Living in fear can be deadly, dragonfly study shows
In a newly published study, dragonfly larvae living within sight and smell of a predators such as fish had 2.5 to 4.3 times higher mortality than dragonfly larvae living in a predator-free environment — even though the dragonfly larvae were protected by a cage and could never be eaten by the predators.
As part of the experiment, the predator neighbour consumed two members of their dragonfly species, three times a week, in their presence.
Nevertheless, the high death toll is “a pretty extreme response,” said Shannon McCauley, a biologist at the California Polytechnic State University who led the research and conducted part of it while she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto.
She added that it was particularly surprising because dragonfly larvae are typically so hardy and robust — they can withstand dirty water, crowded conditions and even being out of the water they normally live in for short periods of time — qualities that make them good subjects to study in the lab.
“Maybe this is why populace are always kept in fear, fear of terrorists, fear of 2012, fear of Iran, Pakistan, Y2k, demons etc etc. Battle of good vs evil keeps brewing up , and the pot is about to be overflow”