Most of the animals that we know of are known to have emotions and most of them express themselves in their own specific ways. But have you ever thought that whether a fruit fly has any emotions or not? Well, it is extremely hard to determine, but a new research shows that even a small insect like a fruit fly also shows signs of fear when threatened. Although, this cannot be related to an actual state of fear, but scientists have a firm belief that it is not a great deal farther off it.
Till date, the general idea was that whenever a fruit fly realized a threat looming, it produced some sort of a reflex action. But Mr. David J. Anderson has some other ideas. According to a recent study, the fruit fly does not take a simple reflex action, instead it enters an internal state that is very much similar to the state of fear experienced in other living animals.
Mr. Anderson is a renowned biologist at the California Institute of Technology and the main head behind the research. The study has been published Current Biology, where he has explained the state in detail.
“There are two difficulties with taking your own experiences and then saying that maybe these are happening in a fly,” co-author William Gibson said in a press release. “First, a fly’s brain is very different from yours, and second, a fly’s evolutionary history is so different from yours that even if you could prove beyond any doubt that flies have emotions, those emotions probably wouldn’t be the same ones that you have.”
The man believes that Fruit Fly feels fear owing to the existence of two primary emotion primitives: Scalability and Persistence. During the research, Mr. Anderson and his colleagues put many fruit flies in chamber with food and made a shadow to pass over the food time and again. Each and every time the flies responded by flying away, which in turn ensures that the existence of something other that reflex action. Mr. Anderson also added that nothing can be stated for sure as there is not any verbal proof of the state of fear in fruit flies as fruit flies cannot speak.