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Posts Tagged "insect"

Image of the Week

Guinness-Busting Bug

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Credit: China News Service/Zhong Xin Source: Bec Crew’s Largest aquatic insect in the world found in China on Running Ponies Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? Poring over the pages of tiny text and black and white images of record breakers was a hallowed summer time-busting tradition, at least in my circle of friends. [...]

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Image of the Week

The Emerging Mosquito

Wild-mosquito

Image Credit: © Alex Wild Source: Recipe For A Photograph #4: The Emerging Mosquito, on Compound Eye As the weather warms and spring marches into summer, mosquito pupae are shedding their skins and emerging from stagnant pools to search for warm mammalian blood. The thought of swarms of pesky mosquitoes and the itchy red welts [...]

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Not bad science

The world at night – blacklighting: how it works and some amazing photos

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Eran Levin is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona. His research is with hawk moths, but catching them means that he gets to see a plethora of other critters. Here he shares how blacklighting works, alongside some photos of it.   Hawk moths are among the best flyers in nature. Their very strong [...]

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Not bad science

Emotional bees

Whether animals feel emotion, and are capable of suffering, is a question the answer to which has far-reaching implications. I recently read Victoria Braithwaite’s ‘Do Fish Feel Pain?’, a question that I didn’t worry about much until reading this book, but now bothers me a lot more. This book raised a number of quandaries I [...]

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Observations

Fish Shoots Down Prey with Super-Powered Jet [Video]

archer fish water jet

With a juicy insect dinner perched on a leaf above the water, what is a hungry little archer fish down below to do? Knock it down with a super-powered, super-precise jet of water that packs six times the power the fish could generate with its own muscles, according to new findings published online October 24 [...]

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Observations

Complex Brains Existed 520 Million Years Ago in Cockroach Relative

insect brain evolution 520 million years arthropod fossil

Your everyday cockroach might not seem terribly intelligent. But new fossil evidence from 520 million years ago suggests that this insidious insect might have had some surprisingly smart early ancestors. Cockroaches and other insects belong to a group called the arthropods, which arose some 540 million years ago. A new Chinese fossil is yielding new [...]

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Observations

The Biology of the Translucent Jewel Caterpillar, the Nudibranch of the Forest

Acraga coa larva

Yesterday, stunning photos of a semi-translucent, gelatinous caterpillar spread quickly across the Internet—probably setting a new speed record for larvae of all kinds. Scuba instructor and amateur wildlife photographer Gerardo Aizpuru spotted the creature in early April on a mangrove tree leaf near Cancun, Mexico. He submitted his pictures to Project Noah, a user-created database [...]

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Observations

Odd Insect Fossils Suggest Early Carnivorous Lifestyle

insect fossil new order

A recently described swarm of fossil insects unearthed from a 100 million-year-old South American formation are a Frankensteinian riot of mismatched parts: lengthy praying mantis-like front legs; long, slim wings like a dragonfly; and wing-vein patterns to match those of modern-day mayflies. So unusual is their form that scientists are cataloguing the creatures into a [...]

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Observations

French Bug Plays 100-Decibel Mating Call on Genitalia

loudest bug recorded song mating call penis

Whales can boom their songs across thousands of kilometers of ocean, and elephants’ low-frequency calls can be heard by other pachyderms several kilometers away. But when body size is taken into consideration, these mammoth mammals produce but a relative whisper compared with other animals—especially one odd arthropod. The water boatman (Micronecta scholtzi), a 2.3-millimeter-long insect, [...]

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Observations

Flea films find feet-first formula for fast fleeing [Video]

fleas jump off with toes not knees

A wee flea can propel its 1.8-millimeter-long body 1.9 meters per second in a single leap. How do these mighty mites do it? The biomechanics of the flea leap have been something of a small controversy in the field of entomology. The core power for the jump comes from a coil in the animal’s thorax, [...]

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Observations

Full genome sequence shows body lice have lousy sense of smell

body louse whose genome is the shortest insect genome to have been sequenced

The body louse, a plague to humans and our ancestors for millions of years, subsists exclusively on our unwitting hospitality. Scientists have now parsed the modern human body louse’s (Pediculus humanus humanus) genome, revealing a deep evolutionary dependence on humans and "remarkable completeness," despite being the shortest yet decoded in the insect group, the researchers [...]

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Observations

World’s strongest animal effectively benches 1,000 times its body weight

strongest insect beetle weight

Even if a grown man could pull 95,000 kilograms, he still would get shown up by the newly crowned world’s strongest insect—proportionally speaking. Researchers recently discovered that this honor should go to the Onthophagus taurus dung beetle, whose strongest males can pull some 1,140 times their own body weight, the research team reported in a [...]

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Observations

Aquatic invasion: Scientists find first amphibious insect species

underwater amphibious caterpillar hawaii

Several new species of rare Hawaiian moth caterpillars have been discovered to be able to thrive both totally submerged and totally dry. They are the first insects to be described as fully amphibious, reported a team of researchers in a study published online March 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This [...]

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Symbiartic

A Delicate Army of Franken-Fairies

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When tallying up a list of materials to use in assembling delicate fairy sculptures, bug parts might not be first on your average list. But for sculptor Cedric Laquieze, who is fascinated with organic materials and a natural aesthetic, they are the perfect choice. The resulting fairies and goddesses transcend the ick-factor for even the [...]

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Symbiartic

Parasite Got You Tied Up in Knots? Call in Alexander the Great

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Have you decided on your Halloween costume yet? If you haven’t already put many hours into this year’s costume, you might consider a new take on the old standby: the zombie. But not your average bloody, bandaged abomination… and for the love, not a mustached, hipster kind of zombie (judging from the prevalence of random [...]

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