oupacademic

Word of the day: corvine

oupacademic:

adj. Of or like a raven or crow, especially in color.

imageImage: Raven croak by Franco Atirador. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

A little vocab for your Thursday. Pair your new verbiage with this very corvine TEDx Talk on the surprising intelligence of crows from avian researcher John Marzluff at TEDxRainier. Watch the whole thing here»

Bonus: Hacker Joshua Klein and his crow thought experiment at TED2008.

The dung beetle is more than just a poo pusher. This fascinating animal has a brain about the size of a grain of rice, and yet it is capable of doing some amazing things — says dung beetle researcher Marcus Byrne in a talk at TEDxWitsUniversity like use celestial cues to roll giant balls of dung in a straight line, keep cool in sweltering heat through a complex dance, and track landmarks on the way to its nest. 

In his talk, Byrne explains how he and his team used refrigerated balls of poo, tiny dung-beetle-sized boots, and mini dung beetle highways to learn how these fascinating creatures have evolved to handle their very peculiar food source.

Watch the whole talk here»

Learn more in this TEDx Talk from Hamish Jolly, who worked with scientists in Australia to develop research-based wetsuits»

When the number of shark attacks in western Australia rose dramatically, Hamish turned to nature for inspiration to create shark-repelling wetsuits.

How?

  1. A very stripey wetsuit that mimics the natural shark attack repellent of the pilot fish, whose distinct black and white markings signal do-not-eat to a shark.

  2. By using research on the limits of sharks’ visual abilities to create a wetsuit whose carefully-chosen colors allow humans to blend in seamlessly with ocean water.

Watch the whole talk here»

(Pilot fish photo via Flickr user star5112)