ME Seminar Series: Dogs Dry Themselves in Fractions of a Second and Other Tales From Biocapillarity

Feb 14

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 1:15pm to 2:45pm

Water is a paradox: it is essential to life but in large quantities, brings certain death. In this presentation, we embark on a visual journey through the fascinating ways animals have evolved to cope with life on a watery planet. We use photography, high-speed and time-lapse film to visualize these animal adaptations at work across land, sea and air. The audience will learn how certain animals can walk on water, how others can build rafts with their own bodies, how flushing cockroaches down a toilet fails to kill them, how mosquitoes can still get to you in a rainstorm, and how dogs and other furry mammals dry 70% of their entire bodies within fractions of a second. We also demonstrate how these natural adaptations have inspired a new generation of animal-like robots that can handle varied and complex terrain, such as water surfaces, rainstorms and deserts.