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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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Video: Cockroaches and Geckos 'Vanish' With Amazing Acrobatics
6 June 2012 5:00 pm
If you've ever seen a cockroach or a gecko disappear before your eyes, science now knows where they go. High-speed video of American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and flat-tailed house geckos (Hemidactylus platyurus) running up a cardboard ramp reveals that both creatures barely slow as they approach the edge. But instead of launching into space like miniature ski-jumpers, they anchor their hind limbs and swing down, perching on the underside of the ledge. Cockroaches use claws on their rear legs like grappling hooks, while geckos use claws and sticky hairs on their back feet. Scientists filmed flat-tailed house geckos in a Singapore forest performing the same maneuvers on ferns. Both species experience 3 to 4 Gs during these acrobatics, the researchers report online today in PLoS ONE, similar to forces humans experience at the bottom of a bungee jump. They speculate that the rapid maneuver allows cockroaches and geckos to escape predators-like a squealing human armed with a newspaper.
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