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Appreciating the peculiar lives of insects


Narrator:      
This is Science Today. When one thinks about insects, thoughts of personality, love and language probably don't often come to mind. But it's something that evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk*, of the University of California, Riverside, has spent a lot of time studying and has written several books and articles on the topic. 

Zuk:                I like the idea that people who don't study insects can still know something about them and that people, for instance, who see insects in their garden don't just immediately think, "oh, I need to kill that". And instead, maybe they can think about the peculiar lives that the animals have, about all the stuff that we've learned for science from insects, things about how decisions are made, how the brain works, how animals can get along even if they have really conflicting interests.

Narrator:       Scientists have long studied insects to gain insight into our own worlds.

Zuk:               For a way to understand how it is that organisms with really, really tiny brains and very little to them generally, can still do incredibly complicated things. 

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.

 *  Marlene Zuk has since moved on to the University of Minnesota.