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insects

  1. Science

    Bioengineers Inject Cockroaches with DNA Nanobots, Time to Surrender to Our Insect Overlords

    It seems to be universal knowledge that if were ever invaded by aliens, cockroaches would most likely survive. Cockroaches will probably survive anything apocalyptic as proven in Fallout 3 after having to fight off those oversized nightmares. However, scientists thought it would be a swell idea to inject cockroaches with DNA nanobots.

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  2. Science

    Caterpillars Pretend to be Ants and Mooch off of Them Because They Can

    Apparently some caterpillars are lazy and make ants their slaves because why not? Before these caterpillars have to fend for themselves and find their own food, they instead have pretty neat survival methods that get ants to open their hospitable nests to them. Here, they are essentially wined and dined until they no longer need the ants anymore.

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  3. Science

    Science Discovers How Flies Perceive Motion By Using Tiny Fly Treadmills [VIDEO]

    We just told you about the scientists who developed tiny camera helmets for falcons to study their hunting patterns; now, we bring you science's excuse for creating teeny treadmills for houseflies. They're using them to study how flies perceive motion! It's totally not just because they wanted to build a microscopic fly treadmill. No way.

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  4. Weird

    Wasps Get Bored, Bored Wasps Get Drunk, Drunk Wasps Get Mean

    Wasps are basically tiny little nightmares when they're just doing regular wasp stuff, but the idea of a bunch of wasps getting drunk and looking for a fight is some next-level terror. The British Red Cross is warning citizens of the increased danger from drunk wasps, and the problem basically stems from unemployment.

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  5. Science

    Social Chromosome in Fire Ants Allows for More Than One Queen

    Nearly every science fiction flick offers the same solution when the heroes have to bring down an entire predatory alien race's social structure: Remove the matriarch and the rest will fall. No problem for them since -- advanced weaponry and flame throwers aside -- there's only a single queen to contend with, while us schmucks on Earth are left fighting a losing battle against a relentless foe governed by more than one ruling matriarch. Okay, maybe our endless war against the menace of  red fire ants isn't as grandiose as those seen in the movies, but that isn't to say that their being ruled by a council of queens doesn't leave the human race vexed. Although red fire ants typically allow for only one female ant in the proverbial seat of power, some carry chromosomes that make them open minded to the idea of having more than individual bossing them around. Thanks to recent research, we just might be able have this genetic trait work to our advantage. Hear that, you ant bastards, we're coming for you!

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  6. Science

    Firefly Abdomens Could Be the Key to Brighter LEDs

    We may have only come across this because of a Google Alert for news on Firefly, but it's still pretty interesting. Researchers have studied the abdomens of fireflies and what they've found could lead to brighter LEDs. The jagged and scaly layer of the luminescent section of a firefly's exoskeleton helps light better penetrate and shine through, so mimicking that structure in a coating on the outside of current LEDs can increase their light output. Ideally, this news means we're all one step closer to light-up bellies.

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  7. Science

    Larva of Germaphobic Emerald Cockroach Wasps Disinfect Roach Host Before Consumption

    Due to their nauseating inclination for scurrying through all manner of foul refuse and dining on rancid food and carrion, cockroaches are walking incubators of disease, their exoskeletons nearly bursting with a multitude of harmful microbes. Despite this, many animals see the lowly roach as a tasty source of food, regardless of the fact that eating one is pretty much tantamount to licking the pole on a subway train. However, not all of Earth's creatures are content to chow down on these disease-carrying morsels without taking proper measures to ensure they won't be walking away with a wicked case of food poisoning. Scientists in Germany -- the land of chocolate and now, apparently, a mecca for roach studies -- have discovered that the larva of emerald cockroach wasps go above and beyond to disinfect their roach dinners from the inside out, and we mean that quite literally.

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  8. Science

    Dragonflies’ Selective Attention Capabilities Nearly on Par With Humans, Hope for Man’s Future Dwindles Further

    We have a lot to fear about insects regardless of their diminutive size: They sting, bite, spray acid, and on occasion use us as walking incubators for their eggs. To our advantage, insects lack the complex thought processes that made us humans the dominant species... or so we initially thought. Dr. Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll of the University of Adelaide's Centre for Neuroscience Research have discovered that dragonflies are capable of selective attention, a quality that until now was seen solely in primates. This ability is instrumental for when the dragonflies go hunting for things like mosquitoes, and will serve them well when they begin to hunt people.

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  9. Science

    Pygmy Mole Crickets Can Jump From Water’s Surface, Can’t Turn It Into Wine

    While they certainly aren't capable of curing lepers of their grievous affliction, restoring the sight of the blind, or other supernatural deeds -- insects just don't make ideal religious messiahs -- pygmy mole crickets might as well be some creature of the divine since the little buggers can actually jump from the surface of the water just as adeptly as if they were on dry land. While pond skaters are hoarding all the recognition due to their being more universally recognizable, pygmy mole crickets may soon change all that once they take aquatic insect locomotion to the extreme!

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  10. Science

    You’re Gonna Get Some Hop Ons: Ancient Flightless Bug Caught Hitching Ride On Mayfly

    A piece of fossil amber may have offered researchers a glimpse at a never-before-seen insect behavior: A flightless bug known as a springtail that looks for all the world like it's hitching a ride on the back of a mayfly. It's not the first time that a fossilized springtail has been seen catching a lift -- another piece of amber contains a springtail that seems to be riding atop an eight-legged harvestman -- but it's the first time researchers have found the ancient bugs catching a flight to a new destination.

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  11. Weird

    Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest, Still Gets a Python for His Trouble

    If someone wins a contest, but dies in the process, it's still counted as a win. At least, that's the position held by Ben Siegel Reptiles in Florida. On Friday night, the store hosted a bug-eating competition where the person that ate the most worms and discoid roaches in under 4 minutes -- without vomiting -- would win an ivory ball python valued at $700. Edward Archbold, the winner of their contest, promptly collapsed and died once it was over, but his estate gets to keep the python.

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  12. Science

    Enslaved Ants Regularly Rise In Rebellion, Kill Their Slavers’ Children

    Ants do all sorts of things we think of as human activities. Some of them are kind of endearing, like keeping farms of aphids. Others remind us of our ugly side, and none more so than the work of Protomognathus americanus, the American slavemaker ant, which has evolved to stop foraging for food, and instead steal larvae from the colonies of other ant species, and then raise them as slaves. A recent study demonstrated that, unlike some newscasters we know, enslaved ants don't take life in captivity lying down, instead working to destroy the slavemaker colony and killing up to three out of four of their captors' children.

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  13. Science

    Oldest Bugs Trapped in Amber Found, Jurassic Park Still a Fantasy

    Researchers working with the University of Padova and the University of Gottingen have found some of the oldest bugs on Earth trapped in amber samples. The tiny gall mite pictured above -- one of two species of mite discovered along with a new variety of early fly -- was found in a series of amber samples from northeastern Italy. These early arthropods are about 100 million years older than the next oldest amber preserved creatures known to science. While these new critters promise to offer science new insights to the wide world of ancient creepy-crawlers, the fact that they could get trapped in amber at all is also proving valuable to the study of ancient trees.

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  14. Science

    Insect-Mollusk Hybrids Are Horrifying, Yet Beautiful

    I'm not the biggest bug person and I'm not the biggest mollusk person; but I must say, these imaginary insect-mollusk hybrids have a certain air of beauty about them. Finland-based artist, Vladimir Stankovic painted a number of species in the "newly discovered" order known as Cephalopodoptera. All the images are animated .gifs, adding to their strange beauty. We have a full gallery of these strange creatures after the jump for you to enjoy!

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  15. Science

    Researchers Discover Termites That Become Blue Toxic Bombs

    As insects age, their bodies show wear and tear just like the rest of us. For those critters that use their mandibles for nearly everything, this can lead to them being less effective and contributing less and less to their societies. Researchers have discovered a particular species of termite that becomes more toxic and prone to exploding in defense as they grow older.

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