Crickets provide hearing aid in fight to help deaf

Wood cricketFrom Dear Kitty ModBlog Google cache:

Date: 6/20/05 at 11:44PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep, by The Middle of the Road

From The Scotsman:

Mon 20 Jun 2005

Crickets provide hearing aid in fight to help deaf

SUPER-SENSITIVE sound detectors based on the method used by crickets to spot predators have been created in a laboratory to help develop new implants for deaf people.

The sensors will also have a range of other research applications, such as measuring air flows over aircraft.

Crickets spend most of their lives on the ground, making them vulnerable to predators such as wasps and spiders.

Species like the wood cricket have developed a pair of hairy appendages on their abdomens called cerci which can detect the smallest fluctuations in air currents, enabling them to escape from attacking predators.

Physicists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands built their own version of the system with up to a few hundred artificial hairs.

The fine plastic hairs are attached to membranes with built-in electrodes and capacitors.

The scientists hope that the structures might lead to more sophisticated and efficient ear implants.

Cave crickets in the USA: here.

Katydid grasshopper sounds: here.

Post oak grasshoppers: here.

1 thought on “Crickets provide hearing aid in fight to help deaf

  1. Tuesday, March 28, 2006
    New Animal Species Discovered in Teno, Tenerife

    Cat overlooks the Teno mountains and asks, When can I go catch these new grasshoppers?
    Cat looks out over the Teno mountains and asks, “When can I go catch these new grasshoppers?” Answer: You can’t, it’s a protected species.Members of the department of Animal Biology of the University of La Laguna have discovered a new species of animal, a grasshopper without wings, called “cigarrón áptero tinerfeño”, in the area of Teno, in the north of the island of Tenerife.

    The grasshopper measures seven centimeters and its great capacity for camouflage has made its discovery previously difficult. The find has been included in the Data bank of Biodiversity, which gathers 60 new species per year.

    The grasshopper discovered in Teno has cousins on the islands of La Palma, Gran Canaria and La Gomera, but each one has specific peculiarities. This endemic species has a great capacity to adapt to insular life, which is the reason it lacks wings.

    Pedro Oromí’s team discovered the little beastie in 2001 and, after a lot of exhaustive research, the discovery was published in a scientific magazine in 2005.

    The species will be included in the Catalogue of Threatened Species of the Canary Islands, that constitutes the public registry in which those species, subspecies or populations of wild flora and fauna that need special protection are included. The great majority of the species discovered lately in the Canary Islands have this in common: that its cataloguing as a protected species is probable. In fact, any species that lives in an area inferior to 2.5 square kilometers is considered a candidate for protected status.

    A new species every six days: A new species is discovered approximately every six days in the Canary Islands, of which 93% are animals and 7% plants. The greater percentage of the species discovered in the last decade are of small size, mainly invertebrates. Tenerife is the island with largest amount of species.

    Source: here.


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