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text 2019-03-22 14:18
Reading Update for Furry Logic | Chapter 4
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life

by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

Chapter 4: Sound: Good Vibrations

I wanna say that this chapter wasn't as exciting as the previous ones, if only because I don't remember a whole lot about it aside from the term "stealth echolocation."  I admit, it could have also been my own issue that had my mind wandering while reading about sounds and vibrations.

The peacock thing was pretty interesting as well, but only because the amusing emphasis on peacock mating made for a nice chuckle.  And also, elephants are cool, what with their triangulation of sound to determine distance and direction.

The chattiness of the authors' writing styles seems to have ebbed a bit... either that, or I've just gotten used to it enough that it doesn't bother me anymore.  So this book is coming along quite nicely.

Nevertheless, this is what I highlighted in this chapter as the most memorable:



The conflict between the physics working against the bat and its good hearing means there's a 'sweet spot' for ultrasound at a particular noise level where the bat's just near enough to echolocate the moth and the moth's just near enough to hear the bat.  At this position the bat's better hearing exactly compensates for the echo it receives being weaker (because of the extra attenuation) than the sound going directly to the moth.  Bat 0, Moth 0.  If, however, the bat beams out ultrasound louder than this noise level, it's a 'moth win' as the moth hears the bat from further away, whilst the bat can't detect the echo, and the insect flies away.  Bat 0, Moth 1.  Only by beaming out ultrasound more faintly than this threshold can the sharp-eared barbastelle detect the eared moth without the moth hearing.  Bat 1, Moth 0.  The ultrasound pulse from the bat is quiet and the echo that bounces back is quieter still, but the bat sense it because its hearing is so good.  The sound reaching the moth is louder, as it has only travelled one way.  But, being a cloth-ears, the moth can't detect it.  Unlucky, eared moth: you're dinner.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/03/reading-update-for-furry-logic-chapter-4.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-22 05:26
Furry Logic by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

TITLE:  Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life


AUTHOR:  Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  978-1-4729-1411-8


FIRST READ:  2018/04/07

RE-READ:  2019/03/22



Furry Logic is an interesting book that takes a look at the physics concepts used by a  large variety of animal life for survival.  The writing style is informal, chatty and whitty. Some of the puns and jokes were just awful, but most led to snickers or laughs, so I can't complain about them too much.  While the authors do not go into a great deal of depth with their scientific explanations, the explanations are comprehensive enough to understand the concept.  This is a fun, fast paced, fascinating and informative book, especially for the non-physicist and non-biologist.  This book is divided into 6 chapters that show how animals make use of physics in terms of heat, forces, fluids, sound, electricity, magnetis and light.  


The book covers such topics as flight, how cats drink, heat detection in snakes, the Komodo Dragon's bite, the electric field of flowers and how they attract bees, the sounds of peacocks and how elephants detect sound through the ground, how some animals use polarized light or magnetic fields to determine direction, how electric eels produce their electricity, how pondskaters skate on water, how geckos walk on ceilings, how the Harlequin Mantis Shrimp punches through crap shells (and aquarium tanks), how well mosquitos fly in the rain, why dogs shake themselves dry, why giant squid have such large eyes, and many more. 


The book includes a section of colour photographs and has a few illustrations to explain concepts spread throughout the book.  Unfortunately, the book did not contain a list of references or a bibliography, which is a bit strange for a science book!



Furry Logic Website


Internet Review and Excerpts





-Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski

-Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements by Matt Wilkinson

-The Gecko’s Foot: How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book by Peter Forbes

-What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe

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text 2019-03-21 00:29
Furry Logic
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

Just started. 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-20 17:03
Quote: Furry Logic [Chapter 6]
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

"This cuckoo is not alone in its freeloading. About 1 per cent of bird species act this way – they’re ‘obligate brood parasites’. Laying your egg in another bird’s nest lets you access the world’s ultimate crèche: there’s 24/7 care, no waiting list, and you never have to pay the bill. It’s the bird equivalent of throwing a baby out of a high chair, plonking your own infant in its place, then heading to the pub. For ever. A female common cuckoo chucks one egg out of her chosen host’s nest before laying her own egg in its place. If the cuckoo egg hatches first, the early-bird chick pushes its rival eggs out of the nest. Now it can catch the worm – it’s won the undivided attention of its new foster-parents. And if the cuckoo emerges after the host bird’s chicks, it shoves its step-brothers and sisters over the edge to their death. It’s the story of Cinderella, only an Ugly Sister wins and there’s no Fairy Godmother."


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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-20 16:22
Quote: Furry Logic [Chapter 5]
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

"We’re off on a trip of our own to the Furry Logic summer picnic. Choosing a shady spot on the lawns overlooking the historic hall, we lay down a blanket, get out the cheese sandwiches, open a huge bag of crisps (we’re so classy), pour some tea and unpack our pièce de résistance – home-made scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Perfect.


Unfortunately, we’re not alone. Wasps have arrived. First one, then another, then a third, darting madly around us in search of a sugary treat. We try to shoo off the beasts but it’s no use. More wasps turn up. One’s crawling over the jam. Another’s landed in the cream. The wasps are a complete (insert your own expletive) nuisance. Leaping up we tread backwards into a sandwich, knock over the tea and flail furiously about. With more wasps buzzing round our heads, it’s time for plan B: shove everything back into the picnic hamper and dash for the car.


Wasps are one of the most unpopular animals on the planet. They have few fans and many enemies, but it turns out wasps (or at least some of them) are masters of electricity and expert at quantum mechanics. Before we explain how, let’s make a case for their defence. First, without these yellow-and-black striped creatures, we’d be knee-deep in aphids and black fly. If you’re a keen gardener, you can thank your local wasps for devouring these insects and keeping your cabbages in good nick. Second, many species are social creatures that live in giant colonies and have just one aim: to bring food back to their nests. They’ll attack only if provoked or if they see a sudden movement, which is why swiping at one with a rolled-up newspaper is a bad idea. And here’s a tip: if you’re near a wasp’s nest, stay still. Creating a disturbance encourages the wasps to rush out to see what’s going on. If anything, wasps are more concerned about intruder wasps entering their colony. Should that happen, the inmates circle the outsider, before leaping on the enemy, chewing its wings off and stinging it to death. So it’s not about you, it’s them."


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