Other

“RoboClam” hits new depths as robotic digger

Main Point:

A digging robot inspired by the unique mechanisms employed by the Atlantic razor clam has been created by a group of researchers in the US.

Published in:

Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

Study Further:

The robot, dubbed RoboClam, is able to dig with extreme efficiency by transforming the surrounding soil from a solid into a liquid, and could have a variety of applications from anchoring underwater robots to subsea cable installation and mine neutralization.

The first results of its performance have been published today, 9 April, in IOP Publishing’s journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. A video of RoboClam in action can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bztw9PUiRss.

The Atlantic razor clam, Ensis directus, is a large species of mollusc found on the North American coast which has a remarkable ability to burrow quickly and deeply into wet sand, easily out-performing any human digger.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 9, 2014 at 5:01 am

Categories: Other, Technology   Tags: , ,

Large carnivores with large geographic ranges better-studied

Main Point:

Carnivore size and range, but not conservation status matters to researchers.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

Scientists tend to study larger carnivores with larger geographic ranges than those with greater adaptability and broader diets, according to results published April 2, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Zoe Brooke and colleagues from Zoological Society of London.

Scientists need to evaluate research efforts and their effectiveness in order to meet the conservation needs of a wider range of species which may be threatened due to habitat loss, exploitation, and climate change. The characteristics of the species themselves may influence how much we study them, possibly creating a bias in our understanding of this diverse group of animals. In an effort to better identify patterns and causes in carnivore research, the authors combined bibliometric information they obtained from ~16,500 published papers on the Order Carnivora-a well-known group of 286 species-with information on the species’ life history and ecological traits.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 3, 2014 at 2:00 am

Categories: Other   Tags: , , , , ,

Skipping meals may affect butterfly wing size, coloration

Main Point:

Two days without food for larvae may contribute to pale coloration, smaller butterfly wings.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

High food stress may impact wing size and coloration—both indicators of migratory success—in monarch butterflies, according to results published April 2, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Haley Johnson from University of Jamestown and colleagues.

Monarch butterflies migrate long distances according to the seasons every year. Because this requires so much energy, they rely on access to food during early stages of growth so that they can develop the necessary characteristics to safely complete the trek, including appropriate wing shape and coloration. To better understand the effects of food on growth, the authors of this study deprived late-stage larvae of milkweed and later measured the effect on the adults’ wing size and coloration. The three test groups were those with no food restriction, those with 24-hour food restriction (low-stress), or those with 48-hour restriction (high stress). After metamorphosis, scientists imaged and analyzed the forewing length, width, and surface area, as well as the brightness of the orange wing pigment and the intensity of black pigment.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 2:00 am

Categories: Other   Tags: , , , ,

Dinosaur chase reconstructed 70 years after excavation

Main Point:

Photos and maps of footprints have been used to digitally reconstruct dinosaur chase.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

Scientists digitally reconstructed a model of a dinosaur chase using photos of theropod and sauropod footprints excavated 70 years ago, according to results published April 2, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Peter Falkingham from Royal Veterinary College, London, and colleagues James Farlow and Karl Bates.

As one of the most famous set of dinosaur tracks in the world, the Paluxy River tracks contain both theropod and sauropod footprints. American paleontologist Roland Bird originally excavated the extensive and well preserved footprints in 1940 in Texas, but post-excavation, paleontologists removed the tracks from their original location, divided them into blocks, and transported them to various locations around the world. Prior to their removal, Bird documented the original site with photos and maps, but since excavation portions of the tracks have been lost. A wealth of information could be gained if we were able to view the tracks in one piece again, so researchers set about making that happen.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 2:00 am

Categories: Other   Tags: , , ,

Warm North Atlantic Ocean promotes extreme winters in US and Europe

Main Points:

The extreme cold weather observed across Europe and the east coast of the US in recent winters could be partly down to natural, long-term variations in sea surface temperatures, according to a new study published today.

Published in:

Environmental Research Letters

Study Further:

Researchers from the University of California Irvine have shown that a phenomenon known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)—a natural pattern of variation in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures that switches between a positive and negative phase every 60–70 years—can affect an atmospheric circulation pattern, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that influences the temperature and precipitation over the Northern Hemisphere in winter.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 2, 2014 at 5:01 am

Categories: Other   Tags: , , ,

« Previous PageNext Page »

You may also like this...close