The wisdom flies

Published: Saturday 31 October 2009


Human beings are not the only ones who observe and learn social skills. When it comes to procreation, the fruit fly does this too. Inexperienced female fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, learn about the best places to lay eggs from experienced flies. The young do not forget places where their seniors have laid eggs earlier. When it is time for them to lay eggs, they go to the same places, fruits for example. The study did not find social learning in other aspects of the fruit fly’s behaviour. The flies share many genes and chemicals that control learning with humans. A better understanding of how flies use social information would help research evolution and neurogenetics of social learning in humans

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