science

Scientists glued computers on snails to figure out how they survived in the South Pacific 


Scientists glue tiny computers on SNAILS to figure out how they survived predator that wiped out 50 other species in the South Pacific

  • Researchers used the ‘world’s smallest computer’ to find out how the Partula hyalina snail avoided a predator that killed 50 other species of snail in the South Pacific Society Islands 
  • Partula hyalina used its white shell to reflected light, instead of absorbing it
  •  The Michigan Micro Mote computer acts as a smart sensing system. It has solar cells that powers its battery with ambient light, so it can run theoretically, forever
  • It was glued to the shells of the rosy wolf snails and on top and bottom of leaves where P. hyalina rested
  • The rosy wolf snail was introduced by agricultural scientists in 1974

It’s not sharks with laser beams, but scientists have attached computers smaller than a thimble to a type of snail in the South Pacific to learn how they avoided a violent predator that resulted in 50 other species going extinct.   

The findings note that the Partula hyalina – a tropical land snail – was able to avoid the rosy wolf snail by living in sunlit parts of the forests’ edge in the South Pacific Society Islands and using its white shell that reflected light, instead of absorbing it.

‘We were able to get data that nobody had been able to obtain,’ said study co-author David Blaauw, in a statement

‘And that’s because we had a tiny computing system that was small enough to stick on a snail.’

See also  Video shows all 85 murder hornets are ALIVE after being vacuumed from their nest in Washington state

Scroll down for video 

Researchers used the 'world's smallest computer' to find out how the Partula hyalina - a tropical land snail - was able to avoid the rosy wolf snail by living in sunlit parts of the forests' edge in the South Pacific Society Islands. It used its white shell to reflected light, instead of absorbing it

Researchers used the ‘world’s smallest computer’ to find out how the Partula hyalina – a tropical land snail – was able to avoid the rosy wolf snail by living in sunlit parts of the forests’ edge in the South Pacific Society Islands. It used its white shell to reflected light, instead of absorbing it

The computer, known as the Michigan Micro Mote, or M3, acts as a smart sensing system. It has solar cells that powers its battery with ambient light, so it can run theoretically, forever

The computer, known as the Michigan Micro Mote, or M3, acts as a smart sensing system. It has solar cells that powers its battery with ambient light, so it can run theoretically, forever

The M3 was glued to the shells of the rosy wolf snails and on top and bottom of leaves where P. hyalina rested

The M3 was glued to the shells of the rosy wolf snails and on top and bottom of leaves where P. hyalina rested

The computer, known as the Michigan Micro Mote, or M3, is ‘the word’s smallest computer’ and it acts as a smart sensing system. 

It has solar cells that powers its battery with ambient light, so it can run theoretically, forever.   

In an effort to study the P. hyalina, the researchers used 50 M3s and measured the levels of light by seeing how fast the M3’s battery charged.

The M3 was glued to the shells of the rosy wolf snails and on top and bottom of leaves where P. hyalina rest.

The researchers found that the area at the edge of the forests that P. hyalina frequents receive ‘on average 10 times more than sunlight’ in the noon hour than that of the rosy wolf snails. 

‘We … found that extant P. hyalina populations on Tahiti are restricted to forest edge habitats, where they are routinely exposed to significantly higher solar radiation levels than those endured by the predator,’ the researchers wrote in the study.  

See also  The fighter jet controlled with the blink of an eye

‘Long-term survival of this species on Tahiti may require proactive conservation of its forest edge solar refugia and our study demonstrates the utility of miniaturized smart sensors in invertebrate ecology and conservation.’ 

P. hyalina is considered a vulnerable species, according to Island Biodiversity.   

The rosy wolf snail, which feasts on other snails, was introduced by agricultural scientists in 1974, but it has wiped out all but five other species of snail on the islands.

‘The endemic tree snails had never encountered a predator like the alien rosy wolf snail before it’s deliberate introduction,’ Diarmaid Ó Foighil, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and curator of the U-M Museum of Zoology and the study’s co-author added in the statement.

‘It can climb trees and very quickly drove most of the valley populations to local extinction.’

The findings have been published in the scientific journal Communications Biology 



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more