Bare Feet

Bare Feet Stay Sensitive

Bare feet stay sensitive, according to reports in Nature News and Views and Scientific American 26 June 2019 and Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1345-6, published online 26 June 2019. People who habitually walk with bare feet, build up hard calluses on their soles that protect feet from skin damage and make walking on hard surfaces less painful. […]

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People Walking

Neanderthals had Human Spines

Neanderthals had human spines, according to ScienceDaily 25 February 2019 and PNAS 25 February 2019, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1820745116. Researchers at the University of Zurich have used high resolution 3D scans to study an almost complete skeleton found in La Chapelle-aux-Saints in France in the early 20th century. Neanderthals have traditionally been shown has having a stooped […]

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Lobster in Reef

Lobster Skin Could Make Car Tyres

Lobster skin could make car tyres, according to Science (AAAS) News 19 February 2019 and Acta Biomaterialia 31 January 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.01.067. Lobsters have a hard exoskeleton over their backs, legs and sides, but they have a soft flexible membrane covering the undersides of their tails and around their joints that enables them to move […]

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Peacock Peahen

Good Vibrations for Peafowl

Good vibrations for peafowl described in Science (AAAS) News, and ScienceDaily 28 November and PLoS ONE 28 November 2018 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207247. When peacocks display their splendid iridescent tail feathers (called trains) to a peahen they also shake them – a behaviour known as train rattling. As well as making an audible rattling sound, this behaviour […]

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Dandelion Seeds

“Impossible” Dandelion Flight

“Impossible” dandelion flight described, in Nature News and ScienceDaily 17 October 2018, and Nature 17 October 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0604-2. Anyone who has tried to keep dandelions from taking over their gardens and lawns knows how efficiently these plants spread their flying seeds.  Each dandelion seed is suspended under a parachute-like structure called a pappus, formed […]

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Hand Precision Grip

Neanderthals Had Precision Hands

Neanderthals had precision hands, according to Science (AAAS) News 26 September 2018 and Science Advances 26 September 2018, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat2369. Human hands are made for gripping and manipulating objects.  There are two basic ways of gripping objects depending on whether the task involves fine precise movements, such as writing, painting or sewing, or brute force, […]

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Dolphin

Why Don’t Whales Get the Bends?

Why don’t whales get the bends, ask scientists in articles in ScienceDaily 25 April 2018 and Proceedings of the Royal Society B 25 April 2018 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0482. Ever since decompression sickness was known about in human divers scientists have been intrigued as to why diving animals such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles seem to […]

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Mayfly Larva

Mayfly Legs Go With the Flow

Mayfly legs go with the flow according to Science (AAAS) News 17 January 2018. Mayfly larvae on the genus Ecdyonurus graze on algae on rocks in flowing streams. The larvae are very small and light and the current could easily dislodge them, but they manage to stay in contact with the rocks even in rapidly […]

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Scallops Have Telescope Mirror Eyes

Scallops have telescope mirror eyes, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and Live Science 30 November 2017, and Science doi: 10.1126/science.aam9506, 1 December 2017. Scallops are bivalve shellfish that have many tiny round eyes. The eyes have an unusual structure – they have two retinae (light sensitive layers) and a mirror that focuses the […]

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Hydraulic Control for Tuna Fins

Hydraulic control for tuna fins found, according to Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, and Stanford News Service 20 July 2017, and Science vol. 357, pp. 310-314 doi: 10.1126/science.aak9607, 21 July 2017. Bluefin tuna are large, fast and very agile fish. According to Stanford News, “Tuna have numerous morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations to move rapidly through […]

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