Animals meet human technology southaven

6 Modern Technologies Animals Invented Millions of Years Ago |

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Scientists who worked out how snakes slither on their bellies are hoping this discovery could help them come up with new, hard-wearing paints and surfaces. They think they'll be able copy snakes' greasy layer on their bellies to create tough new materials. But it's not the first time humans have copied animals to create new tech.

Here are Newsround's top five. Kingfishers Getty Images Kingfishers' streamlined beaks inspired almost silent, super-fast train travel. A bird-watching engineer at a Japanese rail company took inspiration from a kingfisher's beak to solve a problem with high speed trains. When they first were invented, high-speed trains had a real problem with noise, especially in tunnels. As they drive through, the air pressure builds up in waves and as the nose exits the tunnel there's a loud noise.

But an engineer re-designed the nose to be long and pointy like the kingfisher so the airwaves were gradually released instead. Whales AP Humpback whales have ridges on their fins to help them swim - similar tech is used in wind turbines. Humpback whales might be heavy, but they're actually very good swimmers.

This is down to a row of warty ridges, called tubercles, on the front edge of their fins. These bumps help the whale to swim faster and change direction more easily. A scientist called Frank Fish spotted this and worked out a way of adding similar bumps to wind turbine blades. Continue Reading Below Advertisement Yeah, there's no way this will end poorly. That's actually not the only place termites put our energy industry to shame; they build massive, complex mounds up to 30 feet in height with a specific design to manage climate control, using the shape of the mounds and tunnels to drive hot air circulation to specific locations such as to the rooms that house their fungal gardens.

They have community gardens, which they ventilate with the equivalent of an HVAC system while the termite police chase all of the bums off the grass. And their entire nests are giant cooling towers, dispersing waste heat while the workers toil along inside.

When We Invented It: We're still decades away from an efficient system for producing cheap hydrogen. And while we do have a firm grasp on central air systems securing the patent in we came up with it about million years after termites initially unveiled the technology. Though we do have a firm grasp of killing termites with rolled up ads from Best Buy.

So we win, really. Zoidberg's head disembodied and floating along in the ocean. Nearly every animal on Earth that possesses teeth including humans finds the cuttlefish tasty, so they've had to develop some pretty radical defenses just to stay alive. They include an almost Predator-like ability to blend in with their environment in real time. Seriously, the videos of them pulling this disappearing act almost look fake: Continue Reading Below Advertisement The cuttlefish is able to change colors instantaneously, and even alter its skin texture to better blend in.

How do they do it? Well, basically they have the equivalent of a flat screen television wrapped over every inch of their bodies.

Their skin is made up of colored layers, and tiny muscles contract in patterns to let different colors show through and thus display an image. They could broadcast an episode of Law and Order on their bodies if they wanted to. Continue Reading Below Advertisement You think we're kidding? MIT and other researchers actually built a flat screen TV specifically based off the cuttlefish design.

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It's made of sandwiched polymers which expand as they're given different voltages, the same way the cuttlefish's skin does.

The simplicity and low cost of the cuttlefish design allow the TV to be ultra-thin, reportedly down to one micron, which would make it invisible when viewed edge-on. The little bastards know what they're doing. It's still a fucking ridiculous looking animal. The earliest television was launched inand they've come a long way since then.

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Edwin Thomas, the MIT professor developing the cuttlefish screen, has been working with science teachers to produce a version cheap enough, safe enough and simple enough for middle and high school students to build in chemistry class and then presumably have knife fights over who gets to take the thing home when it's finished. So when your jackass neighbor wants to show off his " plasma, you can curb the invite with your wall-mounted, flayed and electrocuted cephalopod.


Continue Reading Below 4 Elephants Have Pharmaceuticals Pharmaceutical companies are the goliaths of the medical industry, often fueling huge breakthroughs in biochemical studies and synthesis in their never-ending quest to find a pill that will make them shitloads of money. But when imagination in the lab fails, they take to beating the bush, looking at exotic jungle plant life for new medicines.

It's called zoopharmacognosy --which means "an animal's knowledge of medicine"--and back when mankind was trying to cure infections with mercury and a trip to the local wizard, elephants were using a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

For instance, they commonly engage in geophagy eating dirt in order to neutralize toxins they may have ingested from plants, and have been known to use the Boraginaceace tree to induce labor, because if you're about to push the world's largest land creature out of your vagina tusks includedyou probably want the sonofabitch out as quickly as possible.

Continue Reading Below Advertisement It was also discovered that a species of South African elephant had managed to rebound from near-extinction by consuming ganodermaa mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-cancer and anti-viral agent. Also they stick their trunks in each other's assholes. The Greek doctor Hippocrates is known as the father of medicine because he started the first rational approach, rather than the ritualized healing and shamanism that previously prevailed.