From Science Nation, mathematician and mechanical engineer David Hu studies the design and movement of slithering snakes:
Snakes certainly make it look easy when they slither forward, leaving perfect S-curve tracks behind them, but scientists have long been puzzled by the mechanics of their locomotion. Now, after a series of experiments and some computer modeling, David Hu has cracked the case. With funding from the National Science Foundation, he is using math to determine how snakes slither and it turns out they move in a very different way than scientists have long thought.
From photographer Joel Sartore’s Biodiversity Project, a video to promote his book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, which beautifully showcases species that are in danger of disappearing in America, and some that “have come back from the brink.”
Advice from Joel about helping animals? Start by:
…visiting and patronizing your local zoo. Zoos and aquariums are vitally important to conservation today. Not only do they fund and manage captive breeding programs, but they are increasingly involved in conservation of habitat in the wild. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium in your area here.
Last but not least, learn more about your favorite animal. A simple web search will likely lead you to the organizations working on its conservation. Support them. And share what you know with your friends and family. The more people who are informed and who care, the better.
There is also a pretty funny video from behind the scenes of his shoot:
h/t NYT’s LENS.