Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Cobras, sharks, lemurs, hermit crabs and more...
- By T. A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Laura Helmuth, Erica R. Hendry and Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2010,
(Martin Harvey / Photolibrary (Captive))
Cobras raise their heads when threatened and spread their hoods. To trace the patterns of muscle activation that allow this distinctive and startling behavior, scientists at the University of Massachusetts and elsewhere inserted electrodes into cobra muscles. High-speed video then documented that one set of muscles lifts the hood; a second keeps the skin taut; and a third aligns the hood’s ribs.
“Birch (Betula spp.) leaves adsorb and re-release volatiles specific to neighbouring plants – a mechanism for associational herbivore resistance?” Sari J. Himanen et al., New Phytologist, March 10, 2010
“A seasnake’s colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling,” R. Shine et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, April 7, 2010
“Mate choice and mate competition by a tropical hummingbird at a floral resource,” Ethan J. Temeles and W. John Kress, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, February 3, 2010
“Socially induced brain development in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Halictidae),” Adam R. Smith et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, March 24, 2010
“Conditioned taste aversion enhances the survival of an endangered predator imperiled by a toxic invader,” Stephanie O’Donnell et al., Journal of Applied Ecology, April 13, 2010