Regular readers of this page are all pretty familiar with the latest generation of flying robots, from tennis-playing quadcopters to surveillance hummingbirds. But zebras, it’s fair to say, are not. So what happens when a drone buzzes a herd?
The German surveillance bot maker Microdrones took one of their md4-1000 quadcopters to the Masai Mara region of the Serengeti, and used it to capture video of all sorts of African wildlife. Here’s a preview of what their drone saw.
Japanese researchers, led by Akira Iritani, professor emeritus of Kyoto University, have begun plans to resurrect the long-extinct (except in our hearts and minds and museums) woolly mammoth through new cloning techniques. The researchers hope to induce the birth of a new woolly mammoth--the first since the last Ice Age--within five or six years.
Germany’s Festo is no stranger to robots that mimic animal biology, but its new elephant trunk-inspired robot arm is more concerned with the fragility of human physiology than the strength of the elephant. The arm – known as the Bionic Handling Assistant – is certainly strong and flexible like the appendage it’s modeled after, but it’s also safe for humans to work with, employing a battery of resistance sensors that make human-machine interaction less of a safety hazard.
For humans, getting fitted with a prosthetic limb is now a relatively simple process. But how do you fit and prepare a three ton, 48-year old elephant for a prosthetic leg? With three years of practice and therapy, of course.
Motola the elephant had her leg shredded when she walked over a landmine in Thailand 10 years ago. The damage was so bad they had to remove the leg completely. Her operation also required enough anesthetic to put 70 people into a deep sleep.
A Polish politician, furious over a gay elephant, obviously hasn't been keeping up with the latest research on homosexuality in animals
By Christopher MimsPosted 04.15.2009 at 11:56 am 10 Comments
"We didn't pay 37 million zlotys for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there," said Michal Grzes, a conservative councillor in the Polish city of Poznan, Reuters reported last Friday.
The new Canine Cognition Lab at Harvard University is studying how dogs behave and how they comprehend the world around them. (Note: if you live in the area, they're also recruiting subjects.)
Also in today's links: deafened dolphins, tailing elephants, and Paul Rudd.
Large, slimy discoveries are not surprising finds in a cow field. Researchers found the largest known colony of clonal amoebas in a pasture near Houston, and the billions of single-celled organisms could help scientists better understand how these social amoebas cooperate over such a large spatial distance. (FYI, for other people with hopeful imaginations, the colony looks nothing like The Blob, or Slimer from Ghostbusters.)
Also in today's links: super-high-speed trains, the homeless can hear you now, and more.