Another world of politics
Posted by aogSaturday, 08 November 2008 at 17:42 TrackBack Ping URL

One interesting thing I heard recently was a group at the local university who are going out and recording insects. SWIPIAW took us all over to the local natural resources department for their 150th anniversary expo and that was in one of the booths.

I thought it was very cool. They’ve got decades of work to go but their claim is that insect sounds are as regionally and species distinctive as bird calls. The fact that we have excellent catalogs of bird calls means that ornithologists can create far more accurate maps of bird populations with microphones than traps. The insect listening guys want to be able to do the same thing with insects.

One interesting complications is that while insects use vibrations like birds, they don’t always use air to transmit those vibrations. Some drum on the plants they live on, other sent ripples over the surface of the water. That provides some discrimination right off the top.

The best technology was the laser eavesdropper. It was discovered a while back that you could listen in on people in a room by bouncing a laser beam off a window in the room and decoding the resulting modulations of the laser beam caused window vibrations which in turn were caused by sounds in the room. Now that technology is used to bounce a laser beam off the surface of ponds to listen to the insects chattering away.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Gnasty Monday, 10 November 2008 at 07:21

Linked through from Victory Soap. Really like your style. I’m thinking I’ll be a regular visitor.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 10 November 2008 at 10:43

Thanks!

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