The Atom Ukelele
By celentanowoodworks via Etsyhttp://etsy.me/16Gwvsm
ich will! :)
Here’s one of our favorite photos of all time.
A zookeeper dressed up in a giant panda suit carries panda cub Cao Gen at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center.
Scientists wear the panda suits to limit human interaction with the endangered bears, which are being left to fend for themselves in the new habitat so they can learn crucial survival skills and live in the wild without assistance.
- Images and text by artist Russell Dempster
“I was approached a while back by Edinburgh Zoo to design ‘My Primate Family Tree’ for the Living Links department of the zoo. It was to be an educational mural to show a few representatives from the hundreds of living primates, and tell us how closely related we are to each with the bonus of being able to take part in the picture and then completing the link. It fills an outside space of 2.3m x 3m. Every monkey and ape was drawn individually and all pieced together at the final artwork stage and then printed onto 3 panels.
The base of the tree represents the evolutionary origin of primates about 65 million years ago. The Capuchin and Squirrel monkeys on the bottom left represent the primates of the ‘New World’ (The Americas) that split from other evolving primates about 35 million years ago. Next, the Gelada Baboon, Japanese Macaque and Diana Monkey on the top left represent the ‘Old World’ monkeys of Africa and Asia that split from the apes shown on the right about 25 million years ago. Our closest relative is the Chimpanzee, then it’s the Gorilla and then the Orang-utan. These great apes and ourselves are a family that share a common ancestor about 14 million years ago.”
For more information about the divergence of humans and apes see:
- Langergraber, K.E. et al. 2012. “Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution,” PNAS 109(39):15716–15721
- Pontzer, H. 2012. ”Overview of Hominin Evolution,” Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):8 (open access)
The mature retina contains five classes of neurons: photoreceptors (purple), horizontal cells (yellow), bipolar neurons (green), amacrine cells (pink and blue), and ganglion cells (pink and blue). The outersegments of the cone photoreceptors point up, into the retinal pigmented epithelium, and their axons point down, terminating in end feet (white) that form synapses with horizontal (yellow) and bipolar neurons (green). Bipolar cells connect photoreceptors directly to the ganglion cells, which transmit visual information to the brain, or to amacrine cells, which modulate the output of the bipolar cells.
Image: In this cross section of an adult mouse retina, only a subset of bipolar cells, “the ON bipolar cells” are visible by their expression of GFP. The pink and blue speckled striations at the bottom of the image mark the fiber layer, which contains the ganglion cell axons that will form the optic nerve.
A Flame Scallop (Lima scabra) showcasing its ‘electric’ bioluminescence.
Titicaca Water Frog (Telmatobius culeus)
Also known as the Andean frog or Crawford’s water frog, the Titicaca water frog is a large species of frog found only in Lake Titicaca and its rivers in South America. Like other frogs the titicaca water frog feeds mostly on small fish, insects and other small invertebrates. The Titicaca water frog has excessive skin which is an adaptation for high altitude living as the excess skin helps it breathe, as more oxygen can diffuse in. It also possesses reduced lungs, a high red blood cell count and smaller red blood cells to help it breathe in its low oxygen environment.
Biphonation May Function to Enhance Individual Recognition in the Dhole, Cuon alpinus
Biphonation (two independent fundamental frequencies in a call spectrum) represents one of the most widespread nonlinear phenomena in mammalian vocalizations. Recently, the structure of biphonations was described in detail; however, their functions are poorly understood. For the dhole (Cuon alpinus), biphonic calls represent a prominent feature of vocal activity. In this species, the biphonic call is composed of two frequency components – the high-frequency squeak and the low-frequency yap, which also occur alone as separate calls. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the complication of call structure, resulting from the joining of these calls into the biphonic yap–squeak may enhance the potential for individual recognition in the dhole. We randomly selected for analysis 30 high-frequency squeaks, 30 low-frequency yaps and 30 biphonic yap–squeaks per animal from ﬁve subadult captive dholes (450 calls in total). Discriminant analysis, based on 10 squeak parameter values, showed 80.7% correct assignment to a predicted individual. For 10 yap parameters, the correct assignment was only 44.7%. However, the analysis based on 10 parameters of the biphonic yap–squeak, selected as best contributing to discrimination, showed 96.7% correct assignment to a predicted individual. The results provide strong support for the hypothesis tested showing that the joining of two independent calls into a common vocalization may function to enhance individual recognition in the dhole.
Photo by jonas.lowgren
GOOD NEWS - Rare Deer Makes a Come Back in Chile
They’re a national icon of Chile, but Huemul or South Andean Deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) are scarcely seen. Scientists estimate only 2,500 remain in the wild. However, a recent study by WCS and partners revealed that the deer are making a comeback in areas of Patagonia, due in part to reduced cattle farming and poaching.
Photo by Alejandro Vila
New Sea Monster Found, Rewrites Evolution?
Cretaceous-era reptile Malawania anachronus discovered in Kurdistan.
by Christine Dell’Amore
The newfound—and potentially controversial—Malawania anachronus was a10 ft (3 m)) long ichthyosaur, a group of dolphin-like creatures that could grow to 65 ft (20 m) in length. These fast-swimming predators peaked in diversity during the Jurassic period.
Oddly, though, new fossil analyses suggest that M. anachronus roamed the oceans of the early Cretaceous period—66 million years after its closely related cousins were thought to live.
That’s why Malawania anachronus—Kurdish and Greek for “out-of-time swimmer”—is “something that shouldn’t be there, but it is,” said study leader Valentin Fischer, a geologist and paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
But Michael Caldwell, an ichthyosaur expert at the University of Alberta in Canada who was not involved in the study, cautioned against getting too excited about the find, citing the fact that the study is based on one incomplete specimen…
(read more: National Geo) (illustration by Valentin Fischer)
Blood Falls, a Natural Time Capsule Containing a Unique Ecosystem
By Atlas Obscura
This five-story, blood-red “waterfall” pours ever so slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valley. Geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, and believed the red color came from algae. Its true nature turned out to be more spectacular.
Roughly two million years ago, a small body of water containing an ancient community of microbes was sealed beneath the surface of the Taylor Glacier. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, the microbes have remained isolated inside a natural time capsule, in a place with no light, oxygen, or heat.
The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the seepage its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the microbial subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
More photos of Blood Falls can be seen on Atlas Obscura.
(via: Slate.com - Atlas Obscura)