Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Picture of the Day

New research uncovers how a species of a mouse-sized insect called the giant weta communicates

New research has revealed that a species of giant weta found only in New Zealand's Cook Strait region communicate with each other by sending vibrations through materials in their natural environment, such as leaves, soil and plant stems. This is the first time these mouse-sized insects, distant relatives of North American crickets, were observed using this particular type of substrate-borne, vibrational signaling, which isn't perceptible to humans. Weta, which means 'god of ugly things' in the indigenous Maori language, evolved in isolation for 80 million years in New Zealand. With no natural mammalian predators to hide or escape from, over the millennia the weta became lumbering, wingless and occasionally odiferous -- in other words, very easy to detect and ensnare. The researchers are also studying whether other giant weta species use substrate-borne vibrational signaling, and if the way they communicate has been influenced by their often harsh environments -- a pattern that evolutionary biologists call "ecological speciation."

Visit Website | Image credit: Daniel Howard