Ruben Andres Berthé

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The legless locomotion of snakes requires specific adaptations of their ventral scales to maintain friction force in different directions. The skin microornamentation of the snake Corallus hortulanus was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy and the friction properties of the skin were tested on substrates of different roughness. Skin samples(More)
If threatened by a human, spitting cobras defend themselves by ejecting their venom toward the face of the antagonist. Circulating head movements of the cobra ensure that the venom is distributed over the face. To assure an optimal distribution of the venom, the amplitudes of head movements should decrease with increasing target distance. To find out(More)
The precise control of body posture by turning moments is key to elevated locomotor performance in flying animals. Although elevated moments for body stabilization are typically produced by wing aerodynamics, animals also steer using drag on body appendages, shifting their centre of body mass, and changing moments of inertia caused by active alterations in(More)
The precise control of body posture by turning moments is a key to elevated locomotor performance in flying animals. Although elevated moments for body stabilization are typically produced by wing aerodynamics, animals also steer using drag on body appendages, shifting their centre of body mass, and changing moments of inertia owing to active alterations in(More)
When threatened, spitting cobras eject venom towards the face of an aggressor. To uncover the relevant cues used by cobras for face recognition we determined how often artificial targets equipped with or without eyes elicited spitting behavior. In addition, we measured whether and how target shape and size influenced the spitting behavior of cobras. Results(More)
Manoeuvring flight in animals requires precise adjustments of mechanical power output produced by the flight musculature. In many insects such as fruit flies, power generation is most likely varied by altering stretch-activated tension, that is set by sarcoplasmic calcium levels. The muscles reside in a thoracic shell that simultaneously drives both wings(More)
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