Animals, Videos

Drone Captures Huge Pod of Humpbacks Feeding in Alaska

Humpback whales using the bubble net techniques. Image via Neutrons for Breakfast.

A drone captured amazing footage of a large pod of Humpback Whales feeding in the pristine waters of Alaska. The aerial drone footage, captured by AkxPro, shows a seagull’s POV of the scene. Here, we see a coordinated hunting technique known as ‘bubble net feeding’. The humpback has the most diverse feeding repertoire of all baleen whales. Its most inventive technique is known as…

News, Pollution

Ocean sediments are a cemetery for plastic

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A few days ago we were telling you about a study which quantified the amount of plastic in the Earth’s waters – 5.25 trillion pieces which weigh an estimated 269,000 tonnes. But another study found that tens of thousands of plastic (or even more) are actually lying on the bottom of the ocean floor, trapped in mud and sand. Previous studies…

Biology, News

Birds can detect approaching storm from 900km away

A tornado in Brisco County, Texas. The birds didn’t appear to have used changes in pressure, wind speed or precipitation to warn them of the approaching storm. Photograph: Reed Timmer/Jim Reed Photography/Corbis

Some animals have extraordinary sensorial abilities; there have been scientific works documenting dogs which react to an earthquake 5 minutes before the waves reached the surface, but this is perhaps even more spectacular – some birds can sense an earthquake from 900 km away (560 miles). It seems that have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after…

Agriculture, Archaeology, News

8,000-Year-Old Olive Oil Found in Ancient Clay Pots

8,000 year old olive oil was found in Israel. This is the earliest evidence of olive oil production. Credit: Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

We know that ancient populations really liked olive oil, and it’s not that uncommon to find oil-filled pots from Ancient Greece. However, archaeologists were really excited to find that pressed olive oil goes as back as 8,000 years ago. Researchers found residues of the Mediterranean-diet staple on ancient clay pots dating back to the 6th millennium B.C. “This is the earliest evidence…

Art, Great Pics

Where Biology Meets Art: BioScapes

The 2nd prize was won by Thomas Deerink, from the University of California, San Diego, for a rat brain cerebellum, magnified 300 times.

When science meets art, some seriously coolness happens – and the perfect example for this is BioScapes, an annual competition ran by Olympus. BioScapes hosts some of the most spectacular images of life seen through a microscope, as exemplified below. “Each fall, four individuals widely respected in the fields of microscopy and imaging are invited to select the winners and…

Environment, Geology, News

Experimental flow of water along Colorado River leads to Green Rebirth

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In March 2014, the US and Mexican governments decided to release a flow of water down the Colorado River, in an experimental attempt called “Minute 319″. The river has experienced record droughts in 2014, but surprisingly, this initiative reversed a 13-year decline in the greenness along the delta. The Colorado River stretches along 1,450-miles (2,330 km), encompassing seven US and two Mexican states. Known…

Observations

NASA can see your Christmas lights… from outer space

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Many are already preparing for Christmas – some shopping for presents, some Christmas lights… the usual. But as you’re gearing up for the winter holidays, NASA is watching you. Well, they’re not really watching you, it’s more that they are monitoring light emissions from big cities – and they report that during the holiday season, patterns in nighttime light intensity change –…

Geology, News

Rock with 30,000 diamonds found Russian diamond mine

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Do you fancy diamonds? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’ll absolutely love this rock extracted from a Russian mine. The rock is littered with over 30,000 diamonds, something which is extremely rare and may yield valuable information about how diamonds form in natural conditions. What’s unlucky for gem sellers was very fortunate for researchers – because the tiny diamonds…

News, Space

“The Rosetta team” is euronews’ person/people of the year

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I usually don’t pay much attention to the “Person of the Year”, but this one is really special. Euronews, the largest European news channel has named “The Rosetta Team” as their “Person of the Year”. Why it matters It’s almost always politician, economists or humanitarians that take the laurels – and for good reason. The list should feature those who…

Nanotechnology, Videos

The World’s Smallest Snowman

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At just 10 µm across, this little guy is only 1/5th the width of a human hair. The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum. Image and…