You’ve heard of the old saying that somebody might have eyes in the back of their head?
An experiment in Botswana suggests something similar to that might be useful – only we’re not talking about heads.
For those who raise livestock, one of the longest-standing problems they face is the threat of predators going after their animals.
It’s bad for both the wildlife and the livestock populations if each is trying to more or less eliminate the other.
Protective barriers are one of the methods that can help, but you can’t put barriers up everywhere.
But an experiment in Botswana may have found an unusual way to help cattle herds there avoid attacks by lions.
Many big cat predators like lions and leopards are what are called ambush predators.
They stalk their prey and attack when it’s not looking.
Scientists from the University of New South Wales tried an experiment in which they painted eyes on the, well, back ends of some of the cattle, to see if it deterred the lions from ambushing.
And it appeared to work.
All of the cattle with eyes on their bottoms lived, which wasn’t the case with the control group.
There was a third group with crosses painted on the rears, which also seemed to be something of a deterrent.
There are still a lot of questions to answer, like why exactly this seems to work, and whether the predators might get used to the painting and eventually ignore it.
For now, it’s a pretty basic but effective security system, and one the kids in your life will be giggling about every time you tell them about it.
This weekend is National Roller Coaster Day, and while many are closed, you can always dream of the ones you’d like to visit sometime down the road.
Perhaps that includes the SkyCycle in Okayama, Japan, which is a pedal-powered coaster.
So if it’s thrilling, or exhilarating, or exhausting, or just plain run of the mill, that’s kind of on you.