Friday, October 30, 2009

Quote of the Week: Halloween Horrors

The name 'coffin-fly' has been applied to Conicera tibiais of the family Phoridae, because this fly is able to maintain itself through many successive generations in coffined bodies that have been interred for a year or more. The fact has long been known, but even today no one really knows how the fly gets there. It seems unlikely, for a variety of reasons, that the eggs are laid on the body before burial, and so either the adult fly or the larva must find its way down through several feet of soil. This seems a difficult feat when we think of its being performed by each larva or each adult fly, but, as in many problems to do with animals, time and continuity make most things possible.

from The Natural History of Flies by Harold Oldroyd

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