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E.g., 08/16/2017
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  • cheetah and wildebeests
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Your search has returned 124 articles:
  • 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
  • News

    Mosquito flight is unlike that of any other insect

    Mosquitoes take weird insect flight to new heights.

    The buzzing bloodsuckers flap their long wings in narrow strokes really, really fast — more than 800 times per second in males. That’s four times faster than similarly sized insects. “The incredibly high wingbeat frequency of mosquitoes is simply mind-boggling,” says David Lentink, who studies flight at Stanford University.

    ...

    03/29/2017 - 15:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    Life on Earth may have begun as dividing droplets

    NEW ORLEANS — In a primordial soup on ancient Earth, droplets of chemicals may have paved the way for the first cells. Shape-shifting droplets split, grow and split again in new computer simulations. The result indicates that simple chemical blobs can exhibit replication, one of the most basic properties of life, physicist Rabea Seyboldt of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex...

    03/21/2017 - 07:00 Biophysics, Chemistry