Hummingbirds - elegant and light? Not all of them! Of approximately 340 species of hummingbirds, 70% weigh six grams or less, while 30% weigh between six and ten grams. The giant hummingbird, Patagona gigas, with its 20g, is a heavy weight! Other animal species, rodents for example, contain individuals ranging in body mass from 10 grams to a rather phenomenal 60 kilograms. However, unlike the hummingbird, these mass differences occur gradually, rather than with a large ‘gap’ of mass. Maria Jose Fernandez from University of California, Berkeley, will be presenting her work trying to unravel the secret of P. gigas’ extreme size at the SEB meeting at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona on Tuesday 12th of July.
The giant hummingbird can be found in countries such as Ecuador and Chile, where Fernandez is investigating the upper limit, which could explain the upper body size among hummingbirds. She measured the influence of energy use and nutrient uptake on the birds’ hovering flight style, a mechanism which is in some ways similar to that of helicopters. Hovering is highly demanding, displaying some of the highest mass specific rates of aerobic metabolism and muscle power output among vertebrates. No difference was seen between the maximum metabolic rate and the daily energy expenditure, which means that the basal metabolic rate is the influential factor for the size of the hummingbird. “It is not unreasonable to suggest that there are energetic constraints on the evolution of body size”, says Fernandez.
Diana van Gent | alfa
Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh
Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences