Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

This is NOT a snake

June 23, 2015

Imagine that you’re a hungry predator foraging through the forest, hot on the trail of a juicy insect for your next meal. Deep in the forest, you pull back a leaf, and this creature starts wagging violently at you, sending you running for the hills:

Dynastor-darius pupa

The joke’s on you, because this frightening creature is most definitely NOT a snake. It’s actually a pupa (not a caterpillar, not yet a butterfly), ensconced in its chrysalis as it undergoes its remarkable transformation.

Dynastor darius is obviously a master of disguise, but it has more tricks up its sleeve besides its scary exterior … the pupa is still aware of the world outside of its chrysalis, and can shake from side to side (like a moving snake) to fend off the predator that wasn’t sufficiently spooked by its exterior. Learn more here.

Rabbit vs Snake

June 23, 2015

In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’,  ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, ‘Centipede vs Snake‘, and ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘ here is ‘Rabbit vs Snake:

This mother bunny sees a snake trying to make a meal of her baby bunny, see what happens …

There’s a Fish Hidden in This Video

May 14, 2015

Camouflage is really cool. And this clip is no exception …

Worm Shoots Its Appendage over Man’s Hand

May 5, 2015

This is a marine ribbon worm. The weapon of the ribbon worm, or Nemertea, is a proboscis (elongated appendage) that the worm uses to snag and attach itself to its prey (sometimes with venom!). Basically, that proboscis is like a muscle inside of them that can dart out when the body contracts to attack prey.

Shape-Shifting Frog Discovered

March 29, 2015

Scientists have discovered a frog that changes its skin texture to match its surroundings.

Shape-Shifting Frog

The mutable rain frog can go from smooth (left) to spiny in minutes.

Pristimantis mutabilis, described in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, is believed to be the first amphibian known to have this shape-shifting capability.

The scientists believe the ability to change skin texture to reflect its surroundings may enable Pristimantis mutabilis to help camouflage itself from birds and other predators. Learn more here, here or here.

Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark

March 2, 2015

In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’,  ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, and ‘Centipede vs Snake‘ here is ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark':

DNA may make the ultimate time capsule

February 16, 2015

If you must preserve messages for people in the far future to read, Blu-ray discs and USB sticks are no good. For real long-term storage, you want a DNA time capsule.

DNA time capsule

Just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of holding 455 exabytes – enough for all the data held by Google, Facebook and every other major tech company, with room to spare. It’s also incredibly durable: DNA has been extracted and sequenced from 700,000-year-old horse bones. But conditions have to be right for it to last.

Research suggests that data in DNA form could last 2000 years if kept at a temperature of around 10 °C. The Global Seed Vault in the Arctic could preserve it for over 2 million years at a chilly -18 °C, offering truly long-term storage. Learn more here.

Amazing octopus camouflage

February 8, 2015

Organisms that have an adaptation to blend into their environment or conceal their shape are cool!

It’s called camouflage and prey animals (animals that get eaten) have the adaptation to avoid being seen by predators (animals that eat them).

Camouflage is really interesting!

Here is a fine example …

If you liked that check this out.

How does cancer spread through the body?

November 21, 2014

Cancer usually begins with one tumor in a specific area of the body. But if the tumor is not removed, cancer has the ability to spread to nearby organs as well as places far away from the origin, like the brain. How does cancer move to these new areas and why are some organs more likely to get infected than others?

Biggest Walrus Gathering Recorded as Sea Ice Shrinks

October 5, 2014

Scientists have photographed the largest gathering of Pacific walruses ever recorded, on a beach in northern Alaska.

mass-walrus-gathering

It’s hardly the first big walrus gathering to be documented. But scientists say the size of the gatherings are growing as climate change melts Arctic sea ice, depriving walruses of their sunning platforms of choice.

As the ocean heats up due to global warming, Arctic sea ice has been locked in a downward spiral. Since the late 1970s, the ice has retreated by 12 percent per decade. Learn more here.


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