Steve Yanoviak tosses ants from very high places: tropical forest canopy trees. In the 10 February, 2005 issue of the journal, Nature, Yanoviak, ant biologist, Mike Kaspari, and biomechanics expert, Robert Dudley, publish an amazing observation: canopy ant workers (Cephalotes atratus L) jettisoned from branches 30 m above the ground, glide backwards to the trunk of the same tree with incredible accuracy. This is the first published account of directed gliding in wingless insects.
Eighty-five percent of falling C. atratus workers glide back to their home tree. Marked ants often came right back to the branch where they started within ten minutes of falling or being dropped off! "I first noticed directed descent behavior on BCI [the Smithsonian’s Barro Colorado Island field station in Panama] in 1998 while working on a canopy ant project with Mike Kaspari. Some spiny C. atratus workers got stuck in my hand while I was sitting in a tree crown. When I brushed them off, they appeared to glide rather than fall haphazardly," Yanoviak recalls.
"Early on, when Steve was dropping ants from the radio tower on BCI I got really excited because I could see their very clear ’J’ trajectory." explains Kaspari, zoology professor at the University of Oklahoma and Research Associate at the Smithsonian. Kaspari introduced Steve to Robert Dudley, physiologist at the University of California, Berkeley and also a Smithsonian Research Associate.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
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