science: November 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgResearchers say they've finally discovered how cats lap up liquids elegantly and without getting wet. And it's more complex than you'd think.

Using high-speed cameras the boffins filmed cats tucking into a bowl of milk and analysed exactly what they did with their tongues.

It was found cats draw up liquid without breaking the surface by brushing smooth tip of the tongue along the surface before rapidly drawing it back up.

This causes a column of milk to form between the moving tongue and the liquid's surface allowing the cat to pinch off the top of the column and drink.

They then carefully lap at a rate of about four laps per second to maintain the balance of gravity and inertia and keep the liquid flowing… dogs just get their face in there and make a mess.

275x250.jpgMen feel instantly relaxed and are less aggressive when they look at cooked red meat, scientists have claimed.

Boffins from  McGill University in Canada conducted a study involving 82 men and found looking at cooked red meat made them significantly less aggressive.

The researchers - thinking about historical competition between hunters - had initially expected seeing meat to prompt aggression between people.

But after using standard aggression measuring techniques they found that looking at images of cooked red meat had the opposite effect.

It's now though this calming effect could be traced back to early humans who would have been relaxed while eating in the company of family members… well they weren't trying to watch TV were they?

275x250.jpg A species of grasshopper has been named as the animal with the world's largest testicles -- in relation to body weight, obviously.

Researchers at the University of Derby (who we assume had a good reason for investigating the topic) say the tuberous bushcricket has testicles which amount to 14% of its body mass.

The boffins claim this makes the record-breaking testicles bigger than any other animals and takes the title from the fruit fly (Drosophila bifurca) with 10.6%.

To put this into perspective the scientists say if the same was true for humans the average testicles would weight the same as six bags of sugar.




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