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Tiger beetles are such fast runners that they can capture [#permalink]
18 Dec 2005, 21:23
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Tiger beetles are such fast runners that they can capture virtually any nonflying insect. However, when running toward an insect, a tiger beetle will intermittently stop and then, a moment later, resume its attack. Perhaps the beetles cannot maintain their pace and must pause for a moment's rest; but an alternative hypothesis is that while running, tiger beetles are unable to adequately process the resulting rapidly changing visual information and so quickly go blind and stop.
Which of the following, if discovered in experiments using artificially moved prey insects, would support one of the two hypotheses and undermine the other?
A. When a prey insect is moved directly toward a beetle that has been chasing it, the beetle immediately stops and runs away without its usual intermittent stopping.
B. In pursuing a swerving insect, a beetle alters its course while running and its pauses become more frequent as the chase progresses.
C. In pursuing a moving insect, a beetle usually responds immediately to changes in the insect's direction, and it pauses equally frequently whether the chase is up or down an incline.
D. If, when a beetle pauses, it has not gained on the insect it is pursuing, the beetle generally ends its pursuit.
E. The faster a beetle pursues an insect fleeing directly away from it, the more frequently the beetle stops.