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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
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,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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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