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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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Video: Tiny Insect Jumps off Water
3 December 2012 12:35 pm
If you thought walking on water was a big deal try jumping off it. A researcher has discovered pygmy mole crickets (Xya capensis) launching themselves from the top of a pond in South Africa. After taking them into the laboratory for a closer look, he and a colleague discovered the 5.5-milimeter-long insect's secret weapons: each of its powerful hind legs is equipped with seven paddle-like appendages and four prongs. As the cricket falls into the water, its hind legs kick out and penetrate the drink. That unfolds its paddles and prongs, which push so much liquid downward that the wet insect is propelled up from the water like a missile, achieving heights 18 times its body length. On land, the insect makes stupendous but often ill-directed jumps that often land it in the wet, so water-based leaps come in handy—no swimsuit necessary.
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