Research at the University of Kent has revealed a remarkable phenomenon among tadpoles of the Mallorcan midwife toad, one of Europe’s most threatened species. The researchers, from the University’s Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology, (DICE) have discovered that the toad tadpoles can change shape when they smell snakes swimming nearby. Tadpoles found in pools where there are no snakes tend to be short and fat, whereas tadpoles in pools which attract snakes are long and thin.
Dr Richard Griffiths from DICE calls this the ‘Laurel and Hardy’ effect, and laboratory tests have shown that ‘Hardy’ tadpoles can become ‘Laurel’ tadpoles within a couple of weeks if they are treated with snake chemical cues. The long, streamlined tadpoles also have thicker tail muscles that enable them to swim faster and escape from snakes.
The Mallorcan midwife toad is under threat from snakes originally introduced by the Romans for religious purposes. The toad population is currently restricted to a few mountain gorges in the northern part of the island although toads from the DICE breeding colony are now being successfully reintroduced to Mallorca as part of the conservation programme.
Karen Baxter | alfa
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses