by Ainsley Flowdleen
In our new fortnightly nature section, we cast a spider-like multi-faceted eye over the latest developments in the field of biology and animals. This month Ainsley Flowdleen discovers some interesting truths about flies.
According to a six year investigation by a French scientific society - Scientists sans Frontieres - Chinese flies are 84% less intelligent than their European counterparts. The study took place in conjunction with the Fly Department of Qinghua University's natural sciences unit, who refused to comment on the report, although they did categorically not deny the findings.
Lee Twei Sun, who lead the investigation on the French side, comments "Thousands of flies were tested as part of the investigation. They were put through some light physical exercises, then some more taxing mental puzzles." The report clearly found that whilst the European flies had no outstanding abilities, the Chinese flies were simply "hopeless" at most of the tests.
Above: French researchers toast the end of another arduous 6-hour working day.
Jean Everie, the lead French scientist explains that "[the Chinese flies] were almost laughable. During the escape from the electric fly-swat test, all but one of the 85 Chinese flies killed themselves on other objects in the room. Several flew into other electric sockets in the room; some drowned in the lab assistant's Nescafe gold blend, and the rest actually landed on the electric fly swat - whilst it was not being held."
In another incident, a batch of 20,000 common house flies from Hunan were left in a waiting room whilst staff prepared a 3D maze next door. When the staff returned, all the flies were dead. "It seems that several of the flies had collided with the 'on' switch of the lab air-con, just at the moment when the large swarm was under the air-con intake hatch. They were sucked through the air-con system again and again, which wouldn't have been a problem had a breakaway group of flies not landed on the decrease temperature button repeatedly, and then flown into the system again themselves. The frozen corpses were everywhere..." trailed off lab assistant Marie, Sunday.
The one remaining fly managed to get out of the external AC hatch, and was last seen heading in the direction of the nearby caverne du Diable - a cave famous for its thousands of bats.