Hagfish Slime Cells Tailored to Deter Predation

My new paper addresses the evolution of hagfish slime thread and the thread cells. It shows the largest cell size allometry in animals known. The results suggest a significant impact from body size-related selection (via predator-prey interactions) for the evolution of slime threads. See interviews by The Scientists and SYFY Wire.

Canopy parkour in ant-mimicking stick insect hatchlings

new manuscript explaining the connection between post-hatch dispersal into tree canopies and the evolution of gliding in nymphs of Extatosoma tiaratum, a stick insect native to coastal Queensland. Post-hatch dispersal in Macleay’s spectre stick insect, Extatosoma tiaratum. (A) Left: natural habitat of E. tiaratum, illustrating the spatial complexity and vertically varying light environment. Photo... Continue Reading →

Evolution of flight morphology in stick insects

The origin of insect flight presumably underwent a series of intermediate morphologies, which, unfortunately, has not been shown in the fossil record. However, we can infer such transition by studying extant insects undergoing secondary flight reduction. In this new publication (link), we presented a framework for describing the evolutionary pathway between winged and wingless (volant)... Continue Reading →

Omnidirectional strikes in flat spiders

Lateral view of a flat spider A strike attacking a prey from behind (40X slowed). One of the early films from 2008 which inspired this study. Skeletal view of strike motion. Dots denote substrate contact. Further simplification of strike motion with line segments representing 'functional leg' - a vector from spider center of mass to... Continue Reading →

Aerial righting in wingless stick insects

First instar Extatosoma tiaratum, ~1.7 cm long. Analysis of velocity vectors with respect to rotational aerodynamics. Following my discovery of gliding behaviors of nymphal Extatosoma tiaratum stick insect at UW greenhouse in fall 2005, I conducted a series of researches on gliding behavior of nymphal stick insects as an undergrad. It was extended into my PhD thesis research,... Continue Reading →

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