mindblowingscience:

A new fossil suggests ‘all dinosaurs’ may have had feathers

You’ve never seen a dinosaur, naturally, but you probably have a pretty good idea of what they look like. We’ve seen the same look over and over, across dozens of movies, books and museums: there’s the balanced tail, the lizard-shaped head and, most of all, dark and tough scales.

But a new find in Siberia has paleontologists suspecting that look may be flat wrong. A team of researchers led by Pascal Godefroit has found a new dinosaur with ultra-thin feathers, joining other feathered species found in China and North America. More importantly, the new find is the first non-carnivorous dinosaur with feathers, which many in the field have taken as evidence that feathers were far more widespread than previously thought. If they’re right, a big part of the way we think of dinosaurs may have to change.

Godefriot’s new creature is called the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus — a Jurassic creature about a meter and a half long, with large legs, short arms, and a very long tail. Because of the unusually well-preserved fossil, Godefroit could tell the Kulindadromeushad feathering on its torso and neck, but not its face, legs, or tail.

Continue Reading.

rhamphotheca:

The World’s Smallest Elephant Shrew Discovered
These animals look like snout-y mice but are more closely related to elephants.
by Douglas Main
In a remote area of northwest Namibia, scientists found a rust-colored shrew, which hides amongst the area’s reddish volcanic rocks. Further analysis found that it was a new species, and the smallest of a group of animals called elephant shrews. These (adorable) creatures look mouse-like but are in fact more closely related genetically to elephants, sea cows, hyraxes and aardvarks.
They also have some other bizarre features—they typically give birth to twins “which hit the ground running like the calves of some types of African antelope,”…
(read more: Popular Science)
photo: Dumbacher et al / Journal of Mammology

rhamphotheca:

The World’s Smallest Elephant Shrew Discovered

These animals look like snout-y mice but are more closely related to elephants.

by Douglas Main

In a remote area of northwest Namibia, scientists found a rust-colored shrew, which hides amongst the area’s reddish volcanic rocks. Further analysis found that it was a new species, and the smallest of a group of animals called elephant shrews. These (adorable) creatures look mouse-like but are in fact more closely related genetically to elephants, sea cows, hyraxes and aardvarks.

They also have some other bizarre features—they typically give birth to twins “which hit the ground running like the calves of some types of African antelope,”…

(read more: Popular Science)

photo: Dumbacher et al / Journal of Mammology

fushnchups:

Garden snail glow-paint dance party! 
Corni aspersum are marked with LED lights and UV paint to help researchers track their movements. This is the humble garden snail who munches your lettuce throughout the temperate parts of the world, and is eaten itself as escargot. It turns out that they have a great homing and roaming instinct (bad news for your seedlings).
Time-lapse photography revealed that snails move faster and further than most imagine, reaching speeds of 1 metre an hour and able to cover 10 metres a night. In wet weather, they form convoys, sliding along the slime trails of preceding snails.
When not raving it up with the boffins, these snails are better known for their hermaphrodite love-dart marathon sex.
source: newscientist

fushnchups:

Garden snail glow-paint dance party! 

Corni aspersum are marked with LED lights and UV paint to help researchers track their movements. This is the humble garden snail who munches your lettuce throughout the temperate parts of the world, and is eaten itself as escargot. It turns out that they have a great homing and roaming instinct (bad news for your seedlings).

Time-lapse photography revealed that snails move faster and further than most imagine, reaching speeds of 1 metre an hour and able to cover 10 metres a night. In wet weather, they form convoys, sliding along the slime trails of preceding snails.

When not raving it up with the boffins, these snails are better known for their hermaphrodite love-dart marathon sex.

source: newscientist

yknowforkids:

Erwin Schrödinger is known as the father of quantum mechanics which parts ways with classical mechanics at the atomic and subatomic level. Rather than following the usual (and logical) Newtonian laws, quantum mechanics posits some unique theories—some of which are outlined in these videos.

So, what does this mean to us? Aside from seeking to explain how our world works, quantum mechanics is being used by some individuals looking to create quantum computers. Traditional computing is based upon binary code where bits can be either a 1 or 0. In quantum computing, a Qubit can be a 1 or 0 or 1 and 0 at the same time. If this turns out to be true, then quantum computers can run calculations much faster than traditional computers.

Newly-described anomalocaridid Lyrarapax unguispinus. Just 12cm long (4.7in), the fossils of this 520 million-year-old Chinese species have exquisitely-preserved brains — the structure of which help to confirm a shared ancestry with velvet worms and basal arthropods.

All the reference images I could find focus on the underside of Lyrarapax, so this reconstruction is pretty speculative regarding the head shield shape and possible dorsal flaps.

And while the brain discovery is really neat, look at those flippers! While Schinderhannes looks like an anomalocaridid trying to be a fish, Lyrarapax almost looks like one trying to be a penguin.

Newly-described anomalocaridid Lyrarapax unguispinus. Just 12cm long (4.7in), the fossils of this 520 million-year-old Chinese species have exquisitely-preserved brains — the structure of which help to confirm a shared ancestry with velvet worms and basal arthropods.

All the reference images I could find focus on the underside of Lyrarapax, so this reconstruction is pretty speculative regarding the head shield shape and possible dorsal flaps.

And while the brain discovery is really neat, look at those flippers! While Schinderhannes looks like an anomalocaridid trying to be a fish, Lyrarapax almost looks like one trying to be a penguin.

earthstory:

That’s one small step for man….
Throughout our history books we have tales of war and woe, violence and vengeance, centuries littered with hate and greed, blood and folly. BUT, every now and then, there’s a tale that stands out as a testament to human capability, innovation and imagination. Today, the 20th of July marks the anniversary of such an event: the day that human beings set foot on the Moon.
Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Centre in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16th, Apollo 11, containing three men, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins set off on a journey to push the boundaries of possible.

Arriving on the Moon July at 20:18 UTC, Armstrong took his famous first step six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC, followed by Aldrin. The men spent around two and a half hours roaming the Sea of Tranquility and together they collected 21.5 kg of lunar material to bring home to Earth. The two re-joined Collins in the Command Module and they returned to Earth landing in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th. Mission accomplished.
The first Moon landing was watched by an estimated 600 million people on television and remains one of the greatest achievements of humankind. Aside from experiencing another world, the astronauts who bravely journeyed to the Moon offered us not only the perspective of the lunar surface, but our home planet as well. From out there on the Moon, the fragility and beauty of our Earth was truly captured and this sentiment is best ascribed to a less famous quote from Neil Armstrong:
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”Since the original Moon landing in 1969, 9 other astronauts have walked on the surface of the Moon; the last mission being in 1972. Over 40 years ago the human race accomplished an achievement that was arguably ahead of its time; it’s sad to think that nobody has been back since.
-Jean
Photos: (1) Collage of the Moon landing images.(2) The Earth seen from Apollo 11

earthstory:

That’s one small step for man….

Throughout our history books we have tales of war and woe, violence and vengeance, centuries littered with hate and greed, blood and folly. BUT, every now and then, there’s a tale that stands out as a testament to human capability, innovation and imagination. Today, the 20th of July marks the anniversary of such an event: the day that human beings set foot on the Moon.

Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Centre in Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16th, Apollo 11, containing three men, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins set off on a journey to push the boundaries of possible.

Arriving on the Moon July at 20:18 UTC, Armstrong took his famous first step six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC, followed by Aldrin. The men spent around two and a half hours roaming the Sea of Tranquility and together they collected 21.5 kg of lunar material to bring home to Earth. The two re-joined Collins in the Command Module and they returned to Earth landing in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th. Mission accomplished.

The first Moon landing was watched by an estimated 600 million people on television and remains one of the greatest achievements of humankind. Aside from experiencing another world, the astronauts who bravely journeyed to the Moon offered us not only the perspective of the lunar surface, but our home planet as well. From out there on the Moon, the fragility and beauty of our Earth was truly captured and this sentiment is best ascribed to a less famous quote from Neil Armstrong:

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
Since the original Moon landing in 1969, 9 other astronauts have walked on the surface of the Moon; the last mission being in 1972. Over 40 years ago the human race accomplished an achievement that was arguably ahead of its time; it’s sad to think that nobody has been back since.

-Jean

Photos: (1) Collage of the Moon landing images.
(2) The Earth seen from Apollo 11

Secret Lives of Flower Hat Jellyfish Revealed

For decades, flower hat jellyfish managed to keep their early lives a secret.

In adulthood, the jellyfish are striking, with a nest of fluorescent tentacles that look like party streamers, but pack a nasty sting. In infancy, well, scientists didn’t know. Aquarists tried, unsuccessfully, to raise the animals in tanks to understand what happens before the jellyfish are fully grown.

"They just aren’t like other jellies," said Wyatt Patry, senior aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Now, Patry and colleagues report they’ve finally raised the jellyfish in captivity. In a new paper, the researchers describe the elusive species’ life cycle, from egg to larva to single-tentacled polyp to juvenile to adult.

Scientists at the aquarium first bought a group of flower hat jellies back from Japan in 2002 for an exhibit on jellyfish. At the time, aquarists tried to mate and culture the species (scientifically named Olindias formosus), but they just couldn’t seem to get the jellies to release any sperm or eggs.

Patry said the researchers tried performing in vitro fertilization and exposing the jellies to stresses that might make them release sex cells. The creatures produced some larvae, but they didn’t grow much larger than that stage. Ultimately, it seemed that the scientists were missing some cue the jellyfish needed for reproduction.

When it came time for another jellyfish show in 2012, the team tried again. They kept groups of flower hat jellies in small tanks with mesh netting to keep the creatures off the bottom, where detritus and rotting pieces of half-eaten fish settled. The scientists don’t exactly know what they did right the second time around, but during routine maintenance, they discovered fluorescent jellyfish polyps attached to the wire mesh and glowing under a blue light.

Jellyfish larvae attach themselves to a solid surface and become stalklike polyps, which then bud into juvenile “medusae” — what jellyfish are called when they reach their most recognizable, umbrella-shaped form. Jellyfish polyps persist for an unknown amount of time. The polyps of flower hat jellies were unusual in that they had a single, highly active tentacle.

"They just look like little sea anemones," Patry told Live Science. "They seem to use the tentacle to sweep around their position to capture food."

Patry hopes the new information might help scientists and wildlife managers look for the species in the wild — and predict when and where “blooms” of the jellyfish could affect beachgoers.

Flower hat jellies kill and eat entire fish, and their venom is powerful enough to inflict a painful rash on humans. The mark looks like a burn, said Patry. (Take it from him. He said he usually gets stung a couple of times a year.) A 2007 review of jellyfish incidents recorded around the world found one death associated with flower hat jellies, in Japan in the 1970s.

The findings on young flower hat jellies were published in June in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

(via afro-dominicano)

birdandmoon:

Venomous vs poisonous! If this one’s too small, you can read it on my site here. The animals are: northern copperhead, cane toad, tiger keelback snake, hooded pitohui, northern short-tailed shrew.
If you like my work, check out my Patreon, which is just $1.74 away from $200!

birdandmoon:

Venomous vs poisonous! If this one’s too small, you can read it on my site here. The animals are: northern copperhead, cane toad, tiger keelback snake, hooded pitohui, northern short-tailed shrew.

If you like my work, check out my Patreon, which is just $1.74 away from $200!

(via ursulavernon)

The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon.

“You can’t pick up a brain and say ‘that’s a girls brain, or that’s a boys brain’ in the same way you can with the skeleton. They look the same.”

Prof Rippon points to earlier studies that showed the brains of London black cab drivers physically changed after they had acquired The Knowledge – an encyclopaedic recall of the capital’s streets.

She believes differences in male and female brains are due to similar cultural stimuli. A women’s brain may therefore become ‘wired’ for multi-tasking simply because society expects that of her and so she uses that part of her brain more often. The brain adapts in the same way as a muscle gets larger with extra use.

“What often isn’t picked up on is how plastic and permeable the brain is. It is changing throughout out lifetime

“The world is full of stereotypical attitudes and unconscious bias. It is full of the drip, drip, drip of the gendered environment.”

Prof Rippon believes that gender differences appear early in western societies and are based on traditional stereotypes of how boys and girls should behave and which toys they should play with.

Men and Women Do Not Have Different Brains, Claims Neuroscientist (via thegendercritic)

rlossehelin:

Earth has many organisms that are incredibly quick. In the sky, the peregrine falcon speeds past every other bird by reaching a maximum airspeed of 389 km/h (242 mph). The cheetah dominates on the land and can run up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and the sailfish can escape predators in the sea by traveling 109 km/h (68 mph). As impressive as these are, they are still no match for Pilobolus crystallinus; otherwise known as the Hat Thrower or Dung Cannon fungus…. Because the spores are so small, they require a lot of force to cut through the air and get to a place where they will be eaten by animals. Grazing animals don’t like to eat where they poop (and who does, really?) so they need to travel pretty far. In order to travel 2 m (6 ft) to a clear area, they accelerate over 70 km/h (45 mph) within the first MILLIMETRE of their flight. - See more at: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/fastest-accelerating-organism-earth-fungus#sthash.dDMf6miQ.dpuf