- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: Caterpillar's Guts Crawl Independently of Their Bodies
22 July 2010 12:00 pm
If you've ever ridden a roller coaster or endured an unpleasantly bumpy bus ride, you probably felt your guts move inside your body. In caterpillars, it happens all the time. In a study published online today in Current Biology, researchers report that the insect's gut—a long, thin tube that stretches from head to heel—moves independently of its skin every time it crawls. When a caterpillar inches forward, its two back legs and gut slide forward, causing the middle part of the gut to jump ahead roughly a full segment in the insect's body. After that, the skin arches forward to catch up, as seen in this video. Biologists aren't sure why caterpillars move like this, but they suspect it might have to do with their voracious appetites. A caterpillar's main function in life is to eat and grow. Detaching the gut from most of its legs helps keep movement from interfering with digestion.
See more ScienceShots.