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Irritating And Integral: How Flies Actually Make Life On Earth Better

Flies are everywhere. They buzz in our ears, fly around our mouths, crawl on the rims of our drinks, and even hang out in the hair of vice-presidential candidates during national debates.

Flies get a bad rap, but they’re integral to our way of life on Earth. From being natural waste disposers and recyclers to contributors to the development of gene editing, flies are some of the most versatile insects on Earth.

We speak to ethologist Jonathan Balcombe about why flies are so successful as a species — and why we couldn’t survive without them.

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5

Haili Blassingame

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