Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things that swarm

I read in our favorite magazine that the Australian Plague Locust Commission is working on a new strategy -- so Wile E. in nature that is just might work.  

(Shame on us, I guess, if we have never heard of them.)

Despite what Laura Ingalls told you, North America has been essentially freed from its locust troubles.  The Melanoplus spretus that ate its way across the great plains has disappeared, and long before the Dust Bowl.  Biologist Charles Bomar explains that locusts are grasshoppers gone wrong -- not really a species of their own, but a "behavioral continuum."  grasshoppers : locusts AS teenagers : hoodlums  AS  women : brides

Australia... however, that's a plague of a different color.  This weekend they reached "peak stage," says the TTKN newsdesk, and The Economist reports that the Commission is considering "laying strips of insecticide in [the] path" of marching larvae, before they get a chance to fly.


I think its the word "marching" that does it.

Here is too much information about that.
Here is proof that locusts are insane robots.

Science suggests that it is the swarm that causes swarming; that is, a population explosion stresses the creatures into a frenzy.  They actually change appearance, and... overeat.  I have seen this in residence halls myself.  National Geographic has explored the role serotonin plays in swarm behavior, but which comes first?  Acting on this theory, Discover suggests the little fellows just need bigger brains.  That's what we need -- an organized devastation force with a bigger brain.

Leave it to the UK to tell you to stay calm and power through.
Armageddon Online points no fingers. They simply say... hey, locusts.  We're just sayin'...

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