Ask mr brain...all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 February, 2000, 12:00am

Do flies have tongues for taste? Flies do not have anything that we would call a tongue, but they do have sensory organs. Flies have other mouth parts besides tongues that they use mostly to suck up liquids. The major structure of the mouth part is the labellum, which is a spongy structure.

The labellum has sensory organs that can help the fly taste. But the feet of the fly also help out. That means the fly can taste something by walking on it! Why is the male peacock prettier? The bright colours and elaborate ornamentation in male animals may have resulted from the way females recognise males, rather than from competition between males, scientists suggested.

Results show Charles Darwin may have been about right when he suggested that many female animals have a 'sense of the beautiful', researchers said.

The researchers created a computer simulation of a process a fe male bird could use to distinguish males (peacock) of her own species from similar-looking males of another species. Her potential mates had slightly longer tails.

The computer 'learned' by a procedure mimicking evolution. It came to show stronger responses to images resembling birds with unusually long tails or multiple tails.