Cannibal Crickets

Hunger and danger keep a certain type of cricket hopping along in large swarms.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM March 2, 2006

It sounds like the makings of a creepy movie. Swarms of insects band together and march across the landscape. They crawl over everything in their path, and they make an eerie rustling sound as they move. Along the way, they eat each other when they get the chance.

The phenomenon is strange, but true for insects known as Mormon crickets. A new set of studies offers an explanation for why it happens: These crickets go on the march when they're short of protein and salt in their diets. As a grou...

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