ScienceShot: Maggots Are Covered With Eyes

Jennifer covers palaeontology, evolutionary biology, and science policy from the UK and Canada.

Fruitfly larvae typically spend their short existence head first in a piece of rotten fruit devouring yeast. That's perilous: If they can't see the sun, they're likely to shrivel under the elements. Luckily the maggots have eyes in the back of their heads—and pretty much everywhere else on their bodies. Reporting online today in Nature, researchers have found that the larvae sport light-sensitive cells (green) that run from head to tail. The cells are especially sensitive to the wavelengths common in bright sunshine, allowing the maggots to squirm into the fruit before the heat desiccates them.

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Posted in Plants & Animals