Animals generalise memories about individual cues to a range of similar cues help animals deal with variability in the world around them. But when this ability becomes too strong, humans can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A team from the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology led by Ayse Yarali has discovered that fruit fly aversive memories lose their specificity over time, in the same way as rodents and human PTSD sufferers after a traumatic experience. Read the full article here.
Parasitic fig wasps searching for larvae to lay their eggs on inside unripe figs have to locate their targets sight unseen. Pratibha Yadav and Renee M. Borges from the Indian Institute of Science have discovered that the wasps’ long thin ovipositors are efficient sensors for plant volatiles and carbon dioxide and can sniff out the locations of host larvae within the flesh of the fruit. Read the full article here.
In a JEB Research Article featured in New Scientist, The Economist and the YouTube channel SciShow (above), Jens Herberholz and his students at the University of Maryland, USA, have found that sociable crayfish get drunk more easily than loners, suggesting that isolated humans may drink more heavily because they are less sensitive to alcohol than gregarious individuals. Read the full article in JEB.
When a snake feeds upon another snake, the outcome of their interaction is not always obvious. A JEB Research Article highlighted in National Geographic and New Scientist from David Penning at Missouri Southern State University and Brad Moon at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette reveals that small kingsnakes that can constrict and kill larger snake species exert significantly higher pressures. Read the full article in JEB.