University of Illinois at Chicago
ArnoldEcologyEvolution.jpg (1.19 MB)

Nature, red in tooth and claw

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posted on 2012-01-03, 00:00 authored by Erika Arnold
This image was produced with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). It is a highly magnified view of the tarsal claw on a bat fly’s front leg. These flies are obligate ectoparasites of bats and, as an evolutionary group, display an incredibly diverse range of adaptations for life on a bat. In this image, you can see how well these flies can cling to the fur of a moving mammal, and how sensitive they might be to their host’s tiniest movements. I gather information with these SEM photos that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, and I use it to explore the evolutionary patterns and even the ecology of this unique group.


University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College


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Entry 2011 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library, April 13-May 30, 2011.

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