use the sense of touch to fight off fungal infections and insects. The study, which will be published in the April 24 issue of … Read more
It’s one of life’s special moments: a child finds a fat caterpillar, puts it in a jar with a twig and a few leaves, and awakens one day to find the caterpillar has disappeared and … Read more
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.