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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: The Best Reason Not to Pester Mom
21 August 2013 12:15 pm
The burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides is, honestly, kind of gross. It lays its eggs on the carcasses of mice, birds, and the like. When the larvae hatch, the parents crawl around regurgitating predigested carrion into their offspring's hungry mouths (as pictured above). The larvae beg for the barf by poking the parents' mouthparts with their legs. Researchers wondered what exactly was going on with the begging. Do babies beg all the time, or only when they're really, truly hungry? It’s most definitely the latter, according to a new study. The team found that begging comes with a major risk: cannibalism. Moms were more likely to eat larvae that were pestering them, the researchers report in the current issue of Behavioral Ecology. That means baby beetles probably don’t beg unless they really need the food.
See more ScienceShots.