Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Amazing Nature: Ladybug Weathermen
Here's one for Groundhog Day: In England, scientists have discovered that a particular variety of ladybug is actually really really good at long-term predictions of winter weather. When they hibernate for the winter, they choose their location based on how severe the weather is going to be. If it is going to be a mild winter, they pick a relatively unprotected location. If it is going to be a harsh winter, they pick a secure location deep in some sort of protective structure. Since scientists have noticed this behavior, the little beetles have never been wrong. If we can just figure out how they are doing it, maybe it will give us a few hints on how to improve our long term forecasting techniques.