Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Brèves → Brèves 2010 → Swarming Locusts Need Larger Brains

Swarming Locusts Need Larger Brains

ScienceDaily (May 25, 2010)

Swarming Locusts Need Larger Brains

ScienceDaily (May 25, 2010)

One of the most devastating events in the insect world — the locust swarm — has extraordinary effects on the insect’s brains, scientists in Cambridge have discovered.

Although desert locusts are infamous for their swarming behaviour — when they migrate en masse and consume everything in their path — they usually occur in a solitary form, living alone and actively avoiding fellow locusts. Working with colonies of swarming (gregarious) locusts, Dr Swidbert Ott and Dr Stephen Rogers of the University of Cambridge, converted some of them into the solitary phase by keeping them in isolation for three generations.

When they then compared the size and shape of the locusts’ brains, they found that extraordinary changes had taken place. Despite being smaller than solitary locusts, swarming locusts developed brains that were 30% larger. Not only that, regions of the brain that are dedicated to different tasks had very different proportions in the two phases.

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 19 novembre 2011, mise à jour le 4 août 2014