Tag: Survival

Severed Gecko Tails Have A Mind Of Their Own

Even after they’re no longer connected to a lizard brain, gecko tails can flip, jump and lunge in response to their environment — and may even be able to evade predators.

Researchers have known for centuries that some animals can voluntarily shed parts of their bodies to keep from being eaten, but few studies have looked at the behavior of disposable body parts once they’ve fallen off.

Now, using high-speed video and a technique called electromyography, scientists have discovered that severed gecko tails exhibit complex behavior and even seem to react to environmental cues.

The scientists say that figuring out what controls the jumping gecko tail may help us understand why the paralyzed muscles of spinal cord injured patients sometimes exhibit spontaneous muscle contractions, which they hope could someday lead to treatments that restore some control over such movements.

After attaching electrodes to the tails of four adult leopard geckos, the researchers gently pinched the lizards to encourage them to shed their tails.




As soon as a gecko felt threatened, its tail began to twitch and eventually detached from the rest of its body in an amazing, but nearly bloodless, feat.

Rather than using up all their energy in a single short burst, the gecko tails seemed to modulate their muscle movement to conserve energy and maximize the unpredictability of their behavior.

The tails also changed direction and speed depending on what they bumped into, which suggests that the tails can independently sense and respond to their environment.

Although the researchers understand the benefits of a detachable tail with a mind of its own, they don’t yet know what’s controlling the tail’s complex movement.

According to Russell, figuring out what controls severed gecko tails might help us understand and treat some aspects of human spinal cord injury.

With a spinal cord injury, what tends to happen is skeletal muscles tend to be paralyzed behind that event,” he said.

For instance, if you injure your mid back, your lower limbs are put out of commission.

Scientists know that networks of neurons called central pattern generators, or CPGs, can produce rhythmic movements that aren’t controlled by the brain, but they don’t know exactly how these neural networks function.

To study CPGs, scientists usually have to surgically damage an animal’s spinal cord in a procedure called a “spinal preparation“; geckos provide a unique model system because they naturally sever their own spinal cords.

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Go Off The Grid With This Powerful Solar-Powered External Battery

ZeroLemon is created by a handful of smartphone enthusiasts who want more power with their phones and provide the best battery solution.

They created the world’s first Tri-Cell Battery Design and apply it to all flagship smartphones so that users around the world can enjoy the world’s highest capacity battery.




They had their 20000mAh SolarJuice battery charger in 2015 and found this is a great product to help people who need power outdoor.Therefore,we tried to upgrade the 20000mAh SolarJuice to the current 26800mAh version with more function and more power. And the new version is here now!

Therefore, they tried to upgrade the 20000mAh SolarJuice to the current 26800mAh version with more function and more power. And the new version is here now!

ZeroLemon 26800mAh Solar Juice – The World’s Largest Capacity Rain-resistant & Shockproof Portable Solar Charger. Perfect for Camping, Hiking, Survival Travelling and Indoor Use.

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Young Squirrels Who Were Born Early This Year Are More Likely To Survive

red-squirrel

Those young squirrels now scampering around your neighbourhood were born in this year’s earliest litters and are more likely to survive than squirrels born later and still curled up in their nests, according to a new University of Guelph study.

That’s because when it comes to survival in the squirrel world, the first out of the nest is best, said David Fisher, a post-doctoral researcher and lead author of the study conducted on squirrels in Yukon.




“We found being born earlier than the other litters in your neighbourhood was a key factor in survival,” said Fisher, who worked on the study with U of G integrative biology Prof. Andrew McAdam.

“This is because if you are born before your neighbours, you can leave your nest first and find a vacant spot to store your food for the winter.”

Published recently in the international journal Evolution, the study examined what traits are most important when it comes to the survival of North American red squirrels.

The study involved more than 2,500 squirrels and is part of the Kluane Red Squirrel Project, a long-term field experiment in Yukon investigating the importance of food abundance to the ecology and evolution of red squirrels.

red-squirrel

Established in 1987, the project brings together scientists from several universities, including the University of Guelph, to monitor behavior and reproduction of 7,000 of squirrels.

Baby red squirrels, whose life cycle is similar to the Eastern gray squirrel common to Ontario, are typically born between March and May each year and spend just over two months in the nest.

Sometimes the mother gives her territory to one of her offspring, usually a daughter, but the rest of the litter is expected to venture out to find their own place, said Fisher.

squirrels

Young squirrels usually travel no farther than 100 metres from home. Their chance of survival beyond the next four months or so is only 25 per cent and this is largely dependent on whether they find a vacant territory.

Birth date is a heritable trait and this study shows an early birth date helps red squirrels living in densely populated neighbourhoods. However, Fisher said he hasn’t yet seen an overall trend toward earlier births.

This study is one of the first to show multilevel natural selection which is when traits of a group, such as a herd or flock, influence the success of individuals, said Fisher.

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