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.
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 →
Rapid aerial righting in baby stick insects falling upside-down
(this is part of an article written for the Phasmid Studies Group news letter, June issue 2017) Most stick insects are friendly and easy to rear, which made them convenient for lab studies. Also, there are more important reasons why they are suitable for the topics I was addressing – flight evolution. Anybody who has... 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 →