VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Un-crushable Beetle Surprises Scientists

A beetle that lives under tree bark can withstand crushing forces 39,000 times its body weight. It’s called the “diabolical ironclad beetle” and scientists are intrigued. Live Science tells about its lifestyle. Ironclad beetles (Phloeodes diabolicus) measure about 0.6 to 1 inch (15 to 25 millimeters) in length, and are found in woodland habitats in […]

Tiny Fly Beats Robots

Fruit flies dart, circle, zig and zag rapidly. Researchers gain some insight into how they do it so efficiently.

Little Bugs with Mighty Powers

Bugs so small you could step on them, but if we were their size, we could never do what they do.

Comparing Geological and Biological Patterns

Beehives have hexagons.  So do lava flows.  Is there any difference in how they form?  Science Daily shows a picture of polygon-shaped tops of basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.  Similar formations are found in the Grand Canyon, at Devil’s Postpile in California, and in many places around the world.     Researchers […]

Fish and Reptiles Converge on Magnetic Navigation

Two very different kinds of animal both have outstanding ability to navigate by earth’s magnetic field: salmon and sea turtles.  A new hypothesis by scientists at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, published in PNAS,1 suggests that the young are “imprinted” with their local magnetic field signature at birth. From a navigational perspective, some […]

These Bugs Have the Right Stride

If there were an Olympic event for walking on water, the water strider would lead the pack.  Science Daily reported on work by European biologists that show the water bug has perfectly proportioned legs for being able to balance on the surface tension of water: “Long enough to provide maximum weight support but not long […]

Evolution Takes Credit

It may be more blessed to give than to receive, but evolution often just takes.  The following news stories show evolution taking credit for a variety of phenomena when it is not quite clear how it earned it. Big insects:  Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory surmised that insects were larger in the past because there […]

Honeybees Fly with Mental Maps

You can tell a honeybee to get lost, but it can’t.  You can even take it off its flight path, but it will find its way back.  Scientists writing in PNAS1 this week described experiments by a European team that wanted to test their navigating abilities.  They marked bees at feeding stations, then took them […]

Gecko Has Self-Cleaning Feet

Imagine self-cleaning, reusable tape.  No matter where you stick it, you can remove it and stick it on another surface, no matter how dirty, and it always acts like new.  The tokay gecko has achieved such a feat on its feet, according to a physicist and a biologist from Lewis and Clark College, Oregon, publishing […]

Genes Are Not Telling the Whole Story

A growing realization is dawning on geneticists: there is more going on in DNA than previously imagined.  Now that whole genomes are becoming available, scientists are eagerly trying to understand how the genetic code (genotype) produces a full-grown organism (phenotype), like a fruit fly or human.  The interesting stuff in DNA used to be the […]
All Posts by Date