Scientists wanted to know how maggots devour food so quickly, so they conducted an experiment. They fed 10,000 maggots a cheese pizza, which disappeared in 2 hours (but only about 30 seconds in this sped-up video) and noticed an interesting "fountain" pattern of movement amongst the fly larvae that allows them to burn through food at a fast clip. According to ScienceMag.org:
The team searched for patterns in the squirming mass by tracking the flow of individual maggots with software used to model the movement of fluids. Despite the appearance of chaos, the larvae moved like water being pumped through a fountain, the researchers report today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Hungry maggots pushed toward the food from the bottom, and satiated larvae were pumped up and over the top of the pile to the back of the line.
This fountain of larvae allows hungry grubs to replace the ones surrounding the food that have stopped feeding, which keeps the eating machine humming. The researchers say better understanding the process could help grub farming companies scale up and turn even more food waste back into food.
Above is a three-millimeter long maggot launching itself into the air for a distance of up to 36 times its body length. Researchers from Duke University and their colleagues studied how these larvae of gall midges leap between plants with the greatest of ease, even rivaling some jumping insects with legs. Their research could have […]
A fellow in Tiverton, Rhode Island paved his access road with tons of unwashed clam shells, which still had chunks of meat attached to them. His neighbors saw him doing it, and warned him that the meat would rot and lead to problems, but the man couldn’t be dissuaded. Rain fell on the shells for […]
More on yesterday’s story about a nasal-wedged maggot scare in Portsmouth, RI’s middle school (refresher: the Portsmouth Middle School sent parents a terrifying letter warning of a student Smartie-snorting epidemic and predicting that children would end up with maggots in their noses that feasted upon the sugar residue). John McDaid, the investigative blogger who broke […]
Father’s Day is June 21st, otherwise known as the roughest shopping day of the year. Don’t get us wrong, Dad deserves an awesome gift for all the great things he gave you. But let’s be honest — buying for your father is often a chore. Your gift has to take into account what he already […]
Even in horrible economic times, a few simple rules hold unshakably true. And one of those rules is that if you possess an in-demand skill, you’ll always find work — and often, at a top market salary, to boot. If you understand Big Data and how to find order from the chaos of massive stockpiles […]
We live in a disposable era. If you can’t fix a broken item with a wrap of duct tape, there’s a very strong likelihood that its next destination is the trashcan. However, that probably leads to a trigger-finger death sentence for many household items that could be saved with just a bit more ingenuity. Before […]