Scientists Lured the Secrets of Predation Patterns out with Fake Caterpillars


Scientists employed fake caterpillars to understand predation patterns around the globe.

Scientists wanted to find out more about predation patterns by which the natural food of chain is based. To encourage nature to divulge its secrets, a team of researchers planted fake caterpillars on 31 habitats across all six continents of Earth. These selected locations did not neglect either Arctic Circle or Australia.

Scientists Employed Rudimental Research Methods, Yet It Became a Global Study

Scientists started their research on predation patterns by designing special fake caterpillars. These models were able to lure in insect-eating predators. The international team of researchers lets their sentinels work their magic. After a while, they retrieved them back to their lab, only to discover some new facts about nature. As such, they were able to understand that an insect has higher chances to be hunted down if it’s in an area closer to the equator or at lower elevations.

The research technique seems rudimental in its design. However, its power came from the very fact that it attained global proportions and the bait was well constructed. The fake caterpillars were brought to life by the main tool which is similar to a garlic press. There were 41 scientists gathered from 21 different countries who participated in this project. They all took several decoys made of plasticine and protected by tubes. Afterward, they deployed them in natural habitats for periods of four to 18 days.

There Were 3,000 Fake Caterpillars that Revealed New Things about Predators

The main point of interest for scientists in the retrieved assets was bite marks or any other sign that a predator might leave behind. There were over 3,000 dummies that were spread around the world at 31 certain points.

The main findings indicate that risks coming from predators decreased as the fake caterpillars were closer to the polls. Moreover, the danger was higher at lower elevations. On the other hand, researchers came to the conclusion that these predation patterns were describing ants more than birds and mammals.

The conclusion of the study pointed out that there are more predators near the equator than poles. Moreover, data showed that each 238-foot increase in elevation amplified the chances for predation by 6.6%.

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