Plague is responsible for killing millions of humans from the 14th through 19th centuries. Scientists originally thought the pandemics were caused when people were bit by fleas that had previously been feeding off of rats infected with the plague causing bacteria, Yersinia pestis. However, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests the pandemics were caused by human ectoparasites meaning fleas and lice were spreading plague causing bacteria from human to human not rat to human.
Fireflies are beetles that have a rare ability to produce a flash called bioluminescent, and the males use this flash to find a female on the ground. Each species has a unique flashing pattern that they use to distinguish themselves from other species of fireflies active at the same time. Being able to find a clear signal amongst endless noise can drive success in business as well. For example, in the $25.6 billion toy industry fortunes can be won and lost, and figuring out which toys will trend throughout time versus burn hot and fast as a seasonal fad can influence decisions and success. Legos first hit the market in 1949 but are the flagship product of The Lego Company, the world's most profitable toy company. However, fads such as pog or fidget spinners may have generated fast revenue, neither toy was the winner compare to legos.
In the 1970s, the United States government released the Asian ladybug, Harmonia axyridis, to control aphids threatening crops and forests. This exotic beetle is larger and more aggressive than most native ladybugs, and the superior predator now threatens the health of many populations of native ladybugs in many regions of the country. Superior marketing can also mean success for a product launched second to market. For example, Hydrox cookies released their chocolate sandwich cookie four years before Oreo. However, due to the poor choice of "hydrox" eliciting thoughts of hydrogen peroxide with consumers and Oreo's superior marketing, Oreo is the undisputed market leader in the chocolate sandwich cookie market.
Bug Lessons Blog
Welcome science communicators and bug nerds!
Interested in being a guest blogger?