Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The bad-breath defense (Caterpillars)

This is a cute article in Science News for Students:

The bad-breath defense

Caterpillars that munch tobacco fend off predatory spiders by exhaling nicotine
Tobacco hornworm caterpillars eat tobacco plants, which contain nicotine. Scientists identified a gene that helps the caterpillars move nicotine in their gut to their breath. The insects’ breath is bad enough to repel wolf spiders that normally would eat them.

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