Gators go a-courtin' with fancy physics

Subsonic mating bellows generate Faraday waves

By Devin Powell, 17:10 PM May 24, 2011

Alligators flirt with physics. When males attract attention by quivering their spiky backs underwater, they create Faraday waves, researchers reported May 23 in Seattle at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. These sophisticated patterns are usually seen only in man-made devices.

"Faraday waves haven't really been seen in nature before," says John Allen, an acoustician at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who was not involved with the research.

When a male alligator craves comp...

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