Monday, February 01, 2010


This is about spiders and crickets.
Jonathan Storm, a behavioural ecologist at the University of South Carolina exposed lab-grown female crickets to wolf spiders whose fangs had been immobilised with wax, then studied the behaviour of their subsequent offspring.
Storm found that cricket infants remained motionless for longer in the presence of spider silk or droppings than the offspring of mothers that had not been exposed to spiders. Staying still is one of the ways that crickets avoid becoming spider food.
Great so far.
Exposing the eggs or juvenile crickets themselves to spider cues did not alter their behaviour, suggesting that mothers had influenced this aspect of their young's behaviour during the egg's production.
Ok, then what?
Wild-caught crickets from spider-rich habitats also produce more cautious offspring than mothers from spider-poor habitats, Storm found.
I think I get it, spiders eat noisy crickets. Did we need to give Mr. Storm a government grant for that revelation?
Storm doesn't know whether the cricket mother's warning is transmitted to the egg via maternal hormones or some other mechanism.
But I think he wants another grant to find out.

I have only one question. Mr Storm, have you nothing else to do?

Cricket, watch out, your spidey senses are telling you portent stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Rollo8:51 pm

    At least it wasn`t another study about penguins or meercats. I am sick of these Gov agencies who give out public money to occupy these idiots.


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