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Latest Mimicry Stories

2010-11-22 13:31:06

Stretched tube designed by harvard researchers mimics zebra finch songs For centuries, hunters have imitated their avian prey by whistling through their fingers or by carving wooden bird calls. Now a team of physicists at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has reproduced many of the characteristics of real bird song with a simple physical model made of a rubber tube. "We wanted to know if you [could] build a simple device, which has minimal control but reproduces some non-trivial...

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2010-10-15 08:35:00

Eastern marsh helleborine mimics aphid alarm pheromones to attract pollinators Even Darwin was a self-admitted orchid lover. Dictionaries describe orchids as exotic ornamentals. Indeed, these plants "“ more than 30000 different species are thought to exist "“ are exotic due their extraordinary and diverse flower morphology. However, they are also exotic from a point of view other than beauty: as crafty imposters in order to achieve reproduction and to make sure that their ovaries...

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2010-08-26 12:40:00

The evolutionary history of the Thaumoctopus mimicus lineage reveals the steps it took to become a master of disguise Paul the Octopus"”the eight-legged oracle who made international headlines with his amazingly accurate football forecasting"”isn't the only talented cephalopod in the sea. The Indonesian mimic octopus, which can impersonate flatfish and sea snakes to dupe potential predators, may well give Paul a run for his money when it comes to "see-worthy" skills. By creatively...

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2010-07-09 07:50:00

First experiments suggest that synchronous male flashing is more recognizable to females For decades, scientists have speculated about why some fireflies exhibit synchronous flashing, in which large groups produce rhythmic, repeated flashes in unison "“ sometimes lighting up a whole forest at once. Now, the first experiments on the function of this phenomenon suggest that synchronous flashing preserves female fireflies' recognition of suitable mates. The results are reported in the July...

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2010-05-31 09:05:06

Scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies. The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge. The striking iridescent colors displayed on beetles, butterflies and other insects have long fascinated both physicists and biologists, but mimicking nature's most colorful, eye-catching surfaces has proved elusive. This...

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2010-03-04 08:10:00

Remarkable Strategy Evolved to Avoid Predators On the open sand plains of the Caribbean seafloor, where soft-bodied animals are routinely exposed to predators, camouflage can be key to survival. Perhaps no group of animals is quite as adept at blending in with its surroundings as cephalopods, who along with relatives the cuttlefish and squid, have evolved a unique skin system that can instantaneously change their appearance. In the February 2010 issue of The Biological Bulletin, MBL Senior...

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2010-02-16 15:17:28

Ability to identify own species aided by ultraviolet pigment Butterfly experts have suspected for more than 150 years that vision plays a key role in explaining wing color diversity. Now, for the first time, research led by UC Irvine biologists proves this theory true "“ at least in nine Heliconius species. Butterflies that have a duplicate gene allowing them to see ultraviolet colors also have UV-yellow pigment on their wings, reports the study by UCI's Adriana Briscoe, Seth Bybee and...

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2010-02-07 11:10:00

How two butterfly species have evolved exactly the same striking wing color and pattern has intrigued biologists since Darwin's day. Now, scientists at Cambridge have found "hotspots" in the butterflies' genes that they believe will explain one of the most extraordinary examples of mimicry in the natural world. Heliconius, or passion-vine butterflies, live in the Americas "“ from the southern United States to southern South America. Although they cannot interbreed, H. melpomene and H....

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2009-12-19 09:27:06

Development and morphology of insect-mimicking spots on the flower petals of a South African beetle daisy Dark spots on flower petals are common across many angiosperm plant families and occur on flowers such as some lilies, orchids, and daisies. Much research has been done on the physiological and behavioral mechanisms for how these spots attract pollinators. But have you ever wondered what these spots are composed of, how they develop, or how they only appear on some but not all of the ray...

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2009-12-18 08:39:08

A new study reveals the reason why orchids use sexual trickery to lure insect pollinators. The study, published in the January issue of The American Naturalist, finds that sexual deception in orchids leads to a more efficient pollinating system. While most flowering plants reward pollinators with tasty nectar, many orchid species turn to trickery. Some use what's called food deception. They produce flowers that look or smell like they offer food, but offer no edible reward. Other orchids use...


Latest Mimicry Reference Libraries

39_5331cfef0f677884ac59235c1f903204
2007-02-25 21:04:29

Combtooth blennies are blennioids; perciform marine fish of the family Blenniidae. They are the largest family of blennies, with approximately 371 species in 53 genera represented. Combtooth blennies are found in tropical and subtropical waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans; some species are also found in brackish and even freshwater environments. Physical description The body plan of the Combtooth blennies is archetypal to all other blennioids; their blunt heads and eyes...

40_c79a9ae16083a994e518c081bf23855d
2005-09-08 11:25:28

Flower-flies (also known as hover-flies) are a family of flies (Diptera), with the scientific name of "Syrphidae". As their names suggests, they are most often seen around flowers. The adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In certain species, the larvae are saprophytes, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In others, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other...

40_8ce94a775a333fe9368766757b029404
2005-08-25 10:17:06

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a well-known North American butterfly with easily identifiable orange and black wings. The females have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot in the center of each hindwing from which pheromones are released. Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. They make massive southward migrations from August through October. A northward migration takes place in the spring. During these migrations the females...

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Word of the Day
ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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