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Insects

Scorpion Flies Are Super Attracted to Dead Bodies, Could Help Solve Murders

"Who, me?"

I know we're talking about flies here, but if the phrase "Scorpion Detectives" didn't instantly flash in your head upon reading the headline above, then we need to have a talk about how much more fun you could currently be having in your life.

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Slimy but Satisfying: Termite Species “Ruled” by Genetically Immortal Queens

I think I'm a clone now.

Hang on, I'll get to the story. Don't be in such a RUSH.

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World’s Largest Aquatic Insect Discovered In China, Needs An Appropriately Horrifying Name

In before people saying it's not that big. In before you because you've probably been chomped by a giant bug.

In the unofficial "eww, what is that weird bug" Olympics, several factors come into play--pure exoticism and number of limbs are of course important variables, but as always, size matters. A recently discovered as-yet-unnamed aquatic insect believed to belong to the mysterious Megaloptera order has been found in Middle Earth China, and I think we can probably go ahead and give it the gold medal right now. I'm sure it has a hoard somewhere to store it in.

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AsapSCIENCE Makes a Compelling Case for Why We Should All Eat Bugs

Let's see how many crickets we can fit in our mouths!

Have you ever eaten bug? Actually, you probably have, but have you ever eaten one on purpose? AsapSCIENCE's latest video explains that maybe you should consider eating more of them. They also make a secondary case for why you should probably lay off the beef.

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Bushcrickets Have Some Of The Kinkiest Sex In The Insect Kingdom

So you can bust that line out at the next party you hit up.

Are you finding your sex life lacking? Need to spice it up in the bedroom? Then look no further for inspiration than the bushcricket, whose sex life is so weird and so freaky that it puts most NC-17 fanfic to shame.

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Mosquitoes Are Being Bred With Genes That Will Kill Them

Preparing for mass mosquito genocide.

Mosquitoes are the bane of our existence and if you don't agree, you are clearly unaware of all of the human deaths that are mosquito-related. That's why this new gene that would supposedly prevent mosquito babies from maturing sounds like a really good thing.

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Bioengineers Inject Cockroaches with DNA Nanobots, Time to Surrender to Our Insect Overlords

This is probably not the greatest idea, but okay.

It seems to be universal knowledge that if were ever invaded by aliens, cockroaches would most likely survive. Cockroaches will probably survive anything apocalyptic as proven in Fallout 3 after having to fight off those oversized nightmares. However, scientists thought it would be a swell idea to inject cockroaches with DNA nanobots.

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Caterpillars Pretend to be Ants and Mooch off of Them Because They Can

Caterpillars can teach us so much -- like how to freeload.

Apparently some caterpillars are lazy and make ants their slaves because why not? Before these caterpillars have to fend for themselves and find their own food, they instead have pretty neat survival methods that get ants to open their hospitable nests to them. Here, they are essentially wined and dined until they no longer need the ants anymore.

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Science Discovers How Flies Perceive Motion By Using Tiny Fly Treadmills [VIDEO]

Will we ever get sick of making tiny versions of human things? Please say no.

We just told you about the scientists who developed tiny camera helmets for falcons to study their hunting patterns; now, we bring you science's excuse for creating teeny treadmills for houseflies. They're using them to study how flies perceive motion! It's totally not just because they wanted to build a microscopic fly treadmill. No way.

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Wasps Get Bored, Bored Wasps Get Drunk, Drunk Wasps Get Mean

We apologize in advance for the nightmares you'll probably have tonight.

Wasps are basically tiny little nightmares when they're just doing regular wasp stuff, but the idea of a bunch of wasps getting drunk and looking for a fight is some next-level terror. The British Red Cross is warning citizens of the increased danger from drunk wasps, and the problem basically stems from unemployment.

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Intricate Clockwork Creatures From Repurposed Old Watch Gears

eye candy

Justin Gershenson-Gates of A Mechanical Mind has been constructing these gorgeous little creatures from gears and watch pieces for years, using his love of tinkering to create tiny, elaborate works of art.  You can see more creatively constructed arachnids, insects, and other clockwork pieces on his DeviantArt, and even buy one of the sculptures from his Etsy shop.

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Social Chromosome in Fire Ants Allows for More Than One Queen

Nearly every science fiction flick offers the same solution when the heroes have to bring down an entire predatory alien race's social structure: Remove the matriarch and the rest will fall. No problem for them since -- advanced weaponry and flame throwers aside -- there's only a single queen to contend with, while us schmucks on Earth are left fighting a losing battle against a relentless foe governed by more than one ruling matriarch. Okay, maybe our endless war against the menace of  red fire ants isn't as grandiose as those seen in the movies, but that isn't to say that their being ruled by a council of queens doesn't leave the human race vexed. Although red fire ants typically allow for only one female ant in the proverbial seat of power, some carry chromosomes that make them open minded to the idea of having more than individual bossing them around. Thanks to recent research, we just might be able have this genetic trait work to our advantage. Hear that, you ant bastards, we're coming for you!

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Firefly Abdomens Could Be the Key to Brighter LEDs

We may have only come across this because of a Google Alert for news on Firefly, but it's still pretty interesting. Researchers have studied the abdomens of fireflies and what they've found could lead to brighter LEDs. The jagged and scaly layer of the luminescent section of a firefly's exoskeleton helps light better penetrate and shine through, so mimicking that structure in a coating on the outside of current LEDs can increase their light output. Ideally, this news means we're all one step closer to light-up bellies.

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Larva of Germaphobic Emerald Cockroach Wasps Disinfect Roach Host Before Consumption

Due to their nauseating inclination for scurrying through all manner of foul refuse and dining on rancid food and carrion, cockroaches are walking incubators of disease, their exoskeletons nearly bursting with a multitude of harmful microbes. Despite this, many animals see the lowly roach as a tasty source of food, regardless of the fact that eating one is pretty much tantamount to licking the pole on a subway train. However, not all of Earth's creatures are content to chow down on these disease-carrying morsels without taking proper measures to ensure they won't be walking away with a wicked case of food poisoning. Scientists in Germany -- the land of chocolate and now, apparently, a mecca for roach studies -- have discovered that the larva of emerald cockroach wasps go above and beyond to disinfect their roach dinners from the inside out, and we mean that quite literally.

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Dragonflies’ Selective Attention Capabilities Nearly on Par With Humans, Hope for Man’s Future Dwindles Further

We have a lot to fear about insects regardless of their diminutive size: They sting, bite, spray acid, and on occasion use us as walking incubators for their eggs. To our advantage, insects lack the complex thought processes that made us humans the dominant species... or so we initially thought. Dr. Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll of the University of Adelaide's Centre for Neuroscience Research have discovered that dragonflies are capable of selective attention, a quality that until now was seen solely in primates. This ability is instrumental for when the dragonflies go hunting for things like mosquitoes, and will serve them well when they begin to hunt people.

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Pygmy Mole Crickets Can Jump From Water’s Surface, Can’t Turn It Into Wine

While they certainly aren't capable of curing lepers of their grievous affliction, restoring the sight of the blind, or other supernatural deeds -- insects just don't make ideal religious messiahs -- pygmy mole crickets might as well be some creature of the divine since the little buggers can actually jump from the surface of the water just as adeptly as if they were on dry land. While pond skaters are hoarding all the recognition due to their being more universally recognizable, pygmy mole crickets may soon change all that once they take aquatic insect locomotion to the extreme!

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You’re Gonna Get Some Hop Ons: Ancient Flightless Bug Caught Hitching Ride On Mayfly

A piece of fossil amber may have offered researchers a glimpse at a never-before-seen insect behavior: A flightless bug known as a springtail that looks for all the world like it's hitching a ride on the back of a mayfly. It's not the first time that a fossilized springtail has been seen catching a lift -- another piece of amber contains a springtail that seems to be riding atop an eight-legged harvestman -- but it's the first time researchers have found the ancient bugs catching a flight to a new destination.

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Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest, Still Gets a Python for His Trouble

If someone wins a contest, but dies in the process, it's still counted as a win. At least, that's the position held by Ben Siegel Reptiles in Florida. On Friday night, the store hosted a bug-eating competition where the person that ate the most worms and discoid roaches in under 4 minutes -- without vomiting -- would win an ivory ball python valued at $700. Edward Archbold, the winner of their contest, promptly collapsed and died once it was over, but his estate gets to keep the python.

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Enslaved Ants Regularly Rise In Rebellion, Kill Their Slavers’ Children

Ants do all sorts of things we think of as human activities. Some of them are kind of endearing, like keeping farms of aphids. Others remind us of our ugly side, and none more so than the work of Protomognathus americanus, the American slavemaker ant, which has evolved to stop foraging for food, and instead steal larvae from the colonies of other ant species, and then raise them as slaves. A recent study demonstrated that, unlike some newscasters we knowenslaved ants don't take life in captivity lying down, instead working to destroy the slavemaker colony and killing up to three out of four of their captors' children.

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Oldest Bugs Trapped in Amber Found, Jurassic Park Still a Fantasy

Researchers working with the University of Padova and the University of Gottingen have found some of the oldest bugs on Earth trapped in amber samples. The tiny gall mite pictured above -- one of two species of mite discovered along with a new variety of early fly -- was found in a series of amber samples from northeastern Italy. These early arthropods are about 100 million years older than the next oldest amber preserved creatures known to science. While these new critters promise to offer science new insights to the wide world of ancient creepy-crawlers, the fact that they could get trapped in amber at all is also proving valuable to the study of ancient trees.

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