Sugary survival skill

Scientists have discovered the trick that an African fly uses to survive dry times.

By Susan Gaidos, 00:00 AM April 9, 2008

Dehydration dooms most animals. Humans, for example, die if their bodies lose about 12 percent of their water. But some tough little critters can get through long periods of drought. One bug survives dry times by entering a dehydrated state. Now, scientists have discovered the sugary secret behind this feat.

The larvae of an African fly known as Polypedilum vanderplanki live in the bottom of rain puddles in the African desert. When the dry season hits, and their habitats dry up, they can en...

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