Monday , May 16 2022

Scientists solve the mystery of how cockroaches produce cubes


It is a biological curiosity that confused scientists and fascinated the Internet.

Now researchers believe they have solved one of the brightest mysteries of the animal kingdom: how vombats produce a cubic path.

Six-sided nests of raised marsupials are unique in nature. And they produce them productively, depositing between 80 and 100 dice every night.

The excellent defect of Vombats has an important function, allowing animals to accumulate their faeces high enough to mark their territory and communicate through the smell.

The sides of the pellets mean that they can be seen on the corpses and rocks without unwinding, which makes them more likely to catch their colleagues.

But scientists have always not been sure how vombats – who have circular anus – fashion their feces in their unusual shape. Now, a team of American engineers and Australian biologists believe they have given up suspicion.

A leading study by author Patricia Iang, a postdoctoral at the Georgian Institute of Technology, noted whether the differences in wombats, the structures of soft tissue could explain their strange shapes.

"The first thing that led me to this is that I have never seen anything strange in biology, it was a mystery," said Mrs. Iang, who studies the hydrodynamics of the fluid, including blood, processed food and urine in the bodies of animals.

She added: "I did not believe it was at the beginning. I watched it and saw a lot about the gambling whistle, but I was skeptical."

The researchers studied the feces of wounds that were killed in road accidents (Georgian Institute of Technology)

The researchers studied the digestive tracts of wombs that fell after hit by road vehicles in Tasmania, Australia.

Near the end of the hose, they found that faeces are moved from liquid to solid state, consisting of small, separate cubes. The researchers concluded that the various elastic properties of the walls of the womb make it possible to form a cube.

In the artificial world, cubic structures are usually produced by spraying or extrusion. But in nature, the shape is extremely rare: wolves are the only known species that is capable of producing organic cubes.

Ms. Iang said that her findings could have implications for production, as well as contribute to the scientific understanding of the transport of soft tissue.

"At the moment, there are only two methods for the production of cubes: we splash them or cut them. Now we have this third method," said Mrs. Iang. "It would be a cool way to apply it to the production process – how to make a soft tissue cube instead of just molding it.

"We can figure out how to do it in a very efficient way."

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Scott Carver, an Australian biologist involved in the studio, added: "There is a lot of public interest in the public, both in Australia and internationally, about how and why vombats create dice in the form of feces.

"Many ideas, some more entertaining than others, have been proposed to explain this, but as long as this study has never explored the cause, this is a fantastic collaboration that shows the value of interdisciplinary research to bring about new scientific discoveries."

Researchers will present their findings at the annual meeting of the American Physical Fluid Dynamics Association in Atlanta, Georgia.

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