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Article
March 7, 1977

The Hungry Fly: A Physiological Study of the Behavior Associated With Feeding

JAMA. 1977;237(10):1010. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270370082039

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Abstract

Busy, curious, thirsty fly, Drink with me, and drink as I; Freely welcome to my cup, Could'st thou sip, and sip it up; Make the most of life you may, Life is short and wears away.

(William Oldys, "On a Fly Drinking Out of a Cup of Ale")

Scientific books rarely begin with poetry and are not usually written in a delightful philosophic manner. Hence, this zoologic text is rather special, inviting the reader to imagine how the eating habits of the blowfly (Phormia regina) might give insight into the ambitions and activities of other forms of life. Numerous experimental techniques are described in detail, designed to analyze the behavioral components of eating and correlate them with underlying physiologic mechanisms.

Particularly interesting is the typical day of the fly, which begins with a restless, random search for food that ends with the interception of a delectable cloud of odor. Contact

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