Tripedal to the Metal
That’s some loco motion, huh? Found this neat little GIF showing how an ant’s legs move at a full gallop. While calmly strolling though the picnic grounds, ants have five of their six legs at a time in contact with the ground. But when it’s time to put the (tiny) pedal to the metal, they change their gait to this alternating tripod motion.
This pattern isn’t controlled by the insect’s brain, but rather by bundles of neurons in the leg called central pattern generators. While moving at such a clip, it just so happens that three legs is the minimum number it needs on the ground at a time to balance its rigid exoskeleton without toppling over.
Is that part of the reason that insects have six legs and not another number like four or eight? Or did the gait evolve to match the hardware? My guess is the latter, but I am not sure. What say you, insect folks?
(GIF via NC State University)
The case of the vanishing honeybees
In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way — by pollinating our nation’s crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-case-of-the-vanishing-honeybees-emma-bryce
Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation by Lillian Chan.
via TED Education.
Madagascan sunset moths will be in tomorrow’s entomology release. We restock and upload new butterfly and insect frames EVERY Tuesday at 12 noon. So head over to the site tomorrow to pick up yours! Just £36 for this one and can be shipped worldwide. by theweirdandwonderful http://ift.tt/1p3IaLE
look at this baby on his specially made baby horse
garden nailz :)
I found this way too funny.
Very few things on this website actually make me laugh out loud anymore. This is one of them.
A quick look at: smiting scenes in ancient Egyptian art. Why are they significant?
Both of the shown examples above are of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. The first shows Ramesses smiting the enemies of Egypt before Amon-Re, who hands him a curved sword; the second image shows him smiting Canaanite enemies.
The smiting scene is a traditional symbol of kingship in ancient Egypt, which is datable back to the Predynastic period, and is symbolic of a victorious king. These scenes include the king raising a weapon over the head of an enemy (or a large groups of them as shown in the first photo), ready to smite them. Their hair is often grabbed from above to hold them in place for their execution. These representations grew to also include lists of the conquered enemies, and reached their peak in the New Kingdom, where the inclusion of an anthropomorphic deity became standard (photo one).
These scenes reinforced the king’s control over chaos, symbolically representing the bringing of justice (maat) to the defeated, chaotic enemy.
A few other examples:
- One of the earliest examples, the ivory label of King Den, which was found in his tomb in Abydos, and dates to 3000 BCE. Den is shown to be striking down an Asiatic tribesman, with an inscription reading: ”The first occasion of smiting the East”. This artifact is currently at the British Museum.
- Thutmose III at Karnak, presenting the Battle of Megiddo of the 15th century BCE. Here Thutmose III is shown to be smiting Canaanite enemies.
The first photo is courtesy of Kenzyb, and the second, arancidamoeba. S. Bar, D. Kahn & J.J. Shirley’s publication Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature: Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Haifa (2011) was of use when writing up this post.