DailyDirt: Nature Creates Some Cool Stuff

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Insect evolution is pretty amazing in general, but there are a few examples that are almost incredible. For example, people have discovered enormous ant colonies, wasps that can create zombies, and the ways that insects exhibit a collective intelligence that looks surprisingly smarter than any individual bug. Considering that insects, by weight and numbers, surpass humans by at least an order of magnitude, we might want to keep an eye on these invertebrates. Here are just a few more fascinating examples of awesome insect abilities. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.


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  1.  
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    Beta (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 6:56pm

    painting without a painter

    "When this fly flaps its wings, it confuses its predators -- but some observers say the images are of spiders (not ants) and trick spiders into thinking about mating (not eating)." (Boldface added.)

    The idea that these markings must be images of ants or images of spiders (but not both) is a silly human idea. They are markings that tend to reduce the fly's danger of being eaten. They were not put there for any purpose, nor in any deliberate imitation of ants or spiders. How much they beguile spiders is testable, how much they confuse other predators is testable, but there is absolutely no reason why they can't do both. (And in a sense, the spiders and other predators collaborated on the design.)

     

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  2.  
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    Alana (profile), Jan 6th, 2014 @ 8:00pm

    We need nature-rays just so we can run around and shoot people screaming "GET SOME NATURE IN YOU, BOY."

     

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  3.  
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    ryuugami, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 3:50am

    naturally-occurring gear in nature

    Best wishes for 2014 from the Department of Redundancy Department.

    With that out of the way... I remember reading some really cool & creepy articles about various insects on Cracked. For example, I seem to recall that the biggest ant colony covers several continents. (A colony being defined here as ants working together instead of fighting or ignoring each other. Maybe we could just call it a nation instead.)

     

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    Anonymous, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: painting without a painter

    "They were not put there for any purpose". And you know this how?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    That does it I'm getting tattoos of dragonfly's, In hope it'll keep the mosquito's away.

     

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    Beta (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: painting without a painter

    Because I get my knowledge of biology from science, not folklore.

     

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  7.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: painting without a painter

    Beta is correct. It's an annoying thing the press does when reporting on All Things Evolutionary: asking "why did that evolve?" as if there was some kind of thought put into the process. There was not.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: painting without a painter

    Just remember you said that with the next Piltdown or Java Man they pull on you.

     

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  9.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: painting without a painter

    *rolls eyes*

    Hey, you know who discovered that they were hoaxes? Scientists. You see, while errors and frauds appear in literally every corner of human endeavor and understanding, the process of science does a fantastic job of correcting for that.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 7th, 2014 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: painting without a painter

    "They were not put there for any purpose". How has science conclusively proven that?

     

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  11.  
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    Beta (profile), Jan 7th, 2014 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: painting without a painter

    I argue with creationists once a year. I don't want to use it up on the seventh of January.

     

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    ibrahimbiplob, Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 8:43am

    Zombies

    Very helpful blog! It is easy to use, and answered all my questions! I will be back after I finish my first set of Zombie research I got from the list!
    Check out our Pseudo-Zombie Films page to find out what's what.

     

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