Monday, 4 June 2012

Wildlife stuff from the week 28/5 - 3/6/12

We all know what makes flowers attractive to humans - pretty colours, and maybe a nice smell. But what makes them attractive on a bee's scale?
It turns out, the surfaces of flower petals are made like high-grip surfaces - with lots of bumps and spikes, making them more favourable landing pads for hungry bees

Unlike most reptiles, and like mammals, the tuatara can chew. This facilitates a broader diet, but, surprisingly, seems more common in ancestors contemporary with the dinosaurs

Think every species in Europe's known and accounted for? Wrong!
New species are being discovered at a record rate - several hundred per year - and two thirds of them are discovered by amateur taxonomists

Marine herbivores have a much larger effect on their underwater meadows than land herbivores. And who are the king of the marine grazers? Snails

Bird and human intelligence has evolved through retaining juvenile skull shapes
Modern (adult) birds have skull shapes more similar to the juvenile skulls of their dinosaur ancestors; a shape that permits a larger brain, and hence greater intellectual prowess.
Similarly, humans have skull shapes similar to juvenile chimpanzee skulls, with flattened faces and bulbous brain cases.

The meanophila genus of beetle is attracted to fire, and has adapted infra-red sensors to hunt hotspots down. Their method might be applicable in fire-alarms

Brilliant pictures of the remarkable giraffe weevil of Madagascar

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