This Gecko Detaches its Scales to Escape Predators

February 8, 2017

How do you escape a grabby predator? Many lizards shed their tails. But a newly described species of gecko has another trick up its scales: When grabbed, it can shed patches of skin and scales from most of its body, making it look more like a boneless, skinless chicken breast than a scaly beast.

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Geckolepis megalepis is a kind of fish-scale gecko, a group of nocturnal lizards found only on Madagascar and the nearby Comoros Islands whose outsized scales overlap like those of a fish. So far, the new species has been found only in a small nature reserve in northern Madagascar. Besides being easy to shed, its scales are the largest of any gecko—the biggest measure more than 8% of the creature’s body length.

Learn more here, here or here.

Bullet Proof Glass – for real

January 9, 2017

Prince Rupert’s Drops are toughened glass beads created by dripping molten glass into cold water, which causes it to solidify into a tadpole-shaped droplet with a long, thin tail. These droplets are characterized internally by very high residual stresses, which give rise to counter-intuitive properties, such as the ability to withstand a blow from a hammer or a bullet on the bulbous end without breaking, while exhibiting explosive disintegration if the tail end is even slightly damaged.

They are AMAZING! Check them out …

Cool!

Eel vs Octopus vs Human

December 23, 2016

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‘, ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘, ‘Rabbit vs Snake‘, ‘Octopus vs Octopus‘, ‘Rat vs Snake’ and ‘Iguana vs Snakes‘ here is ‘Eel vs Octopus vs Human’:

Heartbreaking parenting strategy for a ghost

December 22, 2016

This little white octopus, dubbed “Casper,” certainly looks cute just sitting on a rock ledge more than 4000 meters below the ocean surface. But Casper’s parenting strategy is not as adorable—in fact, it’s positively heartbreaking.

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This species (which is so new, it doesn’t have a scientific designation) not only lives in those great depths at several places of the Pacific—researchers made two dozen more observations of its behavior off Ecuador. The animal also attaches its clutch of about 30 small eggs to the stalk of a dead sponge and then wraps its whole body around it. It will stay put to protect its young for several years, not feeding, waning away until the eggs hatch and it dies.

😦

Learn more here.

First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber

December 9, 2016

The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur, including bones, soft tissue, and even feathers, has been found preserved in amber.

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While individual dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, and evidence for feathered dinosaurs is captured in fossil impressions, this is the first time that scientists are able to clearly associate well-preserved feathers with a dinosaur, and in turn gain a better understanding of the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers.

The semitranslucent mid-Cretaceous amber sample, roughly the size and shape of a dried apricot, captures one of the earliest moments of differentiation between the feathers of birds of flight and the feathers of dinosaurs.

Based on the structure of the tail, researchers believe it belongs to a juvenile coelurosaur, part of a group of theropod dinosaurs that includes everything from tyrannosaurs to modern birds.

Learn more here or here.

Don’t Flush Sodium Down The Toilet

November 22, 2016

Sodium reacts strongly with water, according to the following chemical reaction:

2Na(s) + 2H₂O → 2NaOH(aq) + H₂(g)

A colourless solution is formed, consisting of strongly alkalic sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) and hydrogen gas. This is an exothermic reaction. Sodium metal gets hot in the process and may ignite and burn with a characteristic orange flame. The hydrogen gas released during the burning process also reacts strongly with oxygen in the air.

So don’t try this at home …

Iguana vs Snakes

November 9, 2016

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‘, ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘, ‘Rabbit vs Snake‘, ‘Octopus vs Octopus‘ and ‘Rat vs Snake’ here is ‘Iguana vs Snakes’:

What amazing footage! For a behind the scenes look go here.

Watch Human Population Growth Through Time

November 6, 2016

It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?

Every 50 cigarettes smoked cause one DNA mutation per lung cell

November 4, 2016

There are heaps of reasons not to smoke cigarettes and here is another …

We can now precisely count how many cancer-related DNA mutations accumulate in smokers’ organs over time.

On average, there is one DNA mutation per lung cell for every 50 cigarettes smoked, according to a new analysis. People who smoke a pack of 20 a day for a year generate 150 mutations per lung cell, 97 per larynx cell, 39 per pharynx cell, 18 per bladder cell and six per liver cell.

Studies have previously linked tobacco smoking with at least 17 classes of cancer, but this is the first time researchers have been able to quantify the molecular damage inflicted on DNA.

The team hopes their findings will deter people from taking up smoking and debunk the myth that social smoking is harmless. Every cigarette has the potential to cause genetic mutations!

Smoking and Lung cancer correlation

Learn more here.

Earth’s vertebrates decline 58% in past four decades

October 29, 2016

From 1970 to 2012 there has been a 58 per cent decline in monitored vertebrate populations, with an average annual decline of two per cent per year. Terrestrial vertebrate populations have dwindled 38 per cent since 1970, marine vertebrates are down 36 per cent and populations of freshwater aquatic vertebrates have shrunk by a staggering 81 per cent.

Activities such as deforestation, poaching and human-induced climate change are in large part to blame for the decline. If the trend continues, then by 2020 the world will have lost two-thirds of its vertebrate biodiversity, according to the Living Planet Report 2016. There is no sign yet that this rate will decrease!

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Sadly all life on Earth depends on rich biodiversity to survive so these are really troubling figures for all life!

Learn more here or here.