Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lessons from nature

If you've had a summer of your children constantly demanding food - I'm led to believe the appetite of a teenager can be particularly voracious - then you may or may not like to consider this parenting strategy from the animal kingdom.

Burying beetles occasionally punish young who nag for food by eating those who pester them most, according to Edinburgh University research.
It encourages the larvae to plead more honestly according to how hungry they are and not try to outdo their siblings by pestering their mother for food.
It also helps the mother beetle to maintain a degree of control over how she feeds her squabbling offspring.

Yes, I know it's the wrong kind of beetle.

Dr Clare Andrews, of the University of Edinburgh's school of biological sciences, said: "We already knew that larvae beg more if they have been deprived of food but we had not known whether this is because they are informing their parents how hungry they are or whether they are simply squabbling with each other to get their parents' attention.
"Our study shows that if you're a baby beetle it doesn't pay to pester your mother for food unless you're really hungry.

No comments:

Post a Comment