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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Males Rule in Costa Rican Wasp Species

In most species of social insects, such as wasps, bees, and ants, the females rule. The females are the workers.

September 27, 2003

 

Flying Snakes

Given the hundreds of thousands of different animals inhabiting our planet, the list of those that can fly is quite small. “Fly Snakes” on today’s Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Titanium

With 22 as its atomic number and ‘T-i” as its atomic symbol, titanium is the fourth most abundant metal on earth.

September 27, 2003

 

Evolutionary Psychics

After all, for the basic body plan to change, not only do you need a random genetic mutation that results in a sixth finger, but that mutation must also provide an evolutionary advantage when it comes to reproduction.

September 27, 2003

 

The Truth About Bugs

However, mosquitoes, contrary to poplar belief, are not bugs. Another factor that comes into play is the fact that baby true bugs look like small wingless versions of adult true bugs.

September 27, 2003

 

Bonnie Over the Ocean?

The song says that Bonnie lies over the ocean, but it also says that she lies over the sea. Based on these lyrics, where is Bonnie? In the song, the words “ocean” and “sea” are used interchangeably to mean any large body of salty water.

September 27, 2003

 

The Sexiest Frog in Borneo

To us, it’s a relaxing sound. To female frogs, it’s downright sexy. The louder the chirp, the more interesting the male. So what’s a Romeo frog to do if his voice isn’t quite up to volume?

September 27, 2003

 

Salty Seas

Kimberly Sessions, of Atlanta, Georgia wrote to A Moment of Science with the following question: “I know why the ocean is still salty: evaporated water leaves the salt behind. But how did it get salty in the first place?”

September 27, 2003

 

Dust Mites

If you're allergic to dust, chances are what's making you sick is dust mite fecal matter. Find out about dust mites on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Driving Around with Dogs

Compared to the measly five million aroma receptors embedded in human nasal tissue, which is about the size of postage stamp, some dogs have over 200 million receptors that are embedded in a sheet of tissue that, unfolded, would be big enough to cover one-third of the dog’s surface area.

September 27, 2003

 

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All Walks of Life

Is it true that larger birds walk and smaller bird hop?

September 27, 2003

 

Infants Get Cues From Adult Eyes

Read on to learn about the possibility that infants are interested in the same things as their parents.

September 27, 2003

 

Dogs Can Be Gross

Since dogs descended from wolves, researchers who have studied wolves think that they roll in strong-smelling stuff to mask their scent.

September 27, 2003

 

Earwax

By trapping all sorts of dirt and debris, the waxy stuff your ear produces helps keep the ear clean. Q-tips are commonly used to clean the wax from your ear when it gets to be too abundant.

September 27, 2003

 

Baboons and Abstract Thought

It may come as a surprise if I told you that scientists have recently made discoveries that suggest baboons are capable of abstract thought. You probably thought that only apes, the actual evolutionary predecessors of humans, could think abstractly.

September 27, 2003

 

Math Memory

Complex arithmetic places special demands on what is known as your working memory, the place where you store the information you need in the short-term.

September 27, 2003

 

The Mystery of the Backwards Balloon

The same thing happens to the air in the car. When the car stops the air keeps moving forward. This results in more air, or higher air pressure, in the front of the passenger compartment.

September 27, 2003

 

The Math of Predator and Prey

For decades, mathematical ecologists struggling to formulate equations that accurately describe the relationship between predator and prey have come up against the following paradox: if the predators are too successful, the prey population dies out, and then the predators end up starving.

September 27, 2003

 

Chili or Mint

At the University of California , David Julius and his research team have been making some interesting discoveries involving tongue receptors and a substance contained in chili peppers. They found that this substance activates the same receptors that senses heat.

September 27, 2003

 

You’re Fired: The Health Effects Of Job Insecurity

A study in the American Journal of Public Health shows that heart attacks are no joke for people who suspect they are going to be laid off.

September 27, 2003

 

Amoebic Rescue Squad

Amoebas have a lot more going on than any of us humans ever knew! Find out more on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Supersuits

Ridges help sharks in the water, but shark-skin suits don't help Olympic hopefuls. So why did so many swimmers wear them at the Olympics?

September 27, 2003

 

Snail Love Darts

No matter the species, mating rituals are pretty weird. Take the praying mantis. After an intimate tryst, the female mantis bites its partner’s head off. But when it comes to sexual hijinks, nothing beats the garden snail. During sex, garden snails often pierce each other with miniature darts. Any way you slice it, garden snail […]

September 27, 2003

 

Bloodshot Eyes

“Bloodshot” is precisely the right term to describe what happens when something irritates the eyes.

September 27, 2003

 

A Healthy Famine?

Suppose you could live a longer, healthier life if you were willing to eat about half what you normally do and spend every day feeling cold and hungry?

September 27, 2003

 

Beetles that Collectively Seduce Male Bees

As you land on top of her you realize too late the mistake you have made. You do whatever it is that bees do when they are terrified. This is no female bee, no possible mate.

September 27, 2003

 

Spinning Our Planet

How fast anything spins is partly determined by how its weight is distributed. The closer an object’s weight is to its axis of rotation, the faster it spins. To picture this, imagine an ice skater doing a pirouette. When her arms are extended, she spins slowly.

September 27, 2003

 

Mosquitoes in Winter

First, it reduces ice formation within the mosquito’s cells, so that water hardens like glass but doesn’t form ice crystals that can then damage the cells.

September 27, 2003

 

Hole in the Earth

Also, earth’s core is a metal sphere 800 miles wide, but just pretend we’ve bored through it. What would be the result? For one thing, you could then travel to the other side of the world in under one hour.

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