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biology Archives - The Triz Journal

Biology – Sailfish

30/06/2019 |

Darrell Mann

The Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans) is a world-record holding speed merchant twice over. Early measurements of the sailfish’s ability to move through the sea faster than any other marine vertebrate are currently the source of some challenge. What … Read More

Biology – Cat Tongue

26/05/2019 |

Darrell Mann

Cats love to groom themselves almost as much as they love to sleep, spending up to one-quarter of their waking hours cleaning their fur.

The secret to their self-cleaning success? The spines on their tongues are curved and … Read More

Biology – Polka-dot Tree Frog

28/04/2019 |

Darrell Mann

Under normal light, the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) sports a muted palette of greens, yellows and reds. But dim the lights and switch on ultraviolet illumination, and this little amphibian gives off a bright … Read More

Biology – Australasian Grebe

24/03/2019 |

Darrell Mann

Like most grebes, the Australasian grebe is a poor flier and even worse on land due to its short wings and its legs being placed far back on its body. Grebes have large feet with flat rounded “lobate” … Read More

Biology – Mole

24/02/2019 |

Darrell Mann

Despite the havoc they’ve managed to wreak in my vegetable garden this summer, I still maintain a sneaking admiration of moles. Weighing about 100g and having a length of about 12cm, they somehow manage to burrow their way … Read More

Biology – Hedgehog

27/01/2019 |

Darrell Mann

We love hedgehogs here at SI HQ. Despite the fact that helping to feed them can get expensive when a family of twenty-plus taking refuge in our garden decide they like only the best cat food, and only … Read More

Biology – Cordyceps

23/12/2018 |

Darrell Mann

So, picture this. You’re a lowly fungus, Cordyceps, and you’re looking to make lovely Cordyceps descendants, as is Nature’s way. The only problem is that you’re tiny and you live in low places, so your ability to spread … Read More

Biology – Arctic Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus parryii or Urocitellus parryii)

14/11/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Every September arctic ground squirrels in Alaska, Canada and Siberia retreat into burrows more than a meter beneath the tundra, curl up in nests built from grass, lichen and caribou hair, and begin to hibernate. As their lungs … Read More

Biology – Sea Slug (Elysia chlorotica)

31/10/2018 |

Darrell Mann

In an amazing achievement akin to adding solar panels to your body, a Northeast sea slug sucks raw materials from algae to provide its lifetime supply of solar-powered energy, according to a study recently published by scientists at … Read More

Biology – Sleeping Chironomid (Polypedilum vanderplanki)

23/09/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Polypedilum vanderplanki or the sleeping chironomid, is a dipteran in the family Chironomidae (non-biting midges). It occurs in the semi-arid regions of the African continent (e.g. northern Nigeria and Uganda). Its larvae are found in small tubular nests … Read More

Biology – Parrot Fish

26/08/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Viewers of Blue Planet 2 were treated to the spectacle of parrotfish eating stony coral, only for it to emerge the other end as sand. Through this process, a single parrotfish can produce around 400 kilograms of sand … Read More

Biology – Hummingbird

29/07/2018 |

Darrell Mann

The sight of a tiny hummingbird hovering in front of a flower and then darting to another with lightning speed amazes and delights. But it also leaves watchers with a persistent question: How do they do it?

Now, … Read More

Biology – Jewel Wasp

24/06/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Female parastic wasp injects venom in fly pupa host

Amid the incredible diversity of living things on our planet, there is a common theme. Organisms need to acquire new genes, or change the functions of existing … Read More

Biology – Cuckoo Eggs

31/05/2018 |

Darrell Mann

The main attribute of the cuckoo is that it lays its eggs in other birds’ nests in order that other birds raise their offspring for them. We’ve mentioned this story in Issue 147 of the ezine. What we … Read More

Biology – Fox Squirrel

24/04/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Fox squirrels are a lot more organized than we thought—storing their stashes of nuts by variety, quality, and possibly even by preference.

A new study is the first to show evidence that squirrels arrange their bounty—at least 3,000 … Read More

Biology – Electric Eel

25/02/2018 |

Darrell Mann

From Nature last month, an article describing scientists’ search for safer, more natural ways to power devices that go into our bodies. Sticking toxic battery elements inside the body, and having to periodically replace them with invasive surgery … Read More

Biology – Lobarina scrobiculata

11/02/2018 |

Darrell Mann

The Lobaria scrobiculata lichen is unique. Unlike the majority of lichen with green microalgae, which use environmental humidity to activate their photosynthesis, this species requires liquid water in symbiosis to activate the cyanobacteria living in it. This makes … Read More

Biology – Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae)

12/01/2018 |

Darrell Mann

Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers of Karlsruhe … Read More

Student’s Corner #8 – Bionics: Applications Of Biology’s Ideas In Technique

25/08/2006 |

Edited by Mrs. Leora C. Slocum (leora@slocumfamily.org)

On our previous Student’s Corners, we have already discovered several applications of biological effects, such as corrugation and the honeycomb, which increase the effectiveness of technology. Over time, scientists have developed the … Read More

Adaptive evolution in biology and technology: Why are parallels expected?

17/05/2003 |

By: Peter Kaplan

University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology Ann Arbor, MI 48109 pefty@aya.yale.edu

Introduction Since the beginnings of technology, inventors have sought to draw parallels between biological and technological designs. Among the flurry of such studies appearing in the … Read More