Brains are really complicated, even for the smallest of critters. If you're a scientist who studies brains, then you might try to use some common words so that other scientists will know what you're trying to communicate. People who study vertebrates generally agree on their terminology, which makes mammal and bird…
This is unbelievable, but the fruit fly G tridens has somehow evolved to have what looks like pictures of ants on its wings. Seriously, its transparent wings have an ant design on them complete with "six legs, two antennae, a head, thorax and tapered abdomen." It's nature's evolutionary art painted on a fly's wings.
You thought they were stupid, but it turns out that flies take decision on their own terms. They have free will, io9's Esther Inglis-Arkell reports: they "seemed to be making spontaneous motions which indicated that somewhere, inside their little fly brains, they were deciding how to move based on their own free will."
Scientists have always known that fruit fly larvae feast on rotting fruits and vegetable matter. But young maggots apparently also have a taste for their elder group members, according to a new study. Worst yet, when an older larva gets injured, group cannibalism ensues. It is as horrifying as it is fascinating.
Reaffirming that age-old maxim that alcohol is the cause of and solution to all of life's problems, fruit flies have devised an ingenious strategy to protect their unborn young from parasites. They simply lay their eggs in alcohol, and somehow that solves everything.
The little black spots found on the fruit flies below may not seem like much — and really, they don't make any difference in the lives of the flies themselves — but they happen to have a terrifying genetic background.
There seems to be one surefire way to increase longevity in animals. It's caloric restriction, which means placing them on a near-starvation diet. We don't know if that could work on humans... but fruit flies might be able to give us the answer.
Humans aren't the only animals that have to guard against potential infection during sex. Fruit flies are at greatly increased risk of infection during their mating season, which is why the male's mating call actually boosts the female's immune system.
Females of certain fruit fly species mate with multiple males, which gives the males motivation to mate for as long as they possibly can. But in species where the female chooses only one mate for life, males are still jealously protective...but why?
For over a century, our sense of smell has been explained with the "lock and key" hypothesis, which holds that each odor molecule has a particular shape that allows it to fit into particular smell receptors in the nose. But now a controversial study involving fruit flies suggests that hypothesis might miss the truth…