Physicists from the University Munich in Germany and the University of Topeka, Kansas have strong new evidence that snakes can hear through their jaws. Snakes don't have outer ears, leading to the myth that they can't hear at all.
But they do have complete inner ear systems, including functional cochlea, which are carefully connected to and stimulated by their lower jaw. Resting on the ground, a snake's jaw can detect vibrations as small as an angstrom in amplitude (a motion roughly as large the diameter of a single atom), which act like sound waves to the inner ear.
The physicists performed a geometric study of the anatomy of horned desert vipers as well as the ground waves created by the footfalls of their prey. They showed mathematically that the jaw-to-cochlea system is sensitive to the frequencies of the prey's ground vibrations.
From their analysis, the physicists also found that the snake's notorious ability to unhinge their jaws and swallow their prey whole means that the right and left side of their jaws can receive vibrations independently, and the snakes hear in stereo.
The paper provides data supporting the theory that as the cochlea is stimulated, the snake’s auditory neurons create a topological map of its environment. Thus, as experiments have shown, some snakes can catch their prey using only vibration cues.
The physicists believe their study shows that ground vibrations to the lower jaw should be regarded as a significant source of sensory input for the snakes, and that this finding strongly supports the idea of the auditory stimulation creating a neural map. - CC
James Riordon | American Physical Society
Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab
15.08.2018 | American Institute of Physics
Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity
15.08.2018 | University of California - Riverside
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences