Copper butterfly folds wings to avoid unwanted male advances

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: Avoiding Male Harassment: Wing-Closing Reactions to Flying Individuals by Female Small Copper Butterflies, Jun-Ya Ide, Ethology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2011.01912.xAbstractMales of many butterfly species persistently court and attempt to mate with females even if the females reject courtship. This male harassment almost certainly has negative effects on female fitness. Therefore, females have likely evolved strategies to avoid such encounters. To investigate the harassment avoidance strategy of females of the small copper butterfly, Lycaena phlaeas daimio, I observed the reactions of females to other individuals flying nearby in the field. In response to the conspecific butterflies, females closed their wings if they had previously been open and did not exhibit any action if the wings had been closed. Females that closed their open wings in response to a conspecific received fewer mating attempts than did females that held their wings open. These results indicate that the wing-closing behaviour of L. phlaeas females functions to deter male mating attempts. The wing-closing reaction occurred primarily in mated females. Because females of L. phlaeas copulate only once during their lives, this behaviour is not considered an indirect mate choice but rather an attempt to avoid persistent mating attempts (i.e. sexual harassment) by males. (PhysOrg.com) — In a move that females of any species would likely recognize, the small copper female butterfly has evolved a strategy of dissuading amorous males that is both effective and energy conserving; she simply closes her wings whenever they come near. When it’s cool, female butterflies chase males in sex role reversal Explore further Citation: Copper butterfly folds wings to avoid unwanted male advances (2011, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-copper-butterfly-wings-unwanted-male.html Lycaenidae – Lycaena phlaeas. Image: Ettore Balocchi/Wikipedia. Japanese associate professor of ecological engineering, Jun-Ya Ide noticed while observing the copper butterfly Lycaena phlaeas daimio, in the wild, that at least some of the females tended to fold their brightly colored wings, or to hold still with their wings closed, whenever males of the same species flew near them (and sometimes even when butterflies from other species came by). Intrigued he devised a simple experiment to test his theory that females that had already mated were folding their wings to ward off unwanted advances by males. In a paper published in Ethology, Ide describes how when he moved a model of a copper butterfly close to an already mated female, she more often than not closed her wings, or remained still if they were already closed. In contrast, virgin females showed no such behavior, indicating that the already mated females were using wing closing as a means to dissuade males from noticing them.Since copper butterflies mate but once in their lifetime, the move makes sense for both genders; the females go un-harassed which helps to ensure their survival and allows them to conserve energy, and the males avoid wasting time and energy on already mated females, allowing them to go after just the virgins, which helps to ensure that all females in any given area are mated.Dr Ide also noted in an interview with the BBC, that over-exuberant mating behavior by males can actually harm females, damaging their delicate butterfly parts, so the wing closing is not just a way to fend off sexual advances, but a means of physical protection as well. He also pointed out that his observations in the wild, showed that the female technique actually worked, those females that closed their wings and remained still, were subjected to less harassment than did those who did not close their wings, and thus likely lived far happier, healthier and less stressful lives as a result. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

British group unveils facial reading liedetector

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — A British team of researchers led by Professor Hassan Ugail of Bradford University have demonstrated a new type of lie-detector at the annual British Science Festival in Bradford. Instead of hooking people up to wires and pressure cuffs, the new system measures heat given off around the eyes and subtle facial movements that are then analyzed using a special algorithm. Ugail claims that the, as yet unnamed system, has been shown to be around 70% accurate when testing volunteers. The new system records subtle clues that people give off when lying, such as increased blood flow around the eyes, tiny lip movements or nose twitching. All of these bits of information are then fed into the computer which uses an algorithm based on the work of psychologists Paul Ekman and Walter Friesen, to give an educated guess as to whether the person being analyzed is lying.One of the major selling points of such technology would be its use in situations where the person being targeted doesn’t know they are being tested, something that traditional polygraph lie-detectors can’t do. Because the research has been backed by the UKs Border Agency, the technology will most likely be used to screen passengers at airports, and in fact, the team is currently working with government and security officials to begin testing at an unspecified UK airport in the near future.Because the tests were done with volunteers who not only knew they were being tested, but were asked to lie when answering mundane questions, Ugail believes the system will prove to be far more accurate when used in real life situations. But he also believes that as more research is done and more variables are added to the algorithm, that the system will one day prove to be as reliable as current lie-detectors, which experts believe are about 90% accurate.Ugail also acknowledges that no lie-detector can be 100% accurate as none of them actually detect lying; instead they rely on cues to make educated guesses. Though he adds that the more tools law enforcement has at its disposal, the better chance they will have of catching those with ill intent.If the new system proves to be as reliable as Ugail hopes, it might make us all safer, but it might also lead to other less noble purposes, such as employers using it in job interviews or by news people in real-time interviews, which some might construe as an invasion of privacy. Scientists: A good lie detector is hard to find Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: British group unveils facial reading lie-detector (2011, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-british-group-unveils-facial-lie-detector.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Zoologist bemoans the continuing loss of butterfly species

first_img Butterflies deceive ants using chemical strategies Butterflies hold a unique place in the world of insects, at least for humans. They do not really do anything useful, yet they consistently rate as one of the most popular of all the bugs, showing up in songs, poetry and children’s books. People simply like them because they are so beautiful. But like so many other things in life, their beauty may be ephemeral—many species have already gone extinct, and many more are headed that way.It is because of the way humans use the land, Thomas notes—we destroy their natural habitat and then cover it over with buildings, homes or crops, leaving little for butterfly larvae to eat. The adults are fine, he adds; they move from plant to plant, eating whatever they find. But the larvae for a single species depend on a certain type of plant, or maybe two. And if that plant is unavailable, the larvae die. There is another problem, Thomas points out—most species of butterfly, unlike the migrating monarchs, do not travel far—some never move any farther than a few acres. That means it does not take much to wipe them out. A single housing community, for example, can signal the end for the butterflies that once lived there. He offers some sobering statistics: In a Bavarian reserve, scientists have been tracking butterflies for almost 200 years—back in the 19th century, there were 117 species living there; today, despite efforts to save them, there are just 71. But it is not all doom and gloom. Scientists know more about butterflies than just about any other type of insect, and one thing they have learned is that to save them, all it takes is the proper mix of vegetation and sometimes ants. And better yet, it can be done in conjunction with human settlements—people can find out which types of butterflies could or used to live in their area, figure out what sorts of plants their larvae need, and then simply plant those in their yards—then invite local butterfly groups to bring some over. Journal information: Science Explore further Citation: Zoologist bemoans the continuing loss of butterfly species (2016, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-zoologist-bemoans-loss-butterfly-species.html Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img (Phys.org)—Jeremy Thomas, a zoologist with the University of Oxford, has written a Perspective piece for the journal Science offering an overview of the declining numbers of butterfly species around the globe and the reasons for it. He also notes that because of the unique requirements of butterflies, many could be saved if some effort were put forth. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: J. A. Thomas. Butterfly communities under threat, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8838SummaryButterflies are better documented and monitored worldwide than any other nonpest taxon of insects (1). In the United Kingdom alone, volunteer recorders have sampled more than 750,000 km of repeat transects since 1976, equivalent to walking to the Moon and back counting butterflies (2). Such programs are revealing regional extinctions and population declines that began before 1900 (3, 4). In a recent study, Habel et al. report a similar story based on inventories of butterflies and burnet moths since 1840 in a protected area in Bavaria, Germany (5). The results reveal severe species losses: Scarce, specialized butterflies have largely disappeared, leaving ecosystems dominated by common generalist ones. Similar trends are seen across Europe (6) and beyond, with protected areas failing to conserve many species for which they were once famed. © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

New polymer improves power output of triboelectric nanogenerators

first_img As computerized devices have grown smaller, it has become apparent that the natural progression is for some of them to evolve to an embedded form. Toting a phone around is useful, but a better approach might be one that doesn’t require holding or otherwise keeping track of it. That leads to the problem of how to attach and power such devices. While work continues toward bendable devices that can be attached to skin or clothes, other research involves charging such devices using various kinds of generators—some might capture the energy expended in body movement, for example. Others might capture electricity that is generated by movement between objects or material, i.e., static electricity. Such devices are called triboelectric nanogenerators. Unfortunately, such work to date has led to products that are not capable of generating enough charge to power the devices that would rely on them. In this new effort, the researchers in Korea have found a way to improve power output by replacing one of its basic materials with a new polymer.To create and capture the power in static electricity, friction is generated between two materials, which results in the release of electrons that are absorbed by another material. Research into using such devices centers on the materials that are used, but thus far, it has been difficult to find materials that create a lot of charge but do not wear out quickly, and have uniformity of contact humidity resistance. The new polymer, the researchers report, is able to accept more charges from an electrode, which increases power output. The new polymer reportedly doubled the dielectric constant and also doubled the density of the charge—the researchers found power output to be 20 times higher than other devices currently being developed.The group acknowledges that more work needs to be done to address other issues with triboelectric nanogenerators, but believe their work will lead to a useable product someday soon. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from several institutions in South Korea has developed a new polymer that is able to improve the power output of triboelectric nanogenerators. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the researchers describe the new polymer and how well it works when used in triboelectric nanogenerators. Journal information: Science Advances © 2017 Phys.org New fabric uses sun and wind to power devices More information: Robust nanogenerators based on graft copolymers via control of dielectrics for remarkable output power enhancement, Science Advances  26 May 2017: Vol. 3, no. 5, e1602902 , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602902 , http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/5/e1602902.fullAbstractA robust nanogenerator based on poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (PtBA)–grafted polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) copolymers via dielectric constant control through an atom-transfer radical polymerization technique, which can markedly increase the output power, is demonstrated. The copolymer is mainly composed of α phases with enhanced dipole moments due to the π-bonding and polar characteristics of the ester functional groups in the PtBA, resulting in the increase of dielectric constant values by approximately twice, supported by Kelvin probe force microscopy measurements. This increase in the dielectric constant significantly increased the density of the charges that can be accumulated on the copolymer during physical contact. The nanogenerator generates output signals of 105 V and 25 μA/cm2, a 20-fold enhancement in output power, compared to pristine PVDF–based nanogenerator after tuning the surface potential using a poling method. The markedly enhanced output performance is quite stable and reliable in harsh mechanical environments due to the high flexibility of the films. On the basis of these results, a much faster charging characteristic is demonstrated in this study.center_img Explore further Photographs of a flexible PVDF-Gn film after it was peeled off and a PVDF-Gn–based TENG. Credit: Science Advances  26 May 2017: Vol. 3, no. 5, e1602902 , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602902 Citation: New polymer improves power output of triboelectric nanogenerators (2017, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-polymer-power-output-triboelectric-nanogenerators.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Bengal to get new police chief

first_imgCalcutta: The Bengal government has picked 1985 batch IPS officer Virendra as the new director-general of police and create a new post – advisor (security) – for current DGP Surajit Kar Purkayastha after his retirement on May 31, sources in Nabanna said. Virendra is currently posted as the DG (security). S.N. Gupta, a 1992 batch IPS officer, will head the security directorate which looks after the protection of chief minister and other VVIPs after Virendra becomes the DGP. Gupta is the present director of security. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”Files related to the changes in the highest echelons of the police have already been signed by the chief minister. But it is still not clear what the role of the outgoing DGP would be as the advisor (security),” said a senior government official.Some officials said Kar Purkayastha was likely to be an advisor to the chief minister on security-related issues, which means indirectly, he would have a role in running the police force.”This is a prize posting for the chief minister’s trusted police officer,” said an official.Kar Purkayastha was the first DGP in Bengal to be given an extension after his official retirement in 2016.(With inputs taken from The Telegraph)last_img read more

Reviving the musical tradition of Punjab

first_imgDespite the roaring popularity of pop and Bollywood music in India, there is no dearth of art lovers who yearn to listen to the traditional, folk and classical genres in music. The upcoming music festival Traditional Music of Punjab is set to offer a cultural treat for those music lovers.If one talks about the cultural heritage of Punjab, the mellifluous kheyal ‘bandishes’ (Compositions) cannot be left out from the discourse. In fact, this is a genre of ‘Gayeki’ which has enriched the Hindustani Classical music for more than two centuries now.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Punjabi Academy, Govt. of Delhi, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Delhi; organises a festival of the Traditional Music of the Punjab, which will bring together renowned artists of this genre on the May 21 – 22, at the India International Centre.The festival will begin with a performance by Bhai Balwant Singh Namdhari who will render kheyal gayeki accompanied by the tabla mridang in the traditional style of the Punjab. His performance will be followed by Raza Ali Khan grandson of the legendary Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Saheb who will sing the traditional Punjabi kheyal bandishes.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe second day will have Qutubi Qawwal from the Dargah of Hazrad Qutbudin Bakhtiar Kaki who will present Sufi qawwali from the Punjab. Pandit Yashpaul will render Punjabi kheyal bandishes of archival value.Before the advent of Kheyal, there were four famous Gharanas of Dhrupad singing in the Punjab, Talwandi, Haryana, Sham Chaurasi and Kapurthala. Kheyal Gayeki emerged as the next stage of evolution in the history of Hindustani music. As the strict discipline of earlier days gave way to greater expansiveness and liberty of expression in the musical firmament.  The process of this evolution had started with the creative endeavors of Amir Khusroe in the 12th century and completed itself under the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Ferozkhan Adaran who gave the Kheyal style its present identity. Kheyal Gayeki remained confined to Delhi for some time, and it was only later during the 19th century that the new style reached the Punjab. Jarnail Ali Baksh and Kaptaan Fateh Ali founded the Patiala Gharana of Music, from which flows an important line of Kheyal Gayeki of the Punjab. “Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful ‘bandishes’ which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani Classical Music. Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which kheyal bandishes have been written over the centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the Kheyal style of Hindustani Classical Music, have also composed some bandishes in the Punjabi languge which will be presented in this festival. Over the last two centuries, Hindustani Musicians whether from the Punjab or elsewhere, have sung these Punjabi Kheyal compositions. It is our effort through this festival to revive an interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation. ,” says Geetanjali Gupta, Secretery, Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi.“Through this annual festival, our effort is to revive an interest and attract youngsters to this beautiful form of classical music. We also want to encourage research and presentation in this art form which is languishing, as it is an intrinsic part of our composite culture,” says Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.When: May 21 – 22Where: India International Centrelast_img read more

Coast Guard rescues sick crew member of fuel tanker

first_imgKolkata: The Coast Guard evacuated a severely sick crew member of an India-registered fuel tanker which was in mid sea and brought him to Haldia for medical treatment in the early hours on Monday, an official said here.A Coast Guard vessel evacuated 27-year old Mridul Singh from MT Hansa Prem at 3.00 pm on Sunday, after receiving medical evacuation request from the master of the ship, which was then situated approximately 100 nautical miles in the Bay of Bengal from Haldia Dock complex, which is about 120 km from the city. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minors”The vessel requested Indian Coast Guard for immediate evacuation of severely sick crew member Mridul Singh, suffering from severe abdominal pain with swelling for the last two days,” ICG (North-East region) spokesperson assistant commandant Chitra Biswas said. Coast Guard maritime rescue sub-centre at Haldia diverted ICG ship Anmol, which was on routine EEZ patrol, to provide medical assistance to the patient.”The on-board Coast Guard medical team administered initial medical aid to the patient and shifted him to Anmol, which brought him to Haldia at 12.30 am on Monday,” Biswas said.The agent of the vessel was directed to keep an ambulance along with medical team at Haldia for further medical management of the patient, she said.MT Hansa Prem, carrying fuel oil and lube oil, departed from Ennore on July 12 and was scheduled to reach Haldia on July 18.last_img read more

For animals sake celebrate a crackerfree Diwali

first_imgThe ear-splitting burst of crackers may be celebration for humans but on Diwali spare a thought for pets and strays which cringe at the pain that the deafening noise creates, say veterinarians and animal activists.Families with pets have a tough time tackling their furry friends due to crackers and pollution, which tends to scare and sometimes even traumatise them.An average human ear can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 hertz but animals, which totally depend on their senses to survive, perceive sound almost twice that of a human ear. So, just imagine the sound of crackers — it can almost be deafening for them. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Pets and homeless animals are at your mercy; so kindly don’t burn loud bombs,” said veterinarian Ajay Sood. “Children should not play pranks by tying crackers to their tails. Also, cats and dogs can burn their whiskers by sniffing the diyas. Keep them indoors and don’t leave them unattended. You can increase the sound of television or radio which they are accustomed to daily. This will help them to be calm during the Diwali celebrations,” Sood suggested. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHomeless animals are the most affected. They go into hiding and only come out once the festivities are over. There have been numerous incidents where children tie crackers to the tails of animals for their source of entertainment, but this is torturous for these helpless beings. “People should be a little considerate and try to avoid loud crackers. Due to Diwali celebrations, cats and dogs don’t even search for food; others suffer burn injuries that go untreated as they have no owners, and open and untreated wounds get infected, causing other severe problems for these homeless animals,” said Swati Tandon, owner of Whatspup, a pet store.Sachin Bangera, associate director, Celebrity and Public Relations, PETA India, said: “During fireworks displays, many animals become frightened by the loud noises and run away from their homes. The lucky ones end up in animal shelters and are reunited with their families, but others are never found, and some suffer serious injuries or even die as they try to escape the noise.“One should take care by keeping cats and dogs indoors during fireworks displays and if possible, stay with them.” Even celebrities are rallying for the cause. Actresses Nargis Fakhri and Jacqueline Fernandez have asked their fans to avoid crackers to provide a safe environment for pets, while Anushka Sharma, an ardent dog lover who has a pet labrador named Dude, has urged everyone to celebrate the forthcoming festival of Diwali without noise and fire crackers for the sake of animals.Through social media campaign “Pawsitive”, the Dil Dhadakne Do actress has encouraged people to reduce the use of crackers, especially in residential areas. Also, keep hospital numbers in visible places so that it is easy to reach out in case of emergency. “Ensure that your supply of pet tranquilizers is ready for some pets are so terrified that they need to be sedated. If there is a burn, wash with running water not ice. Apply a burn cream and try and contact a 24×7 vet hospital,” said Gautam Unny, another veterinarian.Also, according to Unny, the most common “emergency seen is when pets steal Diwali sweets or drink lots of ghee”! So, don’t forget to keep a close watch!last_img read more

8yrold made to wait for more than 6 hrs at SSKM for

first_imgKolkata: An 8-year-old boy from Howrah’s Domjur who was taken to SSKM Hospital with fractured jaws and requiring an emergency CT Scan, had been kept on wait for more than six hours.The CT Scan was finally done on the patient following the intervention of a senior official of the hospital more than six hours after he was brought to the emergency department at around 10.30 am on Saturday.The family members of the patient went to the CT Scan unit several times urging the officials for the test but they allegedly told the family members that there was a long queue. The victim’s parents were asked to appear on next Monday when they might get a date for the examination. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe patient was in need of an immediate CT Scan as his injuries were serious in nature and the doctors who treated the patient at the Emergency department mentioned on the prescription the urgency of the matter.Kamal Debnath, a relative of the patient, said that they drew the attention of the people at the CT Scan unit saying that the doctor had asked for an urgent test to be done. They allegedly told the patient’s family members as to why were they not asking the doctor to carry out the test himself. People at the CT Scan unit allegedly told the boy’s parents that they would be given a date for CT Scan next Monday, no matter how serious the nature of his injury was.It was learnt that the patient had received injuries on his teeth and jaws after he fell inside his school campus at Domjur on Saturday morning. A senior official of SSKM Hospital finally intervened and the CT Scan was doneon the patient.last_img read more

Hindu college organises an intercollege debate

first_imgThe Old Students’ Association, Hindu College organised ‘The 6th Clash of the Titans Invitational Debate’ at The Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on November 17. The alumni of five prestigious colleges of Delhi University of national fame – Hindu College, Miranda House, Lady Shri Ram College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Indraprastha College – participated in this great debating competition. The debaters tested their debating skill on a contemporary relevant topic – ‘Freedom of Speech is a Luxury India cannot afford’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfRenowned Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali was the Guest of Honour and Justice Manmohan, Judge, Delhi High Court was the Chief Guest. The jury for judging the debaters consisted of Tarun Shridhar IAS, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture; Shakti Sinha, Director, Nehru Memorial Museum Library and MK Venu, Founding Editor, The Wire. Eminent Media Personality Kajori Sen was the moderator. The winning team trophy was awarded to ‘Hindu College team’ comprising of Saket Jha Saurabh and Rohit Hari Rajan. The best speaker awards went to Radha Kumar from Miranda House and Saket Jha Saurabh from Hindu College. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDistinguished orators participated in this unique debate. The exchange between the alumni from the five colleges of Delhi University – Hindu College, Indraprastha College, Miranda House, Sri Ram College of Commerce and Lady Sri Ram College — explored, prodded and synthesized the subject of the debate. The Old Students’ Association (OSA) of Hindu College was established in 1958. Since its inception, the Association has been active in bringing the eminent alumni of the Hindu College, Delhi on one platform. Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Burman, President, OSA, Hindu College said “We are pleased to organise ‘The 6th Clash of the Titans Invitational Debate’ competition and have distinguished guests and participants from different walks of life who have brought laurels to their alma mater through their achievements. ‘The Titans Cup’ debate is growing in influence each year and this year again women speakers out-numbered the men and had a larger number of youthful debaters being showcased. The debate serves as a unique platform to bring together alumni from different colleges and providing bonding and networking opportunities. We look forward to similar engagements each year. We are grateful to all the college authorities and the alumni for making this event a success.”last_img read more