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E.g., 09/24/2017
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Your search has returned 126 articles:
  • Science Ticker

    Why bats crash into windows

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    Walls can get the best of clumsy TV sitcom characters and bats alike.

    New lab tests suggest that smooth, vertical surfaces fool some bats into thinking their flight path is clear, leading to collisions and near misses.

    The furry fliers famously use sound to navigate — emitting calls and tracking the echoes to hunt for prey and locate obstacles. But some...

    09/07/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    Why bats crash into windows

    View the video

    Walls can get the best of clumsy TV sitcom characters and bats alike.

    New lab tests suggest that smooth, vertical surfaces fool some bats into thinking their flight path is clear, leading to collisions and near misses.

    The furry fliers famously use sound to navigate — emitting calls and tracking the echoes to hunt for prey and locate obstacles. But some...

    09/07/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Science Visualized

    Why midsize animals are the fastest

    Speed has its limits — on the open road and the Serengeti. Midsize animals tend to be the speedsters, even though, in theory, the biggest animals should be the fastest. A new analysis that relates speed and body size in 474 species shows that the pattern holds for animals whether they run, fly or swim (see graphs below) and suggests how size becomes a liability.

    This relationship between...

    08/11/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Biophysics, Ecology
  • Mystery Solved

    How spiders mastered spin control

    A strange property of spider silk helps explain how the arachnids avoid twirling wildly at the end of their ropes.

    Researchers from China and England harvested silk from two species of golden orb weaver spiders, Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes, and tested it with a torsion pendulum. The device has a hanging weight that rotates clockwise or counterclockwise, twisting whatever fiber it...

    08/08/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News

    Newly discovered lymph hydraulics give tunas their fancy moves

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    In fishes as familiar as tunas, humans have managed to find some unknown anatomy: a hydraulic system based on lymph.

    Often the underdogs of body parts, vertebrate lymph systems can do vital chores such as fight disease but rarely get the attention that blood systems do. Yet it turns out to be lymph, not blood, that rushes into two sickle-shaped tuna fins and fans...

    07/31/2017 - 14:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • It's Alive

    The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly alive

    An adult insect wing is basically dead.

    So what in the world were tiny respiratory channels doing in a wing membrane of a morpho dragonfly?

    Rhainer Guillermo Ferreira was so jolted by a scanning electron microscope image showing what looked like skinny, branching tracheal tubes in a morpho wing that he called in another entomologist for a second opinion. Guillermo Ferreira, then at...

    06/30/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Teaser

    Ladybugs fold their wings like origami masters

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    Those who struggle to fit a vacation wardrobe into a carry-on might learn from ladybugs. The flying beetles neatly fold up their wings when they land, stashing the delicate appendages underneath their protective red and black forewings.

    To learn how one species of ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) achieves such efficient packing, scientists needed to see under the...

    06/13/2017 - 11:30 Biophysics, Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Petite parrots provide insight into early flight

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    When it comes to hopping between branches, tiny parrots try only as hard as they need to. The finding comes from high-speed video taken to measure how Pacific parrotlets (Forpus coelestis) shift momentum from takeoff to landing.

    Bird flight is though to have started with jumping and gliding. When traveling short distances, parrotlets get most of their oomph from...

    05/24/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • News

    How a flamingo balances on one leg

    A question flamingo researchers get asked all the time — why the birds stand on one leg — may need rethinking. The bigger puzzle may be why flamingos bother standing on two.

    Balance aids built into the birds’ basic anatomy allow for a one-legged stance that demands little muscular effort, tests find. This stance is so exquisitely stable that a bird sways less to keep itself upright when...

    05/23/2017 - 19:59 Biophysics, Animals
  • Science Visualized

    The scales of the ocellated lizard are surprisingly coordinated

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    A lizard’s intricately patterned skin follows rules like those used by a simple type of computer program.

    As the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) grows, it transforms from a drab, polka-dotted youngster to an emerald-flecked adult. Its scales first morph from white and brown to green and black. Then, as the animal ages, individual scales flip from black to green, or...

    04/27/2017 - 06:00 Animals, Biophysics