In the past decade, biologists discovered a new mechanism by which animals locate sounds. The finding emerged from the observation that a parasitic fly stalks crickets by sound, even though the fly's head is too small for any of the previously known sound-localization mechanisms to work. Now, engineers are creating a micro-microphone inspired by the fly's extraordinary ear.
"The fly has given us an entirely different way of looking at microphone design," says Ronald N. Miles of the State University of New York at Binghamton.
For one thing, the new design strateg