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abc.net.au reports:

A chemical compound known to control mood in humans is also responsible for transforming solitary locusts into a ravenous swarm, according to a team of British and Australian researchers.


Normally, locusts actively avoid other locusts, but if they are crammed together in a small space, it triggers swarming behaviour within a couple of hours, professor Simpson says.


On a locust’s back leg are a specific set of hairs and nerves that, when stimulated, send a message to the insect’s central nervous system, triggering the release of serotonin.

The serotonin sets in motion behavioural and physical changes, leading to the formation of huge, devastating swarms that devour everything in their path.

I’ve read a really old document that describes this behaviour perfectly… Of course many people will just take this information to discredit the authenticity of the plagues, but it in fact does the opposite: Why would locusts have such an insane defence mechanism? Could it be so that they could fulfill their role many years ago?

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One Response to “Serotonin turns locusts into party animals – sound familiar?”

  1. John Smith says:

    “Locusts originate from barren regions that see only occasional transient rainfalls. While unforgiving conditions prevail, locusts eke out a living as solitary individuals with a strong aversion to mingling with other locusts. When the rains come, the amount and quality of vegetation expands and the locusts can breed in large numbers.

    In deserts, however, the rains are not sustained and food soon becomes more and more sparse. Thus large numbers of locusts are funnelled into dwindling patches of remaining vegetation where they are forced into close contact with each other. This crowding triggers a dramatic and rapid change in the locusts’ behaviour: they become very mobile and they actively seek the company of other locusts. This new behaviour keeps the crowd together while the insects acquire distinctly different colours and large muscles that equip them for prolonged flights in swarms. ”


    If you were crammed into a small living space with thousands of others, with a small amount of food you’d probably become aggressive too.

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