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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: Tiny Bug Makes a Riot With Its Privates
30 June 2011 5:22 pm
The world's loudest animal relative to its size has been revealed to be a tiny bug with a big organ. Specifically, the water boatman, Micronecta scholtzi, rattles its penis along grooves in its abdomen to produce a chattering song—that registers at 99.2 decibels—about the volume of a loud orchestra heard from the front row. Scientists presenting at the Society for Experimental Biology annual conference in Glasgow recorded the bug and analyzed its volume compared to various other loud animals. Even though the water boatman does its "singing" from the bottom of rivers to attract mates, humans walking along the riverbank can clearly hear it. The area along its abdomen that the bug uses to make the noise is only about the width of a human hair, and researchers aren't sure exactly how it produces so loud a song.
See more ScienceShots.