Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Vanishing dinosaurs, breeding birds, redback spiders and more

(Tim Wimborne / Reuters / Corbis)

Nature's Waterproofing

Water beads
(Cheryl Carlin)
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.

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