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Ocean-Crossing Dragonflies Discovered

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the incredible-journey dept.

Education 95

grrlscientist writes "While living and working as a marine biologist in Maldives, Charles Anderson noticed sudden explosions of dragonflies at certain times of year. He explains how he carefully tracked the path of a plain, little dragonfly called the Globe Skimmer, Pantala flavescens, only to discover that it had the longest migratory journey of any insect in the world."

cancel ×

95 comments

Maldives (3, Insightful)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678328)

I can think of worse places to study :)

Re:Maldives (-1, Offtopic)

jijitus (1478465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678382)

That's profound. I only had "first post" on my mind :p

Re:Maldives (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30679044)

I second that. Good place for marine biology. Considered one of the most beautiful places for diving...because of how many sites there are - read: bio-diversity, locations, accessibility, ppl-diversity.

- aneroid
(not logged in)

This is a first for marine biology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678386)

Up to now, all the marine biologists that have attempted to track insect migration have drown. I wonder what this guy's secret is?

Re:This is a first for marine biology (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681640)

He used a boat?

Impressive... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678410)

There just isn't much room for energy storage inside a dragonfly. They must have commendably efficient ways of staying in the air, presumably a combination of powered flight and exploitation of available air currents.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of them survive.

Re:Impressive... (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678482)

...or ability to harness solar energy ;)

Re:Impressive... (1)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679280)

Wouldn't that make them some sort of hybrid plant then? ;p

Re:Impressive... (1)

rident (1287114) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683036)

Maybe we should harness them! :P

Re:Impressive... (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678492)

TFA has a video that explains quite a bit about the species and one of the interesting things about it is that the dragonfly cruses at an altitude of 1-2 km over the surface. They migrate in order to catch the rainy season of East Africa and India. The winds at this altitude move toward the rainy areas due to meteorological effects so they do make use of air currents.

Re:Impressive... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678632)

Maybe the dragonfly can feed on other insects along the way. Also I wondered if it is light enough to sit on the water using surface tension.

Re:Impressive... (5, Informative)

edman007 (1097925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678766)

When you are small and light it is not actually required that you expel energy to float, the turbulence in the air can keep you going to a very long time for example water can stay in a cloud long enough to become softball sized hail and a glider can stay in the air all day, the energy is technically wind energy derived from solar and it is not coming from the object flying.

Re:Impressive... (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679000)

True but at least in the case of the sailplane (or albatross) you need control authority to steer out of sink and into lift which does take energy. In the case of an insect I can't see it having sufficiently low drag to take advantage of lift. To do that you need to be able to put your nose down and fly out of sink sometimes.

Re:Impressive... (4, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680068)

Well... they are insects, so their strategy is usually based in numbers. Maybe only 1 in 5 dragonflies (warning, numbers made up) get to end the travel safely; that would be unacceptable for men or other animals that take years to mature but for insects could be reasonable.

Re:Impressive... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30687476)

Maybe only 1 in 5 dragonflies (warning, numbers made up) get to end the travel safely;

"Bug bomb malfunction, Thodin."

Too obscure? ...even for /. ?

Re:Impressive... (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680124)

In the case of an insect I can't see it having sufficiently low drag to take advantage of lift.

I don't follow you here. What makes you think a dragonfly has too much drag to be able to gain enough speed to generate lift? Between the lift and the air currents, I can see how it could conserve quite a lot of energy if it knows how to ride the currents.

Re:Impressive... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680156)

In the case of an insect I can't see it having sufficiently low drag to take advantage of lift.

I don't follow you here. What makes you think a dragonfly has too much drag to be able to gain enough speed to generate lift? Between the lift and the air currents, I can see how it could conserve quite a lot of energy if it knows how to ride the currents.

I mean if it finds itself in a body of sink (air going down) it won't be able to fly out into air which is rising (lift) while an albatross would be able to do that because it can fly faster.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30680310)

I wasn't aware that an albatross could reach 60km/h without a sharp dive, which is the top speed of a dragonfly in horizontal flight.

Re:Impressive... (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680668)

Is that sustained speed or burst speed? I heard (way back in my youth in Biology class or... somewhere) that they reach these speeds in short bursts or when changing direction.

Re:Impressive... (3, Informative)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682440)

They can do 30mph pretty much all day. They are the most efficient flier amongst the insects.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681112)

the smaller you get, the viscous the air is. The real question is whether they are laden with coconuts...

Re:Impressive... (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682408)

I seem to remember dragonflies semi-regularly keep one pair of their wings stationary during flight. Perhaps they also sometimes fly with both not-flapping? Certainly there's an airfoil.

Generally they are highly agile, capable of incredible feats for such simple nervous system - for example, during pursuit of their pray, they supposedly follow a "camouflaging" flightpath; first one which makes them stationary in relation to the scenery, from the point of view of the pray! Afterwards, when closer, they become stationary in relation to the prey, its eyes.

I expect dragonflies can still surprise when it comes to their flying capabilities. They were perfecting it (active predators and all...) since before there were dinosaurs.

Re:Impressive... (2, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679024)

Now here is a science story makes me say "wow".

Chasing the rain seasons... wonder if they make use of the same seasonal trade wind that kept the ancient maritime trade going around the Indian Ocean?

Re:Impressive... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678518)

According to wikipedia,

Their flight speed is up to 5 m / s.

According to TFA at about 9 minutes 30 seconds in

These little insects, the same ones we see out here,2 inches long, 5cm long, flying in millions, 400 miles across the ocean...

to India.

400 miles is about 640,000 meters
That would be about 128,000 seconds
Which is about .3 of a day.

Pretty damn impressive.

Re:Impressive... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678532)

Their flight speed is up to 5 m / s.

Would that be laden or unladen?

Re:Impressive... (0, Troll)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678656)

Have any bin laden?

Re:Impressive... (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678904)

Where'd you get those coconuts?

Re:Impressive... (3, Informative)

tirerim (1108567) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678610)

Uh, that would be about 1.5 days—there are 86,400 seconds in a day. That's assuming that they maintain their maximum flight speed the whole time, of course.

Re:Impressive... (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678942)

Uh, that would be about 1.5 days—there are 86,400 seconds in a day. That's assuming that they maintain their maximum flight speed the whole time, of course.

I believe you made a typo. That should be closer to 7.5 days. Assuming maximum speed and no diversions from the direct path.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30679504)

7.5 days? 400 miles divided by 7.5 days would be 2.222.. miles/h. 5meters/s = 11.1847 miles/hour.
I felt like I had to do the math for you. just got an urge I guess. 1.5 days, not 7.5

Re:Impressive... (1)

zoewhite (1715222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679706)

1.5days.

Re:Impressive... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679180)

Then again the maximum speed is almost certainly measured without any wind.

Re:Impressive... (2, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680324)

Then again the maximum speed is almost certainly measured without any wind.

Or rather, it's an airspeed, which is measured relative to the surrounding air, and is thus unaffected by wind speed. Your speed relative to the ground can be greatly affected by wind, but your airspeed tends to be the same regardless of the wind.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30687204)

But what matters in this case is speed relative to ground, and we know that the dragonflies are flying with the wind. So they might be able to make the journey (through the air but quantified in over-ground distance) even faster.

Re:Impressive... (1)

judugrovee (1360599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679852)

Uh, that would be about 1.5 days—there are 86,400 seconds in a day. That's assuming that they maintain their maximum flight speed the whole time, of course.

Is that for an American or an East-African Globe Skimmer? ...just wanted to know...

Re:Impressive... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681278)

Very impressive.

My toy helis can only fly for about 6-8 minutes, and they need me around to control them.

Whereas here we have something that can autonomously fly 400 miles over the ocean from place to place, and probably flying for days. Something that can navigate, find+catch food, reproduce etc.

Our tech is still very behind in so many ways.

Re:Impressive... (5, Funny)

criminy (62218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678732)

400 miles is about 640,000 meters

640k should be enough for anyone.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30688108)

An African dragonfly, maybe. But not a European dragonfly.

Re:Impressive... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678746)

Just wondering - how many dragonflies it would take to carry a one pound coconut?

Re:Impressive... (1)

CrazyTerabyte (917300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679130)

It depends on how many dragonflies it takes to feed those birds who tag along.

Re:Impressive... (5, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678958)

It can be explained, consider a spherical dragonfly in a vacuum...

Re:Impressive... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679690)

Man, you are really *working hard* for that +5 Funny aren't you?

Re:Impressive... (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682748)

There's an XKCD reference here....

Experiment [xkcd.com]

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30679342)

We will never know how it does this, since global warming will cause droughts and hurricanes at the same time over this species entire migration area.

All hail our Al Gore and our global warming overlords!

Re:Impressive... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680956)

> There just isn't much room for energy storage inside a dragonfly.

There isn't all that much mass, either.

> They must have commendably efficient ways of staying in the air,

I'm sure the ratio of surface area to mass has something to do with it.

What I want to know is, when we say "Ocean-crossing" here, does he just mean they're flying from India to the Maldives (about 500 miles offshore)? Because the word "crossing" normally implies "from one side to the other", which, when it comes to oceans, would generally be a rather greater distance (multiple thousands of miles).

Re:Impressive... (1)

jc79 (1683494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681252)

What I want to know is, when we say "Ocean-crossing" here, does he just mean they're flying from India to the Maldives (about 500 miles offshore)? Because the word "crossing" normally implies "from one side to the other", which, when it comes to oceans, would generally be a rather greater distance (multiple thousands of miles).

TFA (extremely interesting video) shows that the dragonflies migrate from India to South East Africa (via the Maldives and Seychelles). In four generations, they chase the rains across the Indian Ocean and back. About 16000km.

And several species of birds follow them, including the Amur Falcon [wikipedia.org] , which annually migrates from Siberia to Southern Africa.

Re:Impressive... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30686872)

What I want to know is, when we say "Ocean-crossing" here...

But we didn't say "ocean-crossing dragonflies" here, we said "ocean crossing dragonflies".

How do you get an ocean to cross a dragonfly? And how do you get the dragonfly to hold still while it does it?

It's like that movie about eight freaks with legs [imdb.com] .

(Hint: tags aren't working for everyone.)

Name (4, Insightful)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678416)

Was it called the Globe Skimmer before his discovery? If so, it was quite a prescient name.

Re:Name (5, Funny)

courseofhumanevents (1168415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678466)

I don't think it was called anything before it was discovered, actually.

Re:Name (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678660)

"Ralph"

Re:Name (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678740)

... before HIS discovery...

As in the discovery that it flew so far.

Re:Name (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679042)

Coulda been called UFO.

Re:Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30679174)

Coulda been called UFO.

 

Surely you meant UDFO (Unidentified DragonFlying Object)?

Re:Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30679126)

Before it was discovered... in 1798.

Re:Name (0, Redundant)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678472)

Yeah, sounds like Captain Obvious better start turning things up a notch.

He apparently has some serious competition living in Maldives.

Re:Name (5, Informative)

edman007 (1097925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678804)

According to the wikipedia:

Pantala flavescens, the Globe Skimmer or Wandering Glider, is a wide-ranging dragonfly of the family Libellulidae. This species and Pantala hymenaea, the "Spot-winged Glider", are the only members of the genus Pantala from the subfamily Pantalinae. It was first described by Fabricius in 1798.[1] It is considered to be the most widespread dragonfly on the planet.

The English common names "Wandering Glider" and "Globe Skimmer" refer to its migratory behaviour.[3] The German name Wanderlibelle mean "migrant dragonfly". In Hong Kong, its name translates as Typhoon Dragonfly as it arrives with or shortly before the seasonal rain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globe_Skimmer [wikipedia.org]

It seems to me that it has been known that it just seems to "show up" at specific times of the year and does migrate, but nobody knew just how far it really did migrate.

Re:Name (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30685690)

Yes, whoever named this dragonfly certainly must have consumed a lot of spice.

Wow! Only one question comes to mind (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678426)

How many would it take to carry a coconut?

Re:Wow! Only one question comes to mind (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678954)

How many would it take to carry a coconut?

How many dragonflies to get the coconut away from the octopus?

Re:Wow! Only one question comes to mind (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679102)

One thing is certain: there's no stopping them. The dragonflies will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Re:Wow! Only one question comes to mind (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680032)

That depends Is it african or indian?

Re:Wow! Only one question comes to mind (1)

jaiger (166690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683544)

Does it blend?

gaaah, link to a fucking video (0, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678454)

article can be read in a minute, but a fucking video can go for hours. next time please warn if video, if I want a fucking multimedia experience I'll download some porn....

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (0, Offtopic)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678526)

Idiocracy, here we come.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

SECProto (790283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678676)

Because wanting to read instead of watching video is exactly what was portrayed in that film...

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678688)

No, really, please label the link as a link to a video. It's a PITA for me to watch videos, so I usually don't. But I guess if all you want to do is get page views, by all means, continue misleading users.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (3, Funny)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678776)

...It's a PITA for me to watch videos...

Leave the toys put away when watching p0rn! That will help.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683008)

...It's a PITA for me to watch videos...

Leave the toys put away when watching p0rn! That will help.

I didn't hear him complaining. ;)

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

twitcher101 (1712418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681138)

If you read the link (you should always do this, do you just trust all sources on the net? If you do, boy oh boy have I got some links for you), you can see it is a link to a TED talk, thus a video. No need to complain about your own poor clicking habits.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683872)

I agree with you, there was no real article. It wasted my time clicking on the link because I wanted to skim an article, not watch someone um and ah for awhile. A video tag would be useful.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679232)

"but a fucking video can go for hours"

20 minutes tops without viagra.

Re:gaaah, link to a fucking video (1)

StalinsNotDead (764374) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682982)

Any longer than 4 hours and you're supposed to see a doctor.

He will be a secret dragonfly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678552)

Well listen, someday
You'll hear a rush of wings
So distant, a sound of secret things
There, look there, up in that rusty sky
Yonder, sweeps the dragonfly
So awesome, he blocks the setting sun
He'll come to collect the souls of everyone
Come dragon, come
In from the sun
He floats with an eerie grace
A giant blue green sentinal
From some distant time and space
And because he'll come, he'll have no regrets
Surely he'll come to lay this birth to rest
I know one day you'll see him
But please don't ask me why
He will be a secret dragonfly
Fly dragon fly, here from the sky
So if you hear that sound I'm talkin' about
When you know he's near
When your times run out
Well don't you fear
There's nothing that you can say
Cause he'll appear and take you to that special place
He'll take you there

Re:He will be a secret dragonfly (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678830)

If we're going to do dragonfly songs, how about this one [youtube.com] from DDR.

Re:He will be a secret dragonfly (1)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679002)

I read that to the tune of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". Amazingly it fits!

Damn dragonflies to hell (-1, Offtopic)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678586)

Sorry. One just killed me in Midkemia and pissed me off. Otherwise they're okay.

They've always been ocean crossing... (4, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678874)

...but up until now the scientific tracking tools were too heavy and the dragonflies all fell into the ocean and drowned. Why, it was only 10 years ago that advances in tracking devices caused scientists to discover that dragonflies could actually fly.

Re:They've always been ocean crossing... (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679760)

The second attempt caught fire, fell over, and sank into the swamp. The third attempt was more successful!

What do you mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30678922)

A european dragonfly, or an african dragonfly?

A lame attempt at a DragonFly BSD joke (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30678964)

Wow, that Matthew Dillon sure knows how to optimize the kernel & FS for long-term stability!

Compare that to a mascot that is confined to one geographic area, like, say, a penguin? ::rimshot::

(Hey I warned you it was lame. Write your own.)

How bout them locust? (2, Interesting)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679428)

This is really cool stuff. It reminded me of some stuff I read before of locust swarms migrating across the Atlantic from Africa to the Americas. But in that case, evidence (a shit load of dead locust washing onto shore) suggested that locust kept dying and the rest of the swarm ate their corpses for fuel and/or used their dead bodies as 'islands'. Just remember that the largest locust swarms are in the billions and cover hundreds of square kilometers on land...

Anyhow, here's a linky to a National Geographic article (it also suggests the original American populations of locusts were immigrants from across the ocean).
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1228_051228_locusts.html

Re:How bout them locust? (1)

Group XVII (1714286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679512)

Here's a link to Lovejoy et al. [nih.gov] , Ancient Trans-Atlantic Flight Explains Locust Biogeography.

Re:How bout them locust? (1)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682642)

If you're interested in a dramatization of invading deadly ocean-crossing locust swarms, and I know you are, I would like to point out that my made-for-SyFy movie "Death Cloud Of Destruction" starring Corin Nemec, Randy Quaid and Random Bimbo will be aired on SyFy this spring. This blockbuster drama will explore the human drama of ordinary people caught in ...

Ok, be fair, it's all about CGI locusts destroying CGI office buildings while people run around screaming and has lots of kewel explosions and flamethrowers and we whipped the whole thing out for $12,000 cos the actors only have 5 lines each and only had to stand in front of a green-screen for 15 minutes.

You'll watch it anyway. You'll watch anything.

Slashdot slowing down? (1)

brajbir (1109999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30679700)

I saw this video on TED a couple of weeks ago (I don't visit TED regularly). My guess is that it would have been presented in TED India conference, which was months ago. Is slashdot getting sluggish?

Re:Slashdot slowing down? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683290)

"Months ago"? That's pretty quick for Slashdot, actually.

Typical arrogant statement: (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30680388)

only to discover that it had the longest migratory journey of any insect in the world."

...known to man! It’s like a doctor stating “there is no cure” (Implying “and there never will be. Ever.”) When what he should have said, is “I personally have never heard of a cure. But maybe it’s just because I would never think about learning something new, because I think I already know everything. After all, I’m god!”

(This no critique of anything or anyone other, than that part of the quote, and the person who wrote it.)

Re:Typical arrogant statement: (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30682846)

Hey, you disagreeing does NOT make this a troll.

This is a fact. Come with me, let’s meet a doctor. Let’s test this out. I bet you $100 this is how it”s working.
You being in denial and repressing it (also trough moderation) does not change that.
Even doctors themselves complain about other doctors acting like that. While doing it themselves.

Man, some moderators are intolerant stupid close-minded asses...

Who crosses who how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30680492)

I'm not a grammer nazi because I can't tell the difference between a dash and a hyphen, but if one of the two had been placed between 'ocean' and 'crossing', parsing the headline would've been a lot easier. At first I thought the ocean was the subject.

The level of writing these days...

Re:Who crosses who how? (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30683504)

"I'm not a grammer nazi..." G-R-A-M-M-A-R. Sorry.

Re:Who crosses who how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30686256)

Hence the "NOT a grammar Nazi"...

Re:Who crosses who how? (1)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30688664)

No, you are a grammar nazi. Just not a spelling nazi.

Coconuts (1)

xupere (1680472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30685514)

Were they African or European dragonflies?

Flying Debugger? (1)

sergiol (784540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30689806)

I did not know that Opera debugger [opera.com] could open wings and go from Europe to America by air and catch some bugs on there.

the letters in TFA are hilarious (1)

vaporland (713337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691126)

comments about never using the typeface Papyrus - which, indeed, is a hideous font... and used in the banner of the webpage of TFA...
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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