University of Cambridge - Insect insight

January 7, 2010

Scientists have shown for the first time that insects, like mammals, use vision rather than touch to find footholds. They made the discovery thanks to high-speed video cameras - technology the BBC uses to capture its wildlife footage - which were used to film desert locusts stepping along the rungs of a miniature ladder. The study sheds new light on insects' ability to perform complex tasks usually associated with mammals. Jeremy Niven, of the department of zoology at the University of Cambridge, said: "This is another example of insects performing a behaviour we previously thought was restricted to relatively big-brained animals with sophisticated motor control such as humans, monkeys or octopuses."

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