CT scan of a bee's brain

[Read the post]


So amazing. Looking for more information about the micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scanning device that was used.

My biology teacher used to make a point of arthropods not having a brain, but rather a supraesophageal ganglion. But what do I know, maybe he was being just speciesist?


Does that mean they really do make gut decisions?

1 Like

Well, it is a supraesophageal ganglion but that’s more developed than the others, actually being derived from the ganglia of multiple segments and adapted to process various sensory inputs and control behavior. A centralized portion of the nervous system like that is what a brain is.


Cool --it’s the bee’s knees!

1 Like

Or, as put much more creepily by Peter Watts, a thinking tumor .

That said, specialists need to set classifications, and by those, Pluto is not a planet, Mussolini was not a Nazi, and a bee does not have a brain.

But it’s probably a valid analogy, and who can spell “supraesophageal ganglion” instead of cut-and-pasting it from Wikipedia? not me.


Except unlike Pluto, which does make sense to separate from larger bodies, I’m not aware of any standard that would exclude what cephalized invertebrates like insects have from being a brain. And the term is used in specialist literature all the time. So I think it’s fair to consider that your biology teacher was simply mistaken on this one.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.