functional morphology


Clearing and staining, or diaphonization, is a process used by vertebrate biologists when seeking to visualize a particular animal’s skeletal system. Some steps include submerging the specimen in containers of digestive enzymes to render their organs translucent, while other steps involve immersing the animal in alizarin red dye, which adheres to calcium in their bones and stains them red, and alcian blue dye, which reacts with the cartilage of their joints. The results manage to be useful for studying biomechanical function and skeletal morphology, as well as appear stunningly beautiful. 

Learn more of this process by watching our latest episode: Clearing and Staining Fishes


The End of the Ice Age: Ecology, Functional Morphology, and Megafaunal Response to a Changing World

“Julie Meachen - Des Moines University, "The End of the Ice Age: Ecology, Functional Morphology, and Megafaunal Response to a Changing World"

(Source: Royal Tyrrell Museum via @DeepFriedDNA on Twitter))
Morpheme Dictionary on the Mac App Store
Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Morpheme Dictionary. Download Morpheme Dictionary for Mac OS X 10.11 or later and enjoy it on your Mac.

Eyyyyy, so I’m a published developer now!

For those who haven’t seen the web version, this is a simple etymological/morpheme dictionary for those of you who take an interest in Linguistics– which I know I post a lot of on this blog via @allthingslinguistic (please check out that blog if you have the time). Particularly in the word formation aspects of it.

It’s also a boon for worldbuilders (or scientists) who want to create new terms but don’t have the morphological vocabulary at the time to get the right elements.

ANYWAYS, I hope any of you who are interested benefit from it! And definitely feel free to make example suggestions and alert me of any errors, since the data part of the dictionary is– by nature– a continuous research and data collection project.

Will Ant Necks Give Robots Super Strength?

by Txchnologist staff

The next step toward robots with superhuman strength might come thanks to the tiny ants marching around at your feet. Engineers think the insects’ necks–made of soft, flexible tissue that can support huge weight–could hold important clues to advanced design.

Researchers at The Ohio State University wanted to know how this single joint is built to withstand the full load capacity, so they started looking at its mechanics, structural design and material composition.

“Ants… can lift and carry heavy loads relative to their body mass. Loads are lifted with the mouthparts, transferred through the neck joint to the thorax, and distributed over six legs and tarsi (feet) that anchor to the supporting surface,” the authors write in a paper published recently in the Journal of Biomechanics. “While previous research has explored attachment mechanisms of the tarsi, little is known about the relation between the mechanical function and the structural design and material properties of the ant.”

Find out more and see pictures below.

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