Search term: dehnel

The Dehnel Phenomenon

The Dehnel phenomenon, named after its discoverer, Polish zoologist August Dehnel, is the ability of certain species of animals such as shrews and weasels to shrink skull, bones and major organs in order to survive scarce food situations. Interestingly, they shrink in anticipation, before the actual scarcity arrives, unlike the Marine iguana of the Galapagos […]

Fry-Denial

In 2014 The Incredible Shrinking Man picked up on a story about Japanese McDonalds restaurants resorting to only selling small fries because of a frozen potato shortage. It seemed like a good idea. Now the Makudo’s or Makku’s, as they are called in Japan, are again faced with a french fry shortage. And again, as […]

MCR3

According to research at the University of Cambridge the protein melanocortin receptor 3 appears to have an important role in linking signals of caloric sufficiency to the control of lineair growth of the human body. The research provides a mechanistic basis for the global secular trends toward taller human height due to higher level of […]

Salmons Too

Most of us presume growth of body length in vertebrates to be unidirectional, with organisms progressively increasing in body size as they become older. However, under challenging environmental conditions for some vertebrates body length shrinkage is also possible. This ability is called the Dehnel phenomenon. Small mammals, such as insectivorous shrews, show body length shrinkage […]

Implosion Fabrication

It’s not quite the Dehnel phenomenon but implosion fabrication does allow for a different perspective on shape shifting, size and shrinking and may just add a piece to the puzzle of achieving a smaller size for that bloated hydro-species by the name of Homo sapiens. Researchers at MIT created a technique to shrink 3D printed structures […]

The Shrinking Iguana

Much to his surprise, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University has found that in times of famine, marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands shrink in length and then regrow when food is plentiful again. “For vertebrates, it’s sort of a dogma that they don’t shrink,” says Martin Wikelski, who believes closer observations will reveal other […]