The Loom

Very Noisy Evolution

On the east coast, we’re bracing for the howling emergence of a massive brood of 17-year cicadas in a couple weeks. Here’s a nice piece in the Washington Post about the evolution of this strange life history.

Comments

  1. #1 Gwangi
    May 4, 2004

    Although that is a very interesting article, it should be noted that the prime number issue is fairly unresolved. While Cox & Carlton argue for a hybridization (or, rather, lack of) answer, Lloyd & Dybas favored a parasitoid viewpoint, while Gould wrote about peroidicity in the cicada’s predators. Later math work (http://aimsciences.org/journals/dcdsB/Volume1-3/Webb.pdf) supports Gould’s claim. Not, of course, that any of these things are mutually exclusive.