The boogey man has eight legs

grasshopper who is afraid of a spiderComing face to face with a spider, is frequently a bit freaky, even when your’re 1000 times bigger than it. It still looks BIG.

Imagine if you’re a grasshopper, hopping about doing your thing and you come face to face with a spider – OUCH !

The boogey man has eight legs

When a team of scientists exposed grasshoppers to spiders, they confirmed, what should be obvious to anyone who stops to think about it – a grasshopper will be scared out of his wits, should it accidently “bump” into a spider, while out and about.

But the team discovered something that was not so obvious – grasshopper close encounters with eight legged bug eyed monsters, leaves a lot more than just the grasshopper shaking. The meetings provoked a stress response, which rippled down the food chain, so that everyone in the grasshopper’s world suffered, a little.

Fear chemicals foul up the works

The troubles started with the chemical rush that flooded the bodies of the petrified grasshopper, who in a moment saw its life flash in front of it.

Yup, it isn’t just a human condition – the lowly grasshopper has a stress response too.

The chemistry is a little different from human chemistry, since grasshoppers don’t actually have a REAL heart, remember they’re insects, so grasshopper stress won’t precipitate a heart attack. But it does change what they choose to eat.

Hungry for nice things

Stressed out grasshoppers, look for carbohydrate-rich plants, just like, stressed out humans seek out “nice” foods, such as sweets, cookies and comfort foods.

But, just like a high carb diet creates a environmental problem postprandially, it creates a lot of negativity in the grasshoppers environment because…

A carcass full of carbs doesn’t rot

The carb loaded grasshopper eventually dies – sometimes of “natural” causes, unfortunately in grasshopper country, the end is oftentimes more dramatic.

Grasshoppers end up being other creatures dinner. But a stressed out grasshopper, doesn’t make a perfect dinner, especially for the bacteria and fungi in the soil. Turning a high carb grasshopper carcass back to dust, is made that much more difficult, because the carcass is short of nitrogen.

NOTE : Nitrogen is only found in protein rich foods, it is missing from carbs and fats.

Soiled by stressed grasshoppers

The team found that the shortage of nitrogen in the stressed grasshopper bodies, ended up slowing the process of decomposition. At the end of the day, changes in decomposition rates can impact the quality of the soil etc.

Who’d have thought – a meeting between a grasshopper and a spider, could impact the chemistry of an entire ecosystem. Little things can have a big impact on overall chemistry.

Studies like this confirm that everybody counts in an ecosystem – even grasshoppers. So do your bit to protect the wilds and try not to scare too many grasshoppers and things.

And remember….

Little things impact chemistry

Being healthy is all about good body chemistry. Small things can have big effects on the chemical balance within your body.

Stress can quite literally kill you and foul up your body chemistry, as well as your kid’s body chemistry, so…..

TRY TO AVOID TOO MANY ENCOUNTERS WITH EIGHT LEGGED BOOGEY MEN !

And get the 7 Big Spoons™ working for you.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion
 
Fear of Predation Slows Plant-Litter Decomposition. Science (2012)336 (6087) : 1434-1438 Dror Hawlena, Michael S. Strickland, Mark A. Bradford, and Oswald J. Schmitz.
 

Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those stress full moments ?

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Further reading

rat under the influence of toxoplasma doggie loving anti-acid protecting a bacteria from the acid rain
Why rats commit suicide by jumping in front of hungry cats Doggie cuddles take away health troubles Bacteria put on raincoats and wellies when visiting you

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 2 July – 6 July on July 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    [...] The boogey man has eight legs Big Spoons [...]

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