Navigation Links
Pond skating insects reveal water-walking secrets
Date:10/31/2012

This month's special issue of Physics World is devoted to animal physics, and includes science writer Stephen Ornes explanation of how pond skaters effortlessly skip across water leaving nothing but a small ripple in their wake.

As Ornes writes, our current understanding of the mechanisms adopted by the pond skater is down to the efforts of David Hu, who as a mathematics graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spent four years studying their behaviour.

Hu, along with his PhD supervisor John Bush, found that pond skaters use the middle of their three pairs of legs to "row" across the water. When a rowing boat's oar slices the water, it creates swirling vortices just beneath the surface that twist away from the boat and move it forwards the same vortices are created by tiny hairs that cover the pond skater's legs.

The hairs are the only part of the insect's body that penetrate the water and are covered in a waxy substance that keeps water out by allowing bubbles to attach to them. The hairs have subsequently drawn the attention of materials scientists looking for a permanent waterproofing material that doesn't wash off.

The pond skater (also known as the water strider) is one of a tiny proportion of insects around 0.1 per cent that are able to stand and move on water. They stay afloat thanks to their small weight and the surface tension of water acting like a skin; however, according to Newton's third law of motion, the pond skater must push against something to move forward, which is fairly tricky when the only thing available is water.

Previous theories had suggested that pond skaters created tiny ripples known as "capillary waves" with their legs which subsequently propelled them across water, but as biologist Mark Denny pointed out in 1993, this couldn't be the case as infant pond skaters cannot move their legs faster than the phase speed of the capillary waves a feat necessary to
'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bishop
michael.bishop@iop.org
01-179-301-032
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Gene technology helps deceive greedy pest insects
2. Same adaptations evolve across different insects
3. Jurassic pain: Giant flea-like insects plagued dinosaurs 165 million years ago
4. UCSB study shows forest insects and diseases arrive in US via imported plants
5. Crabs, insects and spiders vulnerable to oil spill, but also resilient
6. New study reveals that every single junk food meal damages your arteries
7. Scientists reveal how natural antibiotic kills tuberculosis bacterium
8. X-rays reveal the self-defence mechanisms of bacteria
9. Study reveals how common gene mutation affects kids with autism spectrum disorders
10. Researchers reveal a chemo-resistant cancer stem cell as cancers Achilles heel
11. Influenza research: Can dynamic mapping reveal clues about seasonality?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2015)... June 30, 2015 To bolster its efforts and ... Corp. announced today the addition of two new team members. ... board advisor and David Raviv will act as ... HYPR Corp.,s commitment to providing the most secure solutions for ... co-founded Layer 7 Technologies, a provider of security and ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... Genisphere announced Tom Bliss ... further develop Genisphere,s therapeutics capabilities and portfolio. Mr. Bliss ... much of the last 25 years in leadership positions ... Johnson & Johnson. Tom started his career in Investment ... Finance. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA ...
(Date:6/29/2015)... , June 24, 2015 ... addition of the "Latin America Biomedical Sensors Market ... their offering. The Latin America Biomedical Sensors ... a CAGR of 2.04% over the period 2014-2020 ... are adaptable to the genetic formulation of each individual. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):HYPR Corp. Expands Biometric Authentication Team with Enterprise All Stars 2HYPR Corp. Expands Biometric Authentication Team with Enterprise All Stars 3Genisphere Appoints New CEO, Thomas Bliss 2Genisphere Appoints New CEO, Thomas Bliss 3Latin America Biomedical Sensors Market Report 2015-2020 2
... This news release is available in German ... fever, diarrhoea -- these symptoms could point to an infection ... is based on a syringe-like injection apparatus called injectisome. For ... at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, ...
... oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) migrate to the lesion and ... the Institute of Molecular Cell Biology at Johannes Gutenberg ... protein regulates the direction and movement of OPC toward ... at the surface of OPCs and down-regulated as they ...
... Western Reserve University has granted a two-year technology ... a hand-held device that diagnoses malaria more quickly, ... Diagnostic Group LLC, the startup formed last summer ... of Engineering, also raised $250,000 to "field-test" the ...
Cached Biology News:3-D molecular syringes 23-D molecular syringes 3Scientists at Mainz University decode mechanisms of cell orientation in the brain 2CWRU grants Disease Diagnostic Group option on malaria diagnostic device 2
(Date:6/30/2015)... , June 30, 2015  Today, Americord Registry, one ... announced Andrew Horne , a partner at Kirkland & ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/226958LOGO   ... Americord,s Advisory Board," says Martin Smithmyer , CEO of ... his legal career that will assist Americord,s growth and vision." ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... ... June 30, 2015 , ... uBiome and ... insights on mechanics of fecal microbiota transplantation in C. difficile patients. , SAN ... of patients undergoing fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a treatment for Clostridium difficile ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... ... June 30, 2015 , ... ... does not sacrifice selectivity to achieve faster flow rates in comparison to nylon ... with significant open space to allow easy liquid flow while trapping particulates as ...
(Date:6/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... June 30, 2015 , ... ... services to the federal government, announced in a paper published this week in ... a potential problem with the diagnostic techniques currently used to detect the Ebola ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Americord Registry Announces Andrew Horne as Advisory Board Member 2uBiome and OpenBiome Partner for Microbiome Study in FMT Patients 2uBiome and OpenBiome Partner for Microbiome Study in FMT Patients 3New Nanofiber Membrane Provides Fast, Efficient Filtration 2Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 2Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 3Noblis and Government Scientists Identify New Genomic Signatures of Ebola Using Whole Genomic Sequencing and Innovative BioVelocity Analytics Tool 4
... University of Wisconsin-Madison spinoff developing a drug for people with ... $1.6 million, of which it has received the first portion, ... developing drug candidates. , ,Trevor Twose, Mithridion's CEO, said the ... that he may hire six people by the end of ...
... was sent an announcement of pending Illinois broadband legislation ... Here's its synopsis: , Creates the Universal Access to ... Services (CMS) to create and maintain a map of ... publicly held broadband infrastructure shall be available for lease ...
... to a biotech company (it is priority #1, #2, and ... sense) companies are continually faced with the challenge of raising ... article will focus on venture capital financing results for 2005. ... from Burrill and Company's data. Burrill's perspective is more towards ...
Cached Biology Technology:Mithridion raises $1.6M through angel networks 2Proposed Illinois broadband act falls short 2Proposed Illinois broadband act falls short 3Proposed Illinois broadband act falls short 4Proposed Illinois broadband act falls short 5U.S. VC funding flat in 2005 while life science funding grows 2U.S. VC funding flat in 2005 while life science funding grows 3U.S. VC funding flat in 2005 while life science funding grows 4