Agriculture
Middle school science adventures
Springing forward
Seeds of the Future
Amphibians
Toads
Salamanders
Tree Frogs
Animals
Sleepless at Sea
Clone Wars
Copybees
Behavior
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Pain Expectations
Swedish Rhapsody
Birds
Doves
Kiwis
Condors
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Music of the Future
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Computers
Small but WISE
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Getting in Touch with Touch
Dinosaurs and Fossils
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Earth's Lowly Rumble
Deep History
Environment
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Out in the Cold
Whale Watch
Finding the Past
Watching deep-space fireworks
A Plankhouse Past
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Fish
Dogfish
Bass
Lampreys
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Sponges' secret weapon
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
It's a Math World for Animals
Human Body
Hey batter, wake up!
The tell-tale bacteria
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Invertebrates
Worms
Octopuses
Butterflies
Mammals
Lhasa Apsos
Bonobos
Marmots
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Electric Backpack
Powering Ball Lightning
Plants
Seeds of the Future
Farms sprout in cities
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Anacondas
Crocodilians
Alligators
Space and Astronomy
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Technology and Engineering
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Young Scientists Take Flight
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Robots on a Rocky Road
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Catching Some Rays
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Navigating by the Light of the Moon

Moonlight inspires poetry, love songs, and, it seems, even dung beetles. Nighttime experiments have shown that dung beetles use a property of moonlight known as polarization to keep themselves moving in a straight line. Light is made up of electromagnetic waves. When light shines from the sun or moon, molecules in Earth's atmosphere tend to make a lot of these light waves line up so they vibrate together in the same direction. The light is then said to be polarized. Other experiments have shown that certain insects use polarization patterns of sunlight to orient themselves in the daytime. Fish and birds might be able to do the same thing. But this is the first example of any animal using light from the moon in this way. African dung beetles (Scarabaeus zambesianus) often attack a pile of elephant dung by the dozens. Each beetle grabs a small chunk of waste, then rolls it away. The beetles eat the waste. And males use extra-large balls of it to attract mates. With food and family at stake, dung piles are often the site of wrestling matches between competing beetles, as one male tries to grab another's precious ball. Being able to navigate in a straight line is an important skill for the beetles because it helps them escape the madness as quickly as possible. Scientists from Sweden and South Africa noticed that one species of African dung beetle works especially late when the moon is out. To figure out how the beetles find their way, the researchers set out a pile of pig poop on moonlit nights. Within minutes, dung beetles showed up. Then, the researchers used special filters to rotate the moonlight's direction of polarization by 90 degrees. All the beetles shifted course by 90 degrees, too. When the beetles crawled out from under the filter, they turned back to their original course. It’s worth admiring the dung beetle’s ability to use polarization patterns in moonlight to orient themselves. As for people, poetry is probably the best we’ll ever do!—E. Sohn

Navigating by the Light of the Moon
Navigating by the Light of the Moon








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™