In the late 1980s, Marla Sokolowski noticed that if she placed fly larvae on a pile of yeast in a petri dish, some would sit and eat the yeast which they sat upon, while others would move, creating wild trails through the yeast as they ate.
Tiffany Knight sometimes mentions Melicope quadrangularis in presentations about her conservation work. This flowering shrub, which is endemic to Hawaii, was listed as endangered in 1994, 20 years after the Smithsonian Institution first petitioned to have it listed. Unfortunately, that was also two years after it became extinct.
Fruit fly courtship is so highly stylized and repetitive, it is as instantly recognizable as the knee jerk or Achilles reflex. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have found a gene that seems to unleash the courtship ritual.