whateveramusesme
whateveramusesme:

World’s biggest aquatic insect claimed by China
An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow’s has been reported by Chinese media as a record-breaking find.
"With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world," reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service.
This insect belongs to the taxonomic group or order Megaloptera (a name that means large, folded wings). The group includes large insects called dobsonflies or fishflies, along with smaller alderflies.

whateveramusesme:

World’s biggest aquatic insect claimed by China

An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow’s has been reported by Chinese media as a record-breaking find.

"With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world," reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service.

This insect belongs to the taxonomic group or order Megaloptera (a name that means large, folded wings). The group includes large insects called dobsonflies or fishflies, along with smaller alderflies.

Antarctic fur seals feel climate impacts
An unusual opportunity is afforded by three decades of individual-based data collected from a declining population of Antarctic fur seals in the South Atlantic. Here, climate change has reduced prey availability and caused a significant decline in seal birth weight. However, the mean age and size of females recruiting into the breeding population are increasing.
The results provide compelling evidence that selection due to climate change is intensifying, with far-reaching consequences for demography as well as phenotype and genetic variation.

Antarctic fur seals feel climate impacts

An unusual opportunity is afforded by three decades of individual-based data collected from a declining population of Antarctic fur seals in the South Atlantic. Here, climate change has reduced prey availability and caused a significant decline in seal birth weight. However, the mean age and size of females recruiting into the breeding population are increasing.

The results provide compelling evidence that selection due to climate change is intensifying, with far-reaching consequences for demography as well as phenotype and genetic variation.

Should We Deliberately Edit The Genes Of Wild Animals?

A powerful new technique called a “gene drive" is opening up incredible possibilities for the control and manipulation of wildlife. Leading researchers say we need to have a debate now about whether we should be shaping the genetics of whole populations of wild animals.

A number of technologies have come together in recent years that are enabling scientists to manipulate genomes in profound ways. Among them is a tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, a technique that allows researchers to rewrite an organism’s DNA. Eventually, scientists will combine this gene-editing technique with gene drives — the deliberate insertion of “selfish genes” that appear more frequently in offspring than normal genes, which will have a 50-50 chance of being passed on.

It’s called a gene drive because it would allow scientists to drive a gene through a wild population of animals, such as mosquitoes, frogs, and weeds. Once introduced, nature would do the rest.

Via NPR: “Here, a mosquito with a gene drive (blue) mates with a mosquito without one (grey). In the offspring, one chromosome will have the drive. The endonuclease then slices into the drive-free DNA. When the strand gets repaired, the cell’s machinery uses the drive chromosome as a template, unwittingly copying the drive into the break.”

Powerful, powerful stuff. But also fraught with risks. That’s why a group of scientists are starting the debate. Yesterday, a group of U.S. researchers called for greater oversight of this powerful genetic technology. (more)

whateveramusesme

whateveramusesme:

"Apis Mellifera: Honey Bee" a high-speed short from

A honey bee can fly up to 6 miles; as fast as 15 miles per hour. Their wing stroke at 200 beats per second. The average bee produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in a lifetime. 1100 stings are required to be fatal. The drones do not sting and do not work. A colony consists of 20,000 - 60,000 bees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work. A hive will fly 90,000 miles to collect 7kg of honey. A queen bee can live for 3 to 5 years. Honey bees have 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes. Drones are expelled from the hive during winter and die after mating. Biggest threats: mites, colony collapse disorder, disease, urbanization and African bees.

carriemp
gq:

Why Would a Person Want to Shoot an Elephant?
What kind of a person looks upon the world’s largest land animal—a beast that mourns its dead and lives to retirement age and can distinguish the voice of its enemies—and instead of saying “Wow!” says something like “Where’s my gun?” Wells Tower joins an exclusive hunting party and reports on one of the last elephant hunts in Botswana.

gq:

Why Would a Person Want to Shoot an Elephant?

What kind of a person looks upon the world’s largest land animal—a beast that mourns its dead and lives to retirement age and can distinguish the voice of its enemies—and instead of saying “Wow!” says something like “Where’s my gun?” Wells Tower joins an exclusive hunting party and reports on one of the last elephant hunts in Botswana.

libutron
libutron:

Elkhorn fern
Platycerium bifurcatum (Polypodiales - Polypodiaceae) is one of the most flamboyant ferns because of their shape and the large size they can reach. These plants are commonly named Elkhorn ferns, since their leaves (frond) are divided into two segments a number of times along its length resembling elk horns.
Elkhorn ferns grow on the trunks and branches of trees (they are epiphytes). Each plant is composed of a mass of plantlets with two types of leaves, there are nest leaves 12-30 cm wide lying against the bark of the host tree. The nest leaves of neighbouring plantlets overlap one another; they become brown and papery with age, and do not produce spores (they are sterile). Fertile leaves are 25-90 cm long and protrude from each plantlet  with elk horn shape.  
The Elkhorn fern, occurs naturally in Java, New Guinea, and along the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales, in Australia. It is cultivated in many countries, it has become naturalized (it has spread into the wild) in Florida US), and it has been listed as an environmentally invasive species in Hawaii.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Peter Nijenhuis | Locality: Lamington National Park, New South Wales, Australia

libutron:

Elkhorn fern

Platycerium bifurcatum (Polypodiales - Polypodiaceae) is one of the most flamboyant ferns because of their shape and the large size they can reach. These plants are commonly named Elkhorn ferns, since their leaves (frond) are divided into two segments a number of times along its length resembling elk horns.

Elkhorn ferns grow on the trunks and branches of trees (they are epiphytes). Each plant is composed of a mass of plantlets with two types of leaves, there are nest leaves 12-30 cm wide lying against the bark of the host tree. The nest leaves of neighbouring plantlets overlap one another; they become brown and papery with age, and do not produce spores (they are sterile). Fertile leaves are 25-90 cm long and protrude from each plantlet  with elk horn shape.  

The Elkhorn fern, occurs naturally in Java, New Guinea, and along the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales, in Australia. It is cultivated in many countries, it has become naturalized (it has spread into the wild) in Florida US), and it has been listed as an environmentally invasive species in Hawaii.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Peter Nijenhuis | Locality: Lamington National Park, New South Wales, Australia

whateveramusesme

whateveramusesme:

Periodic Table Clock (Certified as AMAZING)

University of Nottingham’s chemistry professor Martyn Poliakoff says that most chemists don’t know the atomic number of most elements and that it’s a pain to look in the periodic table. That’s why alarm clock is his favorite gadget: “The first periodic table that you lets you see an element’s atomic number without thinking.”

 Iridescent Clouds over Thamserku 
 Explanation:  Why would a cloud appear to be different colors? A relatively rare phenomenon known as iridescent clouds can show unusual colors vividly or a whole spectrum of colors simultaneously. These clouds are formed of small water droplets of nearly uniform size. When the Sun is in the right position and mostly hidden by thick clouds, these thinner clouds significantly diffract sunlight in a nearly coherent manner, with different colors being deflected by different amounts. Therefore, different colors will come to the observer from slightly different directions. Many clouds start with uniform regions that could show iridescence but quickly become too thick, too mixed, or too far from the Sun to exhibit striking colors. The above iridescent cloud was photographed in 2009 from the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, behind the 6,600-meter peak named Thamserku.
Image Credit & Copyright:  Oleg Bartunov

Iridescent Clouds over Thamserku

Explanation: Why would a cloud appear to be different colors? A relatively rare phenomenon known as iridescent clouds can show unusual colors vividly or a whole spectrum of colors simultaneously. These clouds are formed of small water droplets of nearly uniform size. When the Sun is in the right position and mostly hidden by thick clouds, these thinner clouds significantly diffract sunlight in a nearly coherent manner, with different colors being deflected by different amounts. Therefore, different colors will come to the observer from slightly different directions. Many clouds start with uniform regions that could show iridescence but quickly become too thick, too mixed, or too far from the Sun to exhibit striking colors. The above iridescent cloud was photographed in 2009 from the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, behind the 6,600-meter peak named Thamserku.

Image Credit & Copyright: Oleg Bartunov