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comment There aren't any animals like hornets that hunt large prey (like a rabbit, or even up to a deer), right? Why not?
@JackAidley It's actually quite possible for the wasps to swarm and remain undetectable to a rabbit. The rabbit's hearing range is about 360 Hz to 42 kHz. Meanwhile, wasps beat their wings at around 200 Hz, so the sound of their flight would probably be undetectable to the rabbit. As far as sight goes, wasps are small and they can easily hide in foliage. Behaviour-wise, wasps and bees are known to have already evolved coordinated attacks against intruders, so it shouldn't be hard to evolve into a hunting strategy as long as there is an actual advantage.
Jul
25
comment There aren't any animals like hornets that hunt large prey (like a rabbit, or even up to a deer), right? Why not?
While it is true that rabbits and deers run faster than hornets can fly, I'm not entirely convinced that speed is really a problem. All the hypothetical hornets/wasps need to do is to gather around the rabbit without disturbing the rabbit, and then go all in at the same time, before the rabbit has time to react.
Jul
25
comment There aren't any animals like hornets that hunt large prey (like a rabbit, or even up to a deer), right? Why not?
@jamesqf In case you think sting victims who die only die of allergy reaction (anaphylactic shock), some species of hornets actually have a sting that contains neurotoxins, and some can cause kidney failure. E.g.: the Asian giant hornet
Jul
11
comment Why did Opabinia have 5 eyes?
Actually, even modern insects have two compound eyes and three ocelli. For example bees, wasps, and ants. The ocelli are "simple" eyes: they generally can't form clear images and their purpose is mostly light metering. From a mathematical point of view, having three ocelli might make sense if light metering is most useful for a 2D space coverage, relative to the posture of the insect in 3D space (because 3 points in a 3D space define a plane).
Nov
5
comment Preferred Aspect Ratio for Human Eyes
This is just a hypothesis: but there is probably not one "preferred" aspect ratio, even for one individual. It probably has to do with the following points: 1. the eyes are positioned on a horizontal line; 2. the width between the irises; 3. how far you are looking. And let's not call it a "preferred" aspect ratio. It's more like an "effective" aspect ratio. My hypothesis is that the closer you look, the wider the effective aspect ratio is, and the further you look, the more circular it is. And if you cover one of your eyes, you'll probably get a circular FoV regardless of distance.
Oct
19
comment Has the human 7-day week had any impact on the evolution of species?
@deinonychusaur: good point about the gut flora. Would be interesting to see how some of the flora adapts to a 7-day cycle of alcohol ingestion. Don't we all drink ourselves silly on Friday nights? (Half joking)