Life Science

Ever wonder how flies navigate?

Dr. Vivek Jayaraman and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus discovered that the ellipsoid body located in the middle of a fly’s brain acts like a compass to help navigate flight even in darkness. By placing the flies into a small virtual reality arena and having the flies walk on a…

This town in Australia got some unusual precipitation: millions of spiders that proceeded to blanket the entire town with cobwebs.

The opah (Lampris guttatus), otherwise known as a moonfish, lives in the deep sea where warm blood can be advantageous. According to a quote from Nicholas Wegner (NOAA) posted in Live Science, “Increased temperature speeds up physiological processes within the bod. As a result, the muscles can contract faster, the temporal resolution of the eye is…

Friday Cephalopod: She’s showing

Many species of ants are known for being rather clean by disposing of their dead outside of the nest and placing other wastes, like bits of food, in refuse chambers. Dr. Tomer J. Czaczkes (University of Regensburg) was surprised therefore to see “dark patches” build up in plaster nests that housed black garden ants (Lasius niger).…

Sometimes science sees something change – there is more of something, or less, or more importantly, there is a change in the rate of some phenomenon or in its pattern of variability. But sometimes science looks out there in the world and observes something that was probably there all along (though there may be changes…

Friday Cephalopod: Emergence!

Professor Wayne Vogl and colleagues at the University of British Columbia discovered that rorqual whales can gulp volumes of water that are bigger than their body. Nerves in the mouth and tongue make this amazing feat possible as they can actually stretch to twice their resting length without sustaining damage. Dr. Vogl was quote in CBC News…

Everything you thought you knew about Brown Recluse Spiders is wrong. There is now a book to set you straight. This is my review of that book. His name was Bob. I was a kid, he was an adult that all the other adults seemed to think was cool. He used to have a job…