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Can Bugs Talk?

Can Bugs Talk?

June 14, 2017 In the News

Jason Moon of the New Hampshire Public Radio, reports that researchers at the University of New Hampshire are studying communication strategies of American Burying Beetles.

These beetles are named because they bury corpses of small dead animals next to their eggs, which then serve as food as their offspring hatch. As the beetles bury the corpse, they make noises. Scientists hypothesize that these noises serve as a form of communication between the adult beetles. However, the beetles are deaf, so why would they make a noise that they cannot hear? Researchers hypothesize that they are actually communicating with each other through vibration.

By aiming a “laser vibrometer” at the insects while they are positioned on a nylon screen, researchers can study these vibrations. Scientists estimate that there are millions of insects that communicate through vibration and they are just scratching the surface. Possible applications to studying this type of vibrational communication including determining if the vibrations emitted from wind turbines affects insects and if vibrations can be used as an insect repellent.

Reference

Moon J. (2017) Can Bugs Talk? New Hampshire Scientists Go In Search of Answers. New Hampshire Public Radio.

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