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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Lopsided Legs May Be a Turn-On for Dance Flies
21 September 2010 7:01 pm
For humans, attractiveness is determined by the symmetry of our features, but a study to be published online tomorrow in Biology Letters proposes that lopsided legs help males of a newly identified species of dance fly called Empis jaschhoforum to attract a mate. Researchers examined 33 male flies captured on Mount Fuji in Japan, and found that 14 of them had one inflated, balloonlike leg. One possible explanation is the presence of parasitic worms, but none were found in the 10 samples that the team dissected. Instead, the researchers speculate that inflated legs help attract females from afar, as the legs of other species of dance fly are known to play an important role in courtship and mating.
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