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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: How Glowworms Maximize Their Glow
2 July 2013 4:00 pm
The silk webs of glowworms (Arachnocampa tasmaniensis) look like diamond chandeliers, their glowing threads dangling from dark cave ceilings to attract and snare flying insects. A new study reveals that unlike rainforest glowworms, these cave-dwelling larvae of fungus gnats synchronize their glowing patterns so the colony shines brightest during the day. After collecting two species of Arachnocampa larva from Australia, one from a cave in southern Tasmania and one from a rainforest in Queensland, scientists recreated their environments in the lab and allowed the creatures to build their webs. Then they filmed the bioluminescence patterns of each species throughout the day. The cave-dwelling glowworms observe their neighbors and synchronize their cycles of luminescence to match one another , while the rainforest species do not, the team reports this month in Integrative and Comparative Biology. And though the rainforest species shine brightest at night, the cave dwellers peak during the day—a strategy the researchers think may help the species ensnare the most prey.
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