Weekly News Bites: Dancing rats, tickling bugs, and how dinosaurs fly

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are the discovery that rats enjoy music like we do, a microrobot that can tickle small insects, and how dinosaurs’ flight differs from birds.

If you see a rat nodding its head it could be enjoying some music and dancing to the beat. University of Tokyo scientists saw the rodents moving to different beats, from Mozart to Lady Gaga to Queen. The rats enjoyed music at the same rhythm as humans, around 120-140 beats per minute. 

The first Corythosaurus found outside of Canada has been identified from fossil fragments held by Okayama University of Science’s Museum of Dinosaur Research. The fragments were in excellent condition and researchers found parts of the crest that characterizes this duck-billed dinosaur. This specimen was found in Montana, USA while all other traces of this dinosaur have previously been found at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

A new cryptic species of frog has been discovered by Kuvempu University, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, and the Indian Institute of Science. The Nyctibatrachus tunga or “Tunga night frog” was named after the River Tunga in India where it was found.

How can we interact with insects without squashing them? Ritsumeikan University has come up with a solution: “soft microfingers”. These fingers form a microrobot that allowed the researchers to safely interact with and even to tickle small bugs.

Certain dinosaurs could fly but was it different to how modern birds do it? Using laser technology to look at soft tissues from flying dinosaurs, researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Linyi University researchers found that they used their shoulders and chest to fly while modern birds only use their chest muscles.

Published: 18 Nov 2022

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