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Why insects can’t fly straight at night April 15, 2007

Posted by Al in : educational,nature , trackback

Insects circle lamps, bulbs and candles in ever decreasing spirals that often end in their death. This is not their fault, but is due to evolution working on a far slower scale than mankind’s recent developments. 100 years ago gas lights were common in large cities, but not elsewhere, and 200 years ago just candles and lanterns ruled. Before that these insects had a clear sky to fly through, for millions and millions of years. Before man polluted the night with light, insects were adapted to use distant stars and the moon as guides to flying, and they would attempt to keep these guides at a constant angle during their flight – in fact their eyes developed for just such a job. So when you bring a bright object an awful lot closer than the moon, then you find the insect stuck in an ever decreasing circle of death.

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