jm + animals   7

Making Logic Gates With Crabs
Yukio-Pegio Gunji and Yuta Nishiyama from Kobe University, along with Andrew Adamatzky from the aptly named Unconventional Computing Centre at the University of the West of England decided they needed a new way to build logic gates using crabs [....]

The colonies of soldier crabs that inhabit the lagoons of Pacific atolls display a unique swarming behavior in their native habitat. When in a swarm of hundreds of individuals, the front of the swarm is driven by random turbulence in the group, while the back end of the swarm simply follows the leaders. Somehow, this is a successful evolutionary strategy, but it can also be exploited to build logic gates using only crabs.

The team constructed a Y-shaped maze for a pair of crabs to act as an OR gate. When two soldier crabs are placed at the top of the ‘Y’, they move forward until they meet and exit the maze through the output. This idea can be expanded to a slightly more complex AND gate, functionally identical to the electron-powered AND gate in a 7408 logic chip.
logic-gates  logic  soldier-crabs  crabs  computing  hardware  swarming  nature  animals  via:theophite 
28 days ago by jm
The "Alpha Wolf" notion is outmoded and incorrect
via Saladin Ahmed -- the scientist who coined the term abandoned it as useless years ago:
The concept of the alpha wolf is well ingrained in the popular wolf literature at least partly because of my book "The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species," written in 1968, published in 1970, republished in paperback in 1981, and currently still in print, despite my numerous pleas to the publisher to stop publishing it. Although most of the book's info is still accurate, much is outdated. We have learned more about wolves in the last 40 years then in all of previous history.

One of the outdated pieces of information is the concept of the alpha wolf. "Alpha" implies competing with others and becoming top dog by winning a contest or battle. However, most wolves who lead packs achieved their position simply by mating and producing pups, which then became their pack. In other words they are merely breeders, or parents, and that's all we call them today, the "breeding male," "breeding female," or "male parent," "female parent," or the "adult male" or "adult female." In the rare packs that include more than one breeding animal, the "dominant breeder" can be called that, and any breeding daughter can be called a "subordinate breeder."
biology  animals  wolves  alpha  alpha-males  mra  science  wolf-packs  society  competition  parenting 
october 2016 by jm
100 Years of Breed “Improvement” | Science of Dogs
The English bulldog has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the dog fancy and not without good reason; they suffer from almost every possible disease. A 2004 survey by the Kennel Club found that they die at the median age of 6.25 years (n=180). There really is no such thing as a healthy bulldog. The bulldog’s monstrous proportions makes them virtually incapable of mating or birthing without medical intervention.


(via Bryan)
dogs  eugenics  breeding  horror  science  genetics  traits  animals  pets  bulldog  pedigree 
december 2013 by jm
Clare dolphin attacks fourth swimmer in a month as Dusty protects her patch
Dusty the Dolphin has gone bad!
Locals say the three-metre long mammal has been responsible for injuring a number of people over the past two years, with several of those being hospitalised with significant injuries. She struck a 40-year-old woman in the abdomen earlier this month.

In response, lifeguards now fly the red danger flag any time the dolphin enters the area. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has also erected warning posters at Doolin pier.

IWDG coordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: “It is our policy to discourage people swimming with whales and dolphins in Ireland. “We’ve drafted a poster recommending people do not swim with Dusty, but if they must, then they should respect her as a wild dolphin and not grab, lunge or chase after her. If she shows aggressive behaviour or is boisterous they should leave the water.”
dusty  dolphins  wildlife  nature  fanore  county-clare  ireland  swimming  doolin  animals 
july 2013 by jm
All polar bears descended from one Irish grizzly
'THE ARCTIC'S DWINDLING POPULATION of polar bears all descend from a single mamma brown bear which lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago in present-day Ireland, new research suggests. DNA samples from the great white carnivores - taken from across their entire range in Russia, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Alaska - revealed that every individual's lineage could be traced back to this Irish forebear.' More than the average bear, I guess
animals  biology  science  dna  history  ireland  bears  polar-bears  grizzly-bears  via:ben 
january 2013 by jm
Inside the mind of the octopus
"Researchers who study octopuses are convinced that these boneless, alien animals—creatures whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago—have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities. Their findings are challenging our understanding of consciousness itself."
octopus  animals  biology  consciousness  neuroscience  science 
november 2011 by jm

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