Animal Instinct # 002

In a silver gull, the breeding program includes the construction of a primitive nest, laying eggs and incubating them. From the nest of such a seagull, when it briefly disappeared, they took out all the eggs. They were laid next to the nest, in front of the hostess. She did not pay the slightest attention, neither to the empty nest, nor to the eggs that came from nearby. She carried out the program, as it should be automatic machine: sat on an empty nest to hatch non-existent eggs. The smart wasp sphex harvests live canned food for its larvae. Her victim is a cricket. The wasp, however, does not kill him, but only paralyzes. A live immobilized insect serves as food for the larva, which develops from an egg laid in its body. The behavior of a wasp really deserves admiration - it manages to accurately get with its sting into the nerve nodes of a cricket. This is a jewelry work that requires great skill, given the microscopic dimensions of the nodes and the fact that the cricket is very willingly subjected to this operation. And such a magnificent hunter knows how to drag a paralyzed cricket into a dug hole just by the antennae. If the antennae is cut off, all the work of the wasp disappears. She does not even try to drag the prey into the hole in a different way. Moreover: if the cricket already drawn into the hole is pulled out, the sfex returns, but not at all to put it in place, but to block the entrance again?

A cricket with an egg laid in it remains outside. Wasp walk past its dying offspring. She does not have a similar case in her program. But there are animals and "smarter" silver gull or wasp. Take at least a bird scavenger living on the plains of Australia. Nature placed it in unusually difficult conditions: the temperature in the desert varies widely, so for some time the eggs need to be warmed, and some, on the contrary, cooled. Hatching here is not good. And the bird learned to build magnificent incubators with artificial heating and cooling. Moreover, the male “manages” the incubator. This is a big work in which the male shows gentlemanhood. He does not even use the help of the mother of his children! For heating in early spring, the bird uses decaying compost - a mixture of all plant residues. Rotting mass produces a lot of heat. But you need to be able to use it - too tightly packed compost can even catch fire, and with excessive ventilation it will not warm. The bird manages it well, and it has enough heat until the hot days. In summer, the task changes radically - precious eggs must be saved from the scorching sun. The male acts in the only way available to him - he fills the nest with sand.