Arthropod Roundup, April 6, 2010

News, research, and posts about arthropods from around the web:

  • See amazing photos and learn all about hummingbird hawk moths, Macroglossum stellatarum at Scienceray.
  • Check out this video about lightning-fast animal movements. The first segment is about a gecko but the second one is about mantis shrimp strike mechanics (I talked about this in detail here).
  • Read about the mechanics of fruit fly auto-righting during flight at New Scientist. Research suggests that they use motion sensors in their second wing vestiges, called halteres, that are wired directly into the wing muscles; allowing the flies to react to perturbances faster than a visual signal can be processed.
  • Kevin over at Deep Sea News has a great post about the bazaar retina of the vent shrimp, Rimicaris exoculata. This retina has migrated from the eyes to the animal’s dorsal carapace where it may be used to sense blackbody radiation given off by the (infra)red-hot vents.
  • PZ at Pharyngula has a nice write-up about female crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus, antagonizing males to fight so that they can choose a more suitable mate. Bonus: Blindfolded male crayfish battling in a fluorescent urine cloud, set to Star Trek battle music.
  • Learn about how barnacles attack to whales at Scienceline.

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