Science & Evolution
This post was originally published at Ed Yong’s Discover blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science . Two people are dancing a waltz, and it is not going well. One is tall and the other short; one is graceful, the other flat-footed; and both are stepping to completely different rhythms. The result is chaos, and the dance falls apart.
In a new study, researchers report that bumblebees were able to figure out the most efficient routes among several computer-controlled "flowers," quickly solving a complex problem that even stumps supercomputers. We already know bees are pretty good at facial recognition, and researchers have shown they can also be effective air-quality monitors. Bumblebees can solve the classic "traveling salesman" problem, which keeps supercomputers busy for days.
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-98387" title="flying-reptile-pterosaur-guidraco-venator-naturwissenschaften-springer" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2012/02/flying-reptile-pterosaur-guidraco-venator-naturwissenschaften-springer.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="413" /> Paleontologists in northeast China have discovered a wildly snaggle-toothed skull that belonged to a previously unknown, 120-million-year-old flying reptile. Name d Guidraco venator , which is Chinese and Latin for “ghost dragon hunter,” the meat-eating pterosaur had a wingspan of between 13 and 16 feet. The basket of pointy teeth at the end of its foot-long skull probably helped it catch fish, and a round sail on its head may have stabilized flight. “This is really an amazing fossil, but the funny thing to me is that it was found in Asia.