So, roaches are even smarter than we'd imagined.
Those creepy, crawly bugs are so tough and adaptable, that it's generally believed that they'll be around on this planet long after we humans. Apparently that's due to some higher-than-we-thought intelligence; two articles have appeared since last week in the New York Times highlighting the interesting roach research.
Ugh! This picture is seriously making me itch. (From the Department of Entomology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, http://entomology.unl.edu/images/storedfoods/sfroaches/sfroaches.htm .
The first article was on a study that showed that roaches can actually respond to peer pressure, instead of just their insect instinct. Scientists got roaches to do something they normally don't, by using a robotic roach to act as the group leader. In the second article, researchers have found that roaches run away in very specific directions when faced with a threat. Apparently this has something to do with the central nervous system and may help them escape a predator or other dangerous situation.
I like most bugs, but I absolutely can NOT deal with roaches. But I totally think I'll look differently at the next one I find. Is it carefully planning an escape route? Will it follow its instincts or its friends? And does it think I look weird? Hmmm . . .
Thanks to my twin sis for the heads-up on these stories!
Author's Note: Sources:
Editor's Note: For more blogs from Dr. Rabiah, visit Science Chicago's website at: http://www.sciencechicagoblog.com