Functional Morphology in the media

Functional Morphology in the media

Beetle Battle on New York Times website

Beetle Battle on New York Times website

Jana Goyens has staged stag beetle battles to solve the mystery of how the male beetles bite so hard.

Watch the video on New York Times website

A 'water tongue' to grab prey on land

A 'water tongue' to grab prey on land

High-speed video and X-ray video recordings enabled us to measure how water is used by mudskippers when they feed on land. Our team found Periophthalmus barbarus uses water as a tongue to aid in the capturing and processing of food.  This may shed some light on how the first tetrapods overcame the challenges of feeding on land.

The study was published in Proceeding of the Royal Society B, and covered in Nature’s News , Science News, New Scientist, National GeographicScientific American and CBC Radio.
 

Boxfish swimming paradox resolved

Boxfish swimming paradox resolved

Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations at our lab by Sam Van Wassenbergh showed that, contrary to previous claims, the shape of the bony carapace of boxfish does not cause course-stabilisation during swimming.  Instead, the flow over the boxfish's body promotes manoevrability.  The study was published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface (full article pdf), and was covered in Nature's News and Views section (pdf).

Fish grind teeth to grunt

Fish grind teeth to grunt

X-ray videos made at our lab by Sam Van Wassenbergh of sound-producing French Grunts allowed a team led by Frédéric Bertucci of the University of Liége to locate the source of their gunting sounds: the grinding motions of the pharyngeal jaws.  The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology (full article), and was covered as a research highlight in the same journal (inside JEB) as well as in Nature.

Stag beetle battles: How ungainly jaws bite so hard

Stag beetle battles: How ungainly jaws bite so hard

Jana Goyens has staged stag beetle battles to solve the mystery of how the male beetles bite so hard.  Read more via the BBC website here.
Read more about Jana's research in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Watch the you tube video.

Alpine newts' multiple dining options

Alpine newts' multiple dining options

Read Egon Heiss' interview about his latest article in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

To read the full interview click here.

Inkfish on galloping humans

Inkfish on galloping humans

A paper written by Pieter Fiers, Dirk De Clercq, Veerle Segers and Peter Aerts was picked up by Elizabeth Preston in her blog 'Inkfish - Field of Science'. In the  paper, Peter, Pieter and two colleagues from Ghent University explain that humans do not normally gallop because the gait is metabolically expensive and causes high muscular stress at the hips.

The original study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Click here for the full story. For the blog's version, click here.

Anole Annals Award

Anole Annals Award

The Anole Annals community elected a photo shot by Steven De Decker and Tess Driessens winner of the 2012 Anole Photo Contest. The photo was taken during field work at Los Cayenes, Central Cuba and features a stunning blue Anolis allisoni male. For more beautiful Anole portraiits, click here.

Anole Annals is a blog maintained by Jonathan Losos of Harvard University and Rich Glor of Rochester University.

 

The blacker the belly the thicker the swelling

The blacker the belly the thicker the swelling

Jessica Vroonen, Bart Vervust and Raoul Van Damme have a paper out in Amphibia-Reptilia, showing that in common lizards, males with heavily spotted ventrums tend to put up stronger immune responses. This finding suggests that melanin-based colouration may signal aspects of quality to females or sexual rivals.

Download a pdf of the full paper here.

How fast horses lose sway

How fast horses lose sway

Sandra Nauwelaerts and two colleagues from Michigan State University, Sara Malone and Hilary Clayton, have a paper out in The Veterinary Journal. In it, they describe how foals acquire better postural balance over a period from birth to 5 months of age.

To read the full story, click here.