Insects get old before they die | 1/18/2019 | Eleanor Imster
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They don’t go gray or get wrinkles around their eyes, but wild crickets do age, says a study. Image via Encyclopedia Brittanica.

A new study suggests that short-lived wild insects get old – that is, lose some of their physical abilities – before they die.

University - Exeter - Rolando - Rodríguez-Muñoz - Author

University of Exeter’s Rolando Rodríguez-Muñoz is lead author of the study, published December 31, 2018 in the journal Evolution. Rodríguez-Muñoz said in a statement:

Just like humans, crickets get old. Though we didn’t find evidence of ‘live fast, die young’ in this species, those that put more energy into reproduction early in life showed some signs of faster decline as they aged.

Insects - Laboratories - Studies - Insects - Field

Insects are used to study aging in laboratories, but few studies have examined whether wild insects such as field crickets – whose adult life lasts a few weeks – experience aging in the sense of physical decline.

The field where the crickets were studied. Image via

Researchers - Network - Video - Cameras - Hour

The researchers used a network of more than 130 video cameras to study every hour of the lives of a population of wild crickets in a Spanish meadow. They monitored reproductive effort, aging and survival over a ten-year period. They found that crickets that invested more in reproduction showed more signs of aging – chirping less and losing more fights.

A male cricket fights a...
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