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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 5:49 EDT

Latest Roland Ennos Stories

2012-04-17 12:43:08

Orangutans may be smarter than previously thought if a new study into the sophisticated way they build nests is any indication. Scientists at The University of Manchester spent a year observing and filming (video footage available) orangutans at a research facility in Indonesia and found they apparently possess complex knowledge of mechanical design and material properties. The great apes — which only live wild in Sumatra and Borneo and are one of man's closest relatives —...

2010-01-06 12:08:20

Why do we chew our food? Research has shown that it is not, as has long been presumed, to make chunks of food small enough to swallow without choking. Biomechanics, who have modeled the cohesive strength of food after a certain amount of chewing, have shown that we actually chew our food to ensure it is in a firm blob and, therefore, safe to swallow. Writing in January's Physics World, Dr Roland Ennos, a biomechanic in the Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Manchester, explains how we...

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2009-06-12 08:10:30

Fingerprints mark us out as individuals and leave telltale signs of our presence on every object that we touch, but what are fingerprints really for? According to Roland Ennos, from the University of Manchester, other primates and tree-climbing koalas have fingerprints and some South American monkeys have ridged pads on their tree-gripping tails, so everyone presumed that fingerprints are there to help us hang onto objects that we grasp. This theory that fingerprints increase friction between...