Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

From loner to swarming locust

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Scientists believe they may have solved the mystery of why locusts swarm.

They have found that "gregarious", swarming locusts had about three times more serotonin, a brain chemical, than calm, solitary locusts.

This timelapse footage, courtesy of Steve Rogers, shows how a locust with higher levels of serotonin is attracted to other locusts, which are being held behind a partition to the left hand side of the experimental chamber.

The findings, which are published in the journal Science, could eventually help with the control of this economically devastating pest.

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