Agriculture
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Springing forward
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
A Seabird's Endless Summer
Baboons Listen for Who's Tops
How to Silence a Cricket
Behavior
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Supersonic Splash
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Birds
Vultures
Turkeys
Falcons
Chemistry and Materials
A Framework for Growing Bone
Lighting goes digital
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Computers
Lighting goes digital
New eyes to scan the skies
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Middle school science adventures
A Big, Weird Dino
A Dino King's Ancestor
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Snowflakes and Avalanches
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Environment
An Ocean View's Downside
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
Finding the Past
A Plankhouse Past
A Long Haul
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Fish
Flounder
Angler Fish
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Food for Life
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Adjectives and Adverbs
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Monkeys Count
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Human Body
Music in the Brain
Sun Screen
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Invertebrates
Centipedes
Millipedes
Crawfish
Mammals
Elephants
Caribou
Sun Bear
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
The Particle Zoo
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Surprise Visitor
Flower family knows its roots
Nature's Alphabet
Reptiles
Black Mamba
Crocodiles
Chameleons
Space and Astronomy
Melting Snow on Mars
Intruder Alert: Sweeping Space for Dust
The two faces of Mars
Technology and Engineering
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Beyond Bar Codes
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Ready, unplug, drive
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Arctic Melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Cannibal Crickets

It sounds like the makings of a creepy movie. Swarms of insects band together and march across the landscape. They crawl over everything in their path, and they make an eerie rustling sound as they move. Along the way, they eat each other when they get the chance. The phenomenon is strange, but true for insects known as Mormon crickets. A new set of studies offers an explanation for why it happens: These crickets go on the march when they're short of protein and salt in their diets. As a group, they search for more nutritious pastures. Providing another convenient source of salt and protein, those crickets that can't move as quickly as others move get eaten by their fellows. Mormon crickets—which are really shield-backed katydids rather than true crickets—are normally mellow creatures, each looking for food on its own. The insects can't fly, but they can walk or hop. Every once in a while, however, several million of the insects get together and form into a broad column that can be up to 10 kilometers long. The column then moves at a rate of about 2 kilometers per day. Scientists suspected that the marching crickets are looking for food. To decode the behavior, the researchers first offered several varieties of dry food to swarms of crickets in the wild. Protein-rich food got the most attention, as crickets aggressively lunged and pushed to get at it. They showed no special interest in high-carbohydrate mixes. In another test, crickets crowded around cotton wool that had been soaked in water about as salty as seawater. They liked it a lot better than they liked cotton wool soaked in plain water. In other experiments, the crickets that could eat whatever they wanted went first for salty, protein-rich foods. After a day or two, they ate more of the carbohydrates. It turns out that Mormon cricket bodies are actually full of salt and protein, too, which can make them an appealing snack for one another. The scientists found that crickets that didn't move as quickly as others moved or had already died often ended up in the stomachs of their companions. The tendency to eat slowpokes fits with complaints from western U.S. drivers, scientists say. Squashed crickets can make the roads very slippery. After a swarm begins to cross a road, cars hit a few crickets. Other crickets stop to eat the roadkill and get squashed themselves. This ends up creating a vast cricket slick. Food cravings can be a powerful motivating force.—E. Sohn

Cannibal Crickets
Cannibal Crickets








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™