1 Tahrcountry Musings: Trigger for locust swarming identified

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trigger for locust swarming identified

Researchers have identified the trigger that turns a motley assembly of locusts into a coordinated army capable of devastating vast expanses of crops and natural vegetation. The study by James Buhl and colleagues appear in the latest issue of Science Today. The crucial factor is a particular population density at which the insects fall into line with each other and begin to walk in the same direction. The researchers are now expanding their computer models to simulate the environments that the locusts live in and predict the behaviour of much larger swarms. This could help in predicting future attacks.

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