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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
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,...
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...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: Caterpillars Talk With Their Butts
12 April 2010 10:59 am
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Credit: Jayne Yack
If only world leaders would give this technique a shot. Certain caterpillars of the hook-tip moth family settle their territorial disputes by dragging their butts in a threatening matter. In caterpillars such as Drepana arcuata, seen in this video, a hair-like structure at the end of the abdomen has evolved into an "anal oar" that the insect scrapes along the surface of a leaf to warn off an intruder. (In the video, the defending caterpillar is also drumming and scraping with its mandibles.) You can hear the sound in a quiet room, says biologist Jayne Yack of Carleton University in Canada. "That's how I discovered it—I was rearing them many years ago in my dining room," she says. Some of D. arcuata's relatives crawl at intruders and push, hit, or bite them. The caterpillar's ancestors did that, too, so the scraping movement may have evolved from crawling, Yack and colleagues report online today in Nature Communications.