Posts Tagged ‘Biology’

Amazing Examples of Animal Camouflage

June 21, 2017

Camouflage is really cool!

Check out these great examples of animal camouflage

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More here.

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Could a caterpillar help solve the world’s plastic bag problem?

April 26, 2017

The global plastic bag crisis could be solved by a waxworm (Galleria mellonella) capable of eating through the material at “uniquely high speeds”.

Researchers have described the tiny caterpillar’s ability to break down even the toughest plastics as “extremely exciting” and said the discovery could offer an environmentally friendly solution on an industrial scale.

Around a trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, of which a huge number find their way into the oceans or are discarded into landfill.

Galleria mellonella eats plastic bag.jpg

The waxworm, commonly found living in bee hives or harvested as fishing bait, proved it could eat its way through polyethylene, which is notoriously hard to break down, more than 1400 times faster than other organisms.

Scientists believe the worm has enzymes in its saliva or gut that attack plastic’s chemical bonds, in the same way they digest the wax found in hives.

Learn more here, here or here.

Amazing Cell Division Time Lapse

March 25, 2017

If you’ve ever wondered what cell division actually looks like, this incredible time-lapse gives you the best view I’ve ever seen, showing a real-life tadpole egg dividing from four cells into several million in the space of just 20 seconds.

Of course, that’s lightening speed compared to how long it actually takes, the time-lapse has sped up 33 hours of painstaking division into mere seconds for our viewing pleasure.

The species you see developing here is Rana temporariathe common frog, which lays 1,000 to 2,000 eggs at a time in shallow, fresh water ponds.

Red Octopus vs Swimmer Crab

February 20, 2017

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’, ‘Iguana vs Snakes‘ and ‘Eel vs Octopus vs Human‘ here is ‘Red Octopus vs Swimmer Crab’:

Be warned, this sparring match does not end the way either of the opponents had intended.

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.

Geckolepis megalepis.png

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.

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.

Ghost octopus.jpg

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.

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.

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!

vertebrate population decline.jpg

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.