Fossils reveal swimming patterns of long extinct cephalopod

Computational fluid dynamics can be used to study how extinct animals used to swim. Scientists studied 65 million-year-old cephalopod fossils to gain deeper understanding of modern-day cephalopod ecosystems.

Hormone clue to snail shells' spiral

An enzyme that makes the male sex hormones has unravelled a fresh clue about how snail shells come to be curly. 

Are hyoliths Palaeozoic lophophorates?

Hyoliths are extinct invertebrates with calcareous shells that were common constituents of Cambrian fauna and formed a minor component of benthic faunas throughout the Palaeozoic until their demise in the end-Permian mass ...

Liquid crystal droplets as versatile microswimmers

Nature's most common swimmers are single-celled organisms such as microalgae that swim toward light sources, and sperm cells that swim toward an ovum. For a physicist, cells are simply biochemical machines, which must obey ...

Deflating beach balls and drug delivery

Many natural microscopic objects—red blood cells and pollen grains, for example—take the form of distorted spheres. The distortions can be compared to those observed when a sphere is 'deflated' so that it steadily loses ...

Scientists confirm a new 'magic number' for neutrons

An international collaboration led by scientists from the University of Hong Kong, RIKEN (Japan), and CEA (France) have used the RI Beam Factory (RIBF) at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-base Science to show that ...

Cracking the mystery of nature's toughest material

Nacre, the rainbow-sheened material that lines the insides of mussel and other mollusk shells, is known as nature's toughest material. Now, a team of researchers led by the University of Michigan has revealed precisely how ...

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