Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 10:24 AM IST

Crickets have same social lives generation to generation

Updated: Aug 09, 2016 14:34 IST

Washington D.C., Aug. 9 (ANI): Did you know crickets have similar social lives generation to generation, even though they can't learn directly from their parents?

A research at University of Exeter showed that cricket populations have innate habits, so their relationships are organised with each other in similar patterns every year, even though generations never overlap.

'Big Brother' style cameras have been used to record how crickets mate and fight with one another, producing patterns of relationships that form a social network which is remarkably similar each year, even though they can't learn from their parents.

In fields all over Europe, there is a new generation of crickets each year, with the adults reproducing before they die in the summer, and the offspring hatching as the adults start dying.

The young crickets dig their own burrows and survive in them over winter.

Successive generations never meet, but by the time the crickets become adults in the spring they have the skills to fight and mate with each other.

A consistent social structure exists because the crickets follow similar innate rules each year, possibly as these rules best allow them to thrive.

The researchers have been observing all the crickets living in one meadow in Northern Spain since 2005. They used cameras to constantly record cricket activity, using infrared illumination at night. Each camera is trained on a burrow, which crickets dig to hide from predators.

Crickets start to move more often between burrows after they become adults. When this happens the researchers fix a unique plastic tag to each cricket so they can identify them and then they release them back to the burrow.

The crickets spent the rest of their life in front of the cameras, sharing their burrows with members of the opposite sex and mating with them. They fight with members of the same sex when they approach the burrow. Females tend to move more than males, but both sexes spend some time guarding a burrow and moving between different burrows.

Researchers were able to completely analyse video footage from six years of observations allowing them to witness social networks between individuals.

"Crickets appear to have innate rules for social life, and they don't get that information directly from their parents," said lead author David Fisher.

"Despite variation in various factors such as environmental conditions, the fundamental structures of these networks are similar each year. This means that the social structure of the population is conserved over evolutionary time," he added.

The researchers found that any difference in the social structures of crickets was caused more by the size of their population rather than evolutionary changes.

The study has been published in BMC Evolutionary Biology. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): Astronauts may soon be able to communicate faster to and from space as NASA's advanced laser communications system called LEMNOS has brought speedy connections closer to the reality.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): A new class of carbon nanotubes may soon become the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, a new study suggested.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): The increase of devastating weather extremes in summer is likely linked to human-made climate change, mounting evidence shows.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): Looks like summer will be yet more unbearable this year, atleast the present weather condition makes us believe so.

Full Story >>

A simple route to developing new sensors

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 11:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Turns out, there's more to a material used for decades to colour food items than meets the eye.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 24 (ANI): Following a huge explosion of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun's corona, Tasmania's skyline has been aglow in recent days - with vivid purple and green lights illuminating the horizon.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): What the CRAB!

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 (ANI): According to a new study, places which have weaker non-medical exemption policies for vaccinations can reduce the likelihood of a measles outbreak 140 to 190 percent by strengthening them.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 23 (ANI): Higher level of blood sugar and insulin resistance, accompanied by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to more rapid decline in cognitive performance, says a new study.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/disaster management agencies.

Full Story >>

Does universe have a time frame?

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.22 (ANI): Has anybody ever wondered whether our universe has a resting time frame? A researcher is conducting an experiment to find this out.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C.[USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A recent research suggests that essential microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): He already had a research ship, dinosaur and flightless weevil named after him and now, Sir David Attenborough's hat has got another feather in the form of a 430 million-year-old shrimp ancestor.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientists has brought fresh hope to alcoholics as they are trying to find out whether or not treating the addiction is as simple as popping over-the-counter pills.

Full Story >>

Wild chimps 'surprisingly' live longer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 21 (ANI): Our close primate relatives, chimpanzees, have longer life span, if kept under the right ecological conditions.

Full Story >>

Restoring Pluto's planetary identity in crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2017 06:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 (ANI): A decade after Pluto was ousted from the planet lineup, a supporter of the now dwarf planet is fighting to restore its title.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C [USA], Mar. 17 (ANI): The risk of hearing loss from exposure to noises is all around us every day and now, a recent study

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Today, over 95 percent of vanilla flavouring used in foods, from cereal to ice cream, is not natural and the production of the synthetic one is taking a toll on

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Good news for those who want to continue using fabric softeners but are afraid of risking the environment as a recent study has paved the way for the "greener"

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 16 (ANI): Earth's radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet,were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behaviour is still not completely understood.

Full Story >>