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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.
See more ScienceShots.