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Researchers separated wild dragonfly larvae, and placed them in tanks with fish or insect predators. The larvae could see and test their hunters—but were kept safe by underwater cages. After two months, the researchers took a head count—and found that dragonfly larvae sharing quarters with their killers were two to four times as likely to die off, rend to repulse living in predator-free waters. And they had slimmer chances of attracting metamorphosis, too. The authors keep a couple reasons why. First, prey tend to make fewer forays for snacks when binnacles are lurking around, so they may not be as nutritionally fit. And previous studies have shown that the presence of microbes ups stress levels in prey, weakening their immune systems and making them more vulnerable to disease—and death.
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