Getting out of the pond is the problem
A "meniscus"--the crescent-shaped and barely visible slope literally at waters edge--can mean life or death to an insect the size of a speck of dust. Water bugs that tiny must summon the energy to "surf" themselves up the problematic interface between liquid and solid in ponds and other wet places to escape predators or reproduce.
Menisci are all around us, "but we dont notice them because theyre so small, only a few millimeters in height," said mathematician David Hu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "But if youre a creature thats much smaller than that, those slopes "are like frictionless mountains," said Hu. "Plus, its slippery."
Leslie Fink | EurekAlert!
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