Reef Evolving Fast Enough

Reef evolving fast enough say James Cook University Marine Biologists in Science, 4 June 2005. Following a bleaching episode in 1998 involving half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, probably due to abnormally warm water which caused the coral to die, scientists have feared global temperatures were rising so fast coral would be unable […]

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Rats and Jellyfish Join Bomb Squad

Rats and jellyfish combine to join bomb squad, as described in an article in New Scientist, 12 May 2007. Scientists at Temple University, Philadelphia are developing an explosive detector using smell receptor proteins found in rats. Smell receptor proteins work by sending electrical signals when certain chemicals attach to them. In animals the electrical signals […]

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Poisonous Spiders Prefer Dead Food

Poisonous spiders prefer dead food, as described in Nature, vol 426, p30, 6 November 2003. Jamel Sandidge of the University of Kansas has studied the feeding habits of Brown Recluse spiders, and was surprised to find that they preferred to scavenge on dead critters in spite of having a deadly venom that quickly paralyses prey. […]

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Longest Lived Animal Found

Longest lived animal found, according to reports in BBC News and Bangor University News, 28 October 2007. Scientists from the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University have dredged up a clam named Arctica islandica from the ocean floor near Iceland. They estimate that it had lived between 405 and 410 years, making it the […]

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Leftover Snail Study

Science Shots, 27 March 2006. (whole item quoted) “Lefties unite! It’s the rare marine snail whose shell coils to the left rather than the right. It’s even rarer for these lefties to find a similarly whorled mate. But they do have one advantage over their dextral (righty) counterparts: Analyses of shell scars (dark line) on […]

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Jurassic Shrimp Lives

Jurassic shrimp lives, according to a report in New Scientist News 10 December 2006 and ABC (Australia) News in Science, 11 Dec 2006. Researchers carrying out a census of marine life have turned up a shrimp that was believed to have been extinct for 50 million years. The creature, named Neoglyphea neocaledonia, was found alive […]

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Hulking Huge Jellyfish Fossils

“Hulking huge” upper Cambrian jellyfish fossils impress palaeontologists of the California Institute of Technology who discovered thousands of fossilised jellyfish, many as large as 70cm (28in) in diameter, in central Wisconsin (USA). According to a report in Nature Science Update, 30 January 2002, the fossils are buried in several different layers of a “fossilised beach” […]

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Harvestmen Haven’t Changed

Harvestmen haven’t changed according to an article in BBC News 18 May 2005. Jason Dunlop and colleagues from the Museum fur Naturkunde, Germany have found a “100 million-year-old arachnid, which looked like it might have died last year” preserved in amber. It is a harvestman, a spider-like creature with a small body and long thin […]

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Hairy Crab

Hairy crab found, according to reports in BBC News, and news@nature and ScienceNOW 8 March 2006. A crab that looks like a “cross between a gorilla and a lobster” has been found living near a hydrothermal vent at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean 1,500km (900miles) south of Easter Island. The white crab is 15cm […]

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Gravity Defying Spider Feet

Gravity defying spider feet inspire materials scientists, as reported in ScienceNOW 23 April 2004. Andrew Martin, a specialist in biomechanics, and colleagues at the Institute for Technical Zoology and Bionics, Bremen, Germany have studied spider feet to find out how spiders can walk upside down. As they suspected the spiders have tiny hairs on their […]

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