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To understand behavioral responses of animals to prompt and slow rise in temperature, researchers at the University of California – Santa Barbara conducted a explore on fruit fly larvae. They found that a quick rise in temperature to 25 degrees stimulated a writhing response in the larvae. On the contrary, upon a gradual increase to the same temperature fewer larvae exhibited responses and the average threshold for bearing higher temperature was high. It was found that when the temperature rose very quickly, thermosensory neurons in the brain sense the switch and stimulate the writhing response. Moreover, they observed that the temperature switch activates a protein called TRPA1, which is the cellular temperature sensor. However, when the temperature rose little by little, TRPA1 was less active. The researchers conjecture that these mechanisms are critical for an animal’s survival and a explore of such switches in different animals can help understand how different species react to the temperature switches.
Read more in Science Daily.