Since most predators have a two-to-ten-year population cycle, [any] twelve-year cicadas would be a feast for any predator with a two-, three-, four-, or six-year cycle. By this reasoning, any cicada with a development span that is easily divisible by the smaller numbers of a predator’s population cycle is vulnerable.
Prime numbers, however, can only be divided by themselves and one; they cannot be evenly divided into smaller integers. Cicadas that emerge at prime-numbered year intervals, like the seventeen-year Brood II set to swarm the East Coast, would find themselves relatively immune to predator population cycles, since it is mathematically unlikely for a short-cycled predator to exist on the same cycle. In [Stephen J.] Gould’s example, a cicada that emerges every seventeen years and has a predator with a five-year life cycle will only face a peak predator population once every eighty-five (5 x 17) years, giving it an enormous advantage over less well-adapted cicadas.
To test this hypothesis, researchers from Brazil’s Universidade Estadual de Campinas used a computer simulation, very similar to John Conway’s Game of Life, in which simulated cicadas and predators battled it out in a hundred-by-hundred-cell matrix. They found exactly what Gould had suggested: cicadas with a prime-numbered life cycle had the most successful evolutionary strategy. If we discount those cicadas with life cycles of ten years or fewer (as being too close to predator life cycles), we find that the most successful emergence rates for cyber cicadas are thirteen and seventeen years—precisely what we find in the wild. >continue<
Top row: Maggie Smith in 1990 at the Tony Awards, Maggie Smith in Hook, released in 1991. Second row: Maggie Smith in 1972 as the older and then younger Aunt Augusta in Travels with my Aunt.
English grammar insists that one should never start a sentence with because, but that is essentially what this post is, because I’m rather sick of seeing posts, be it here or on Twitter, wondering how Maggie looks younger as McGonagall than she did in Hook, or if she was ever young, or some other sort of crap along those lines of thought.
It’s called makeup!!! marvelous invention in general, especially for those us not blessed with naturally good looks, although admittedly used a tad too much by studios over the years (Downton Abbey included) in making Maggie appear older than she is. She was young (and insanely pretty), and she is not 120 today, but rather a still amazingly beautiful 78 year old with killer bone structure and ridiculously good hair.
"Frailty, thy name is Romeo" --Shakespeare, sorta'--
Hello everyone. I am a graduate of biology who dabbled in chemistry and marine biology. I love science obviously, however I have varied interests. I also love music, literature, movies, cooking and nature. I want to continue traveling and experiencing different cultures. I plan on spending the rest of my life learning new things, loving my family and friends, and hopefully being a better christian. I make no apologies for who I am, but I respect everyone's right to be who they are and expect the same courtesy.