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Cicadas Return To New Jersey After 17 Years Just In Time For Memorial Day

TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - Oh, the marvels of Mother Nature - each creature doing as its DNA instructs, at its own pace.

Mosquitoes live for days. Cicadas, on the other hand...

"This is a oddity of nature that we only get to see once every 17 years," Rutgers University entomologist Dr. George Hamilton told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

Cicadas Return To New Jersey After 17 Years Just In Time For Memorial Day

As CBS2's Lou Young explained last month, scientists are tracking 15 different broods of periodic cicadas.

Hamilton said brood number two was born in 1996, and billions of the red-eyed, giant sluggish bugs are digging out of their 17-year slumber, just in time to make the Memorial Day weekend a noisy one.

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They've been spotted in Tenafly, Wayne, Colonia, Fanwood, Mendham, and Montclair.

The males will sing their song of love to us - that deafening rattle.

"Once the adults start to come out, their only job is to mate and then for the females to go off and lay eggs and once she does that, she's gonna die," Hamilton said.

The little ones will burrow underground and emerge in 2030. This is likely an evolutionary tactic for survival.

"The best theory right now on why this has evolved is as a predatory response. It's really hard for something to key in on you once every 17 years," Hamilton.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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