Butterflies Did it 30 Million Years Before Humankind Did It.... - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-24-2005, 03:41 PM   #1
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Butterflies Did it 30 Million Years Before Humankind Did It....

....according to scientists:


http://animal.discovery.com/news/bri...butterfly.html




Butterflies Wear Photonic Crystals
By Larry O'Hanlon, Animal Planet News



Nov. 18, 2005 — African swallowtail butterflies have been found using what was thought to be exclusively human advanced technology: high-efficiency photonic crystals like those of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

A microscopic study of the wing scales of the butterflies has uncovered arrays of two-dimensional, light-controlling "photonic" crystals and fluorescent pigments.

These not only allow the reflection of very particular shades of blue and blue-green, but they actually absorb some other colors and change them into the same blues and blue-greens.

That accounts for how the small group of African butterflies, and others found elsewhere in the world, can give off such strikingly brighter-than-bright color.


"It's just amazing," said optics researcher Pete Vukusic of Exeter University in the UK. "We got to it one way and nature got to it another way."

Only nature did it 30 million years earlier, he added. Vukusic and his colleague Ian Hopper have a short paper on the discovery in the Nov. 18 issue of Science.

In the case of manufactured LEDs, it's electricity that makes the light, which is then controlled by photonic crystals.

In butterflies, sunlight makes the colored light by being used in two ways: first by pigments that reflect only the desired color; second by fluorescent pigments absorbing other wavelengths of light to power up emission of the same preferred color.

What makes LEDs and butterfly wings so strikingly similar is that both use photonic crystals to control where the light goes. Artificial photonic crystals are usually made in neat arrays, using silica.

Butterflies grow photonic crystals like hair or fingernails, said Vukusic. Once grown, they are no longer living tissue and they continue to work long after a butterfly is dead and pinned in a sample case.

As for why swallowtails need to be so extraordinarily flashy — the function seems to be for territorial signaling to other butterflies of the same species, said Vukusic.

Other researchers have found that the butterflies have receptors in their eyes for the same colors they flash.

So by reflecting, fluorescing and aiming that color with photonic crystals, butterflies are just sending light signals as loudly and clearly as they can.

"It's showing us what a biological system can do," said Helen Ghiradella of State University of New York at Albany.

Ghiradella has studied how fireflies make use of color which are of exactly the same wavelength they see best.

"(These butterflies) show a control of light that is absolutely unbelievable," said Ghiradella.
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I guess we're not as advanced as we'd like to think!

Butterflies had us beat with this technology.

Maybe there's a good reason to want to conserve and preserve our natural world?

I bet that there's plenty more that we can learn from them.
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:09 PM   #2
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OK, here's another article that shows that our animal kingdom friends share some of the same feeling that we do - even if that can't always understand what they're feeling:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs...mster_ani.html



Blue Hamster?

Study: Hamsters Get the Winter Blues
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News


Nov. 21, 2005 — Many humans suffer from depression during the winter months, and now scientists have determined that hamsters also may experience anxiety and depression during the dark days of the year.

The researchers also discovered that female hamsters and hamsters born during winter months tended to exhibit more seasonal mood swings later in life. Since the likely mechanisms behind these feelings also exist in humans, the findings may lead to better diagnosis and treatment for anxiety and depression.

The study's results also suggest that many other species feel depressed, and get especially bummed out during the winter, because of reduced sunlight. In humans, the winter condition is named SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"Based on the similarities between day length-induced depressive and anxiety-like behaviors in hamsters and Seasonal Affective Disorder in humans, it is possible that there are similar mechanisms or adaptive value in seasonal depression among many species," said authors Leah Pyter and Randy Nelson, researchers in the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychology and the Institute of Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University.

Nelson said, "These results in hamsters may provide some insight into the development of Seasonal Affective Disorder in humans."

Pyter and Nelson presented their findings on Nov. 15 at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.

They studied 53 female and 48 male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). The furry rodents were either the offspring of parents raised under "long-day conditions" with 16 hours of light a day that was similar to summer sunshine, or parents that were raised under "short-day conditions" with eight hours of light each day, comparable to winter light levels.

The researchers put the hamsters through tests to see if the rodents showed signs of anxiety or depression. The first involved observing them in a large box. Anxious hamsters spent more time against the walls, where they would be more protected. Less anxious animals explored the entire box, even the open middle area.

The researchers then placed the hamsters in water. The hamsters that floated seemed more depressed to the researchers because they did not fight to swim their way out.

Finally, the rodents were presented with their favorite sugary drink and plain water: winter could even take the joy out of hamsters that normally sip the sweet drink with apparent pleasure.

Pyter and Nelson told Discovery News that while the offspring of the short-day parents seem to be more depressed than the offspring of the long-day parents, the light exposure the offspring experienced when they grew up seemed to have an even greater impact on their moods.

"We found that the amount of light hamsters were exposed to prenatally and up through weaning did have enduring effects on behavior in adulthood. But these effects were tempered quite a bit by whether they spent their time as adults in long days or short days," Pyter said.

They explained that the depression, particularly for hamsters born during winter months, likely stemmed from environmental information, conveyed through hormones, received by pups in the uterus from their mother. One of the key hormones appears to be melatonin, which also helps humans and other animals to sleep.

"The exposure to these hormones (probably melatonin), which change based on the season, may 'fix' or 'organize' the brain, and therefore behavior, later in life," said Pyter and Nelson.


Females also appeared to be more prone to depression, due to cyclical hormonal changes and other factors, but other research suggests male Siberian hamsters suffer from severe depression — particularly when they are separated from their female partners — becoming fat and lethargic.

"Preliminary evaluation of the syndrome revealed a significant increase in body weight, decrease in social interaction, and decrease in exploratory behaviors, which occurred predominately in separated males," said Jacqueline Crawley, chief of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health.

Antidepressants seemed to relieve at least some of the depressed male hamsters' symptoms.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Maybe it's time for humans to understand that we share this planet with other life forms that have as much right to live and thrive as we do.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:29 PM   #3
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Maybe it´s time to stop to give antidepressants to hamsters.

I don´t need scientists to tell me how advanced nature is in compare to human technology. I just need to go out and touch it, feel it.

After all, nature had a billion of years to experiment. It´s the other way round: we are breaking into nature´s domains, changing its laws and poisoning it. But nature ain´t a pimp. You can´t beat it.
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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thanks (i think) hiphop.

Just trying to show that human animals aren't the only ones who have feelings and intelligence.

In a tongue in cheek way.
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Old 11-26-2005, 06:47 PM   #5
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Most definitely!
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:12 PM   #7
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thanks lady luck -
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:16 PM   #8
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I don't like deep ecology at all.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:47 AM   #9
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Sometimes I wonder if we are really the unadvanced beings...
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:48 AM   #10
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My cat is always so happy and content. He only does what he needs to do. He doesn't ask questions, he just knows.

That's an advancement I don't know if I'll ever reach.


Even without other people giving him food and shelter, I have a feeling he'd be the same way.....
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:51 AM   #11
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I think world history shows whether humans are really as "advanced" as they think they are.

And I don't know how scientific fact is deep ecology.

It's called the truth.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:30 AM   #12
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Deep ecology is not based on science, it is not the same as ecology. I believe that it potentially represents as much of a threat to human progress as any reactionary religious ideology.

I will take fact over truth any day.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:31 PM   #13
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Here's one for A_Wanderer ( )

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051129...animalsoffbeat




Monkeys have accents too, researchers say

Tue Nov 29,12:11 PM ET



TOKYO (AFP) - To the untrained ear monkeys of a certain species may all sound the same, but Japanese researchers have found that, like human beings, they actually have an accent depending on where they live.


The finding, the first of its kind, will appear in the December edition of a German scientific journal Ethology to be published on December 5, the primate researchers said Tuesday.

"Differences between chattering by monkeys are like dialects of human beings," said Nobuo Masataka, professor of ethology at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute.

The research team analyzed voice tones of two groups of the same species of primates, the Japanese Yakushima macaque also known as Macaca fuscata yakui, between 1990 and 2000.

One group was formed by 23 monkeys living on the southern Japanese island of Yakushima, and the other group comprised 30 descendants from the same tribe moved from the island to Mount Ohira, central Japan, in 1956.

The result showed that the island group had a tone about 110 hertz higher on average than the one taken to central Japan.

Monkeys on Yakushima Island have an accent with a higher tone because tall trees on the island tend to block their voice, Masataka said.

"On the other hand, monkeys on Mount Ohira do not have to gibber with a high tone as trees there are low," he said. "Each group adopted their own accent depending upon their environment."

This suggests differences in voice tones are not caused by genes, Masataka said, adding the results "may lead to a clue to the origin of human language".
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