Caterpillars Fighting and Toads Shrank (Lessons to Learn)

in STEMGeeks5 months ago


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Hello Hello and.....wait for it....Hello!

I am once again with you writing about weird news and studies from the animal kingdom. You see in a first glance you may think that what's happening in the animal kingdom or what behaviors these animals show, is completely irrelevant to us, but guess what?

It's completely relevant

But why awesome filotasriza3, please tell us!

If you ask that nicely then I'll solve the puzzle for you! You see analyzing the behavior of many animals shows common traits with us, like love, partnership, search for food and we can at the end of the day understand a little better ourselves and our world!

Also, by witnessing some phenomena in the animal kingdom we get closer to understanding how badly we destroy our planet! Don't get me wrong here, what i am saying is that "small" things that may overlook, we can clearly see it by "investigating" nature.

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For instance, if in an area full of fish, each and every fish dies in a span of 2-5 years, we are starting to wonder, why is that happening? The reasons may be from a simple disease to a disease caused by let's say the near factory or even worse because of the sudden and unexpected climate change!


Why Caterpillars Head-Butt each other?

Although a bunch of different caterpillars show this type of behavior we will talk about the Monarch caterpillar a magnificent one with stripes that's similar to a tiger. So one day Alex Keene's wife saw 2 Monarch Caterpillars fighting in the backyard.

He then went straight to youtube to find other similar cases without a success. Thus, the biologist and neuroscientist Alex decide to investigate further and make a study that you can find here

To start the experiment it wasn't that easy. Because of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the majority of the plants in the lab's monarch garden destroyed. Monarch Caterpillars eat only milkweed leaves, so the process of finding pesticide-free plants was challenging.

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Monarch Caterpillars on milkweed leaf

Fun fact: Monarch Caterpillars stay on the leaf from birth till they completely eat it. They multiply their weight x 3000 in two weeks! if only i could eat that much and then become beautiful like a butterfly!

So after everything was settle, the caterpillars showed signs of hostility and aggressiveness towards each other, after the food slowly started to decrease. They did that by head butting each other with the loser leaving the scene! They even record the results in the video below!

Why Toads Shrank?

Let's travel to Mauritius and Réunion Island, which both are located in the Indian Ocean. Here we got a species of toad named Guttural toads or Sclerophrys gutturalis if you want the more scientific name.

These frogs are originally from sub-Saharan Africa but were introduced to the islands in 1922 to eat cane beetles and mosquitos. Now James Baxter-Gilbert was amazed by the idea of how these animals came to the island and wonder what changes would face in their new environment after years! study

So for the study, they have taken 500 toads in total from the 3 regions and discovered that indeed they shrank by 1/3 in the islands. Also, their feet were shorter and stumpy for their size.

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Adult female guttural toads in Durban (left) are substantially larger than their island relatives on Mauritius (right, the male has a yellow throat patch and the female has a pale throat).FROM LEFT: J. BAXTER-GILBERT; JOHN MEASEY

Now the interesting thing is that this most likely happened either because the food was less or because in these islands there were fewer predators. Maybe it's the climate as well! In other words evolution guys!

Conclusion

By reading this post i want you to discover the common elements between animals and us as well as how evolution can shape us. You see the caterpillars when they only a tiny fraction of food they fought for it. Do you think we are different?

Also, you see how much the same species of frog evolved depending on the area of living? If you simply check via google you will realize that we humans are doing the same since our birth!

What do you think about that?

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What a beautiful post..!!!