CT scan of a bee's brain


#1

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#2

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


#3

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?


#4

Does that mean they really do make gut decisions?


#5

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.


#6

Cool --it’s the bee’s knees!


#7

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.


#9

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.


#10

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