Wednesday 1 May 2013

overcrowding the cause of cannibalism?

Cannibal fruit flies: Lab maggots hunt one another
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News
Researchers studying the innocuous-seeming fruit fly have found that the insects have cannibalistic tendencies.In "crowded laboratory conditions", the larvae, or maggots, will often pursue, attack and eat one another, footage reveals. Scientists investigating the effects of malnourishment on the flies found that they were able to rear keener, more capable cannibals. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications. The team, from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, says that because the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is so well-studied, the observations pave the way to discovering the biological secrets of cannibalism.

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