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The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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ScienceShot: Crickets Sing Deeper When Cold
30 April 2012 4:51 pm
A lesson for crickets wanting to sing like Barry White: chill out. Like most of their relatives, South Indian tree crickets (Oecanthus henryi) woo mates by rubbing their wings together, causing them to vibrate and produce sound much like a guitar string. But these bugs, which have especially long and transparent wings, are also slaves to the weather. When it gets cold out, tree cricket chirps drop in frequency by as much as an octave. To find out why, researchers employed lasers capable of detecting slight vibrations to measure how the wings of tree crickets buzzed during these calls. The appendages, it turns out, vibrate at several distinct frequencies—rather than just one like most crickets—making them versatile singers, the group reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And when the weather turns chilly, the insects likely can't beat their wings as fast, meaning that they also can't hit those high notes. So while they can sing soul, opera may be out of the picture.
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