Posts Tagged ‘Beetles’

Scientists Announce Top 10 New Species In Last Year

May 28, 2008

The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists — scientists responsible for species exploration and classification — has just announced the top 10 new species described in 2007.

On the list are an ornate sleeper ray, with a name that sucks: Electrolux; a 75-million-year-old giant duck-billed dinosaur; a shocking pink millipede; a rare, off-the-shelf frog; one of the most venomous snakes in the world; a fruit bat; a mushroom; a jellyfish named after its victim; a life-imitates-art “Dim” rhinoceros beetle; and the “Michelin Man” plant.

The taxonomists are also issuing a SOS — State of Observed Species report card on human knowledge of Earth’s species. In it, they report that 16,969 species new to science were discovered and described in 2006. The SOS report was compiled by ASU’s International Institute for Species Exploration in partnership with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the International Plant Names Index, and Thompson Scientific, publisher of Zoological Record.

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Diamond-Like Crystals Discovered In Brazilian Beetle Solve Issue For Future Optical Computers

May 21, 2008

Researchers have been unable to build an ideal “photonic crystal” to manipulate visible light, impeding the dream of ultrafast optical computers. But now, University of Utah chemists have discovered that nature already has designed photonic crystals with the ideal, diamond-like structure: They are found in the shimmering, iridescent green scales of a beetle from Brazil.

“It appears that a simple creature like a beetle provides us with one of the technologically most sought-after structures for the next generation of computing,” says study leader Michael Bartl, an assistant professor of chemistry and adjunct assistant professor of physics at the University of Utah. “Nature has simple ways of making structures and materials that are still unobtainable with our million-dollar instruments and engineering strategies.”

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Flesh eating insects feasted on dino bones

May 10, 2008

A new study has attributed the cause of most dinosaur skeletons exhibiting pits, grooves and furrows to flesh and bone-eating insects, which gnawed on the dinosaur bones.

According to a report in the Discovery News, the evidence comes from dinosaur bones that were buried under soft mud 148 million years ago after a nearby river overflowed.

Utah’s Western Paleontological Laboratories recovered the bones and turned them over to Brigham Young University scientists, who recently pieced together what happened.

After scientists recreated the event, they found out that a Camptosaurus adolescent dinosaur died in what is now Wyoming, lying down for its final rest.

Flying low over a floodplain a few days later, dermestid beetles used their antennae to detect the odor of the decaying carcass, where they laid their larvae that consumed the dinosaurs bones.

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When little things that rule world are lost

April 14, 2008

There are 6.5 billion people in the world today, three times as many as 50 years ago. There are undoubtedly three billion fewer insects, the forgotten creatures that maintain the fabric of life.

These include bees, butterflies, moths and all flying mites and invertebrates and sea creatures that inhabit earth and slime. Not many people, excepting scientists who watch and count, pay much attention.

Almost everybody is aware of the travails of the major star species such as polar bears, pandas and tigers. We are reminded on a daily basis of their endangerment. There was a scare about bees last year but honey is still in the supermarkets so the bee colony collapse is more or less old news.

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Animal-esque Beatles may go Guitar Hero as well

March 20, 2008

Prepare yourselves. Guitar Hero may be getting even more, well, heroic.

To which particular heroes do we refer? The Beatles, of course. They’re heroic in the world of music if anyone ever was. To that end, rumors have been circulating that a Beatles-themed version of Guitar Hero may be in the works. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which has the rights to a good chunk of the Beatles’ musical output, seems to be interested in striking up a deal with Activision, GH‘s creator, DigitalMusicNews.com reports. This comes in the wake of last month’s announcement that an Aerosmith-branded version of the game would soon hit stores.

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