Life as We Know It
Vanishing dinosaurs, breeding birds, redback spiders and more
- By Amanda Bensen, Abby Callard, T.A. Frail and Laura Helmuth
- Smithsonian magazine, January 2010
The lotus effect (Bhaskar A.V. / Alamy)
Water beads and rolls off lotus leaves so nicely the phenomenon is called the lotus effect. Duke University scientists failed to get a leaf to repel water condensation in the lab—until they put it on a loudspeaker. The vibrations caused droplets to form, suggesting that wind, falling rain and other disturbances that jostle lotuses help them stay dry.
“Restoring Superhydrophobicity of Lotus Leaves with Vibration-Induced Dewetting,” Jonathan B. Boreyko and Chuan-Hua Chen, Physical Review Letters, October 23, 2009.
“Extreme Cranial Ontogeny in the Upper Cretaceous Dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus,” John R. Horner and Mark B. Goodwin, PLoS ONE, October 2009.
“Female's courtship threshold allows intruding males to mate with reduced effort,” J. A. Stoltz and M. C. B. Andrade, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, October 28, 2009.
“An Intertidal Sea Star Adjusts Thermal Inertia to Avoid Extreme Body Temperatures,” Sylvain Pincebourde et al., The American Naturalist, December 2009.
“Migratory double breeding in Neotropical migrant birds,” Sievert Rohwer et al., PNAS, November 10, 2009.