When a string of processionary caterpillars moves through the trees, one leads and the others follow, their eyes half-closed and their heads snugly fitted against the tail end of the preceding caterpillar. A French naturalist named Jean-Henri Fabre conducted many experiments with groups of processionary caterpillars. In one experiment, he enticed a string of them to the rim of a large flowerpot where their bodies connected and formed a complete circle. Then they started moving around in procession — one which had neither beginning nor end. It was expected that soon they would catch on to the joke, get tired of their useless parade and go off in some other direction. But they did not. Out of habit, the living,…
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