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Old 07-30-2003, 08:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fleas lose world high jump title

Quote:
Froghoppers, tiny insects found in gardens and grasslands around the world, have overtaken fleas to become nature's new high-jump champions.

The six-millimetre insects also known as spittle bugs can jump to 700 millimetres, exerting a force 400 times their body weight.

That far surpasses fleas who exert 135 times and humans, who use a force two or three times their weight.

"This little guy really can jump," said Professor Malcolm Burrows of the University of Cambridge in England.

"It outperforms the previous recognised champions which have always been fleas."

Unlike frogs, kangaroos and other animals with long legs that use leverage to lift off, froghoppers have short legs and rely on a natural catapult mechanism.

"It means you have to store up force in advance of the movement...and then let go of it very rapidly. Then you deliver all the force you have stored up very quickly," said Professor Burrows, who reported his findings in the science journal Nature.

He discovered the unique ability of froghoppers by chance.

While teaching students on a field course, he noticed the froghopper jumping and captured the action with a high-speed video camera that takes pictures at 2,000 frames a second.

"They are the champions," he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s914352.htm
"... A high-speed video camera that takes pictures at 2,000 frames a second. " -- Doesn't everyone use these nowadays
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't worry Mr. Flea. You're still my hero.
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fleas are always number one in my heart!
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