What Flies Tell Us About Animal Populations

Flies really enjoying feeding on the decaying corpses of animals, and scientists are using this fly behavior to their advantage. Researchers that are attempting to conserve certain animal species or plant life want to know which types of animals inhabit certain geographical locations. In order to do this researchers are analyzing the DNA that is located in fly guts. This can tell them, for example, which animals inhabit a certain forest.

Researchers from Robert Koch institute captured carrion flies near two different tropical forests. The researchers analyzed the DNA from the innards of the carrion fly. They found an abundance of DNA from local species, which supports the claim that flies can tell scientists about the local animal population. Some of the animals were endangered, while others were hard to track. Ultimately this sort of research is akin to census taking, and it is clearly much easier for scientists to track local wildlife through bloodsucking animals, rather than spending labor intensive days roaming the jungle and chasing after different critters.

What other types of blood sucking animals would possess DNA from many different animals?

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