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Tiger Beetle's Chase Shows Mechanical Law
2014-04-16 13:04:33

By Anne Ju, Cornell University If an insect drew a line as it chased its next meal, the resulting pattern would be a tangled mess. But there's a method to that mess, says Jane Wang, a Cornell University professor of mechanical engineering and physics, who tries to find simple physical explanations for complex, hardwired animal behaviors. It turns out the tiger beetle, known for its speed and agility, does an optimal reorientation dance as it chases its prey at blinding speeds....


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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