Scientists have discovered that locusts literally look where they're going, and this discovery about the importance of visual input may mean that bugs are a lot smarter than we thought they were...
The Independent reports that researchers from Cambridge University in the UK observed locusts climbing ladder-like structures to investigate whether or not they used vision to guide them. The fact that they did means that they're displaying a level of visual brain processing previously believed to be too great for insects, according to the study's Dr. Jeremy Niven:
The visual control of limb placement in the locusts suggests that this can be achieved by much smaller-brained insects. It's another example of insects performing a behavior we previously thought was restricted to relatively big-brained animals with sophisticated motor control, such as humans, monkeys or octopuses.
Next, Cambridge scientists plan on setting up a chess match between an octopus and a locust to decide which is more intelligent.
Look out! A great step for locust-kind [Independent.co.uk]