Illustration for article titled Locusts Look Before They Leap, Scientists Realize

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...

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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.

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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]

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