Thursday, June 30, 2011

'Singing penis' sets noise record for water insect - BBC News

David Seaton's News Links 
In a phenomenon, which I believe is known as "fractalization", the tiniest parts of nature are reproduced on a much larger scale and vice versa. For example, under a microscope, a grain of sand appears identical to the tallest mountains... or the following story:
WeinerA tiny water boatman is the loudest animal on Earth relative to its body size, a study has revealed. Scientists from France and Scotland recorded the aquatic animal "singing" at up to 99.2 decibels, the equivalent of listening to a loud orchestra play while sitting in the front row.  The insect makes the sound by rubbing its penis against its abdomen in a process known as "stridulation". Researchers say the song is a courtship display performed to attract a mate. Micronecta scholtzi are freshwater insects measuring just 2mm that are common across Europe.  In a study published in the journal PLoS One, the scientists discovered that the small animals make a mighty sound.

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