Parts of the iconic Great Orme headland in north Wales are safeguarded for the future after being bought by the National Trust. —> Read More
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Everyone likes a little music with their romance. Even, as it turns out, spiders.
New research finds that the “purring” wolf spider, aka Gladicosa gulosa, can send out an auditory call that’s practically a love song to any nearby female spider.
The sounds are created by males causing leaves to vibrate. While it’s not unusual for spiders to use vibration to signal each other, what is unusual in this case is that those physical vibrations are accompanied by actual airborne sounds, according to the study presented last week at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
To human ears, the spider signals sound like a gentle thrum or patter. But to a female wolf spider, it’s like having John Cusack standing outside the window with a boombox cranking out “In Your (Eight) Eyes.”
New Scientist posted two audio clips. This first is just the spider vibrations, converted to audible sound:
The second is of the actual audible sound:
“It’s very quiet, but it’s what you would hear if you were in the room with a courting spider,” study co-author George Uetz of the University of Cincinnati told New Scientist. “The sound is at a level that’s audible by human hearing at about a meter (roughly 3 feet) away.”
The sounds are so delicate that they will only carry when the spiders are on certain surfaces, such as leaves.
“On granite or wood or dirt, you get little to no vibration and almost no sound,” co-author Alexander Sweger of the University of Cincinnati, who discovered the sounds with Uetz, told the BBC. “But on a leaf, or paper or parchment, you get vibration and you get the airborne sound.”
Since spiders —> Read More
“Everywhere I go I meet girls and boys who want to be astronauts and explore space, or they love the ocean and want to be oceanographers, or they love animals and want to be zoologists or they love designing things and want to be engineers. I want to see those same stars in their eyes in 10 years and know they are on their way.”
Those are the words of Sally Ride, the late astronaut, physicist and educator who inspired countless young people to fall in love with science and math.
On May 26, the pioneering astronaut would’ve celebrated her 64th birthday. To honor Ride’s life, Google has created five doodles in her honor.
Ride was born in 1951 in Los Angeles. As she was completing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University in 1977, she decided to apply to NASA. Six years later, the 32-year-old physicist joined the Challenger space shuttle crew and became the first American woman to fly in space.
In her later years, Ride became concerned with the education of young people. Specifically, she worried about girls and minority students not pursuing an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
In 2001, Ride helped launch Sally Ride Science, an organization dedicated to encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM fields. The organization is said to have trained thousands of teachers and reached millions of students.
In a blog post for Google, the astronaut’s life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, wrote that Ride would’ve been “honored” by Tuesday’s doodle.
“Sally died almost three years ago on July 23, 2012, from pancreatic cancer. But I know she would be honored by today’s Google Doodle,” O’Shaughnessy wrote. “With whimsy, it expresses Sally’s sense of fun and adventure, and her ability to —> Read More
Experts in Staffordshire working with the hoard (fragment pictured) said the 7th century ‘warrior splendour’ was likely made in workshops set up by some of England’s earliest kings. —> Read More
In a move signalling a dramatic change of stance on the issue, the US government is to accept advice to drop cholesterol from its list of ‘nutrients of concern’. —> Read More
The Millennium Drought in southeastern Australia forced Greater Melbourne, a city of 4.3 million people, to successfully implement innovations that hold critical lessons for water-stressed regions around the world, according to findings by UC Irvine and Australian researchers. —> Read More
A surgical skills laboratory and corresponding dissection curricula were established in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic in the 2011-2012 academic year. The authors describe how this came about and what it has meant for neurosurgical resident training and assessment of residents’ surgical skills. —> Read More
Contrary to some popular beliefs, marijuana is harmful to adolescent brains. Researchers have found that targeting at-risk youth through school programmes can limit their use of this drug —> Read More