Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The Earths core is as hot as the Sun which is 6000 degrees Celsius. Because Mercury is so close to the Sun, Mercury doesn't have any oxygen. This is due to the atmospheric pressure from the Sun causing solar winds to come in and blow it all away. Not all planets have water on its surface, but Uranus actually does have water. However, it's water is located under Uranus's clouds. The solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago, and the influence that the solar system has stretches 2 light years away. The sun takes up most of the mass of the solar system, and the sun is only one star amongst 200 billion in the Milky Way galaxy.
The Gray Whale
The Gray Whale gets up to 50 feet in length and can weigh up to 40 tons. Gray Whales used to be almost extinct in the 20th century due to Whaling Industries because of their blubber. These whales actually have a thick 10 inch layer of blubber for insulation. Gray whales are also covered in parasites causing them to look slightly discolored and splotchy in appearance. These whales are bottom feeders so mainly feed on crustaceans and other nutrients. Their baleen bristles are smaller than most whales which makes it easier and more efficient for them to filter out the water that they take in. They also can breath oxygen as well. When Gray Whales have kin they can produce milk to give to them. Baby Gray Whales often consume up to 40 gallons of milk a day, and can reproduce when they're 8 years old. These whales are most typically found in the North Pacific, but have been discovered in the Mediterranean as well. The Gray Whales life span can be up to 70 years.
Sparrows are smaller birds that often get compared to finches. They can also sing and be kept as house sparrows as well. Most typically sparrows can be found on the edges of marshes, fields, and the edges of forests. Sparrows don't like small spaces and prefer to be roaming through open fields, but have adjusted quite a bit to city life. A sparrows life span often only reaches 4 to 5 years and typically only eats insects. Sparrows often also eat insects, but a lot of their diet depends on where they are. Sparrows usually can be found in North America and other warmer climates. Their gestation period is about 13 days and usually have 5-8 eggs.
When new cubs are born the mother cub will have to assist them in urinating by licking their under bellies with her warm tongue. Surprisingly, wolves often become weary and fear anything different from what they are used to. Wolves also typically run on their toes to assist in speed and agility. This also helps them to stop abruptly and make sharp turns. Wolves can run up to 20 mph, and have sense of hearing that can reach up to 6 miles away from where they are. This differs though, because arctic wolves can hear up to 10 miles away from them. An interesting fact about wolves is that they have 200 million scent cells while humans just have 5 million. Wolves are very family orientated. The male and the female will often raise their cubs together and have only one mate for their life span.
· Beavers use their broad, stiff tails like rudders to steer under water, and for balance while sitting on land. They also use their tails to slap the water as a warning of danger, or a warning to keep away.
Sex Changes, Vampires, Cookies, and McDonalds. Oh My!
Vampyroteuthis infernalis (Vampire Squid From Hell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3PvvT_Ktx8
- Able to live and breathe normally in oxygen saturations as low as 3%
- engulfs itself in a scary, sharp membrane to appear dangerous when threatened.
- Uses it's light up organs to produce a luminescent light, making predators be like WTF?!
Isistius brasiliensi (Cookiecutter Shark):
The Horny Devil Lizard's horns and warty bits serve two key features, the first is to make it look and feel very painful to eat. The second and more interesting in my opinion is to create numerous small groves and channels between the scales and spikes. These channels as used to transport water, via capillary action, from any part of the lizards body to the corner of it's mouth for consumption and hydration. Also it can shoot blood from it's eyes to deter predators further.
Capillary Action is the of liquid to flow through narrow spaces without the assistance, and in most cases, in opposition to exterior forces such as gravity. It occurs because of intermolecular forces between the liquid and solid surface it is traveling though.
Plants have mastered to use of capillary action to transport water and nutrients throughout their structure. Celery is an excellent example of this since the veins that carry the water from the base of the stalk to the plants are so large. To see capillary action, in action, simply place a piece of celery into a container with colored water. After a short time you will have a piece of celery that looks very similar to this:
So yes I've mention the transportation of water, but what about storage? Well the one species on earth that have mastered this are the numerous and widely varied family of Cactaceae, cactus. Cactus have evolved their shape and structure in so many ways to best absorb and retain water. Water may form up to 90% of the total mass of a cactus. Stem shapes vary considerably among cacti. The cylindrical shape of columnar cacti and the spherical shape of globular cacti produce a low surface area-to-volume ratio, reducing water loss, as well as minimizing the heating effects of sunlight. Ribbed or fluted stems of many cacti allow it shrink during periods of drought and then swell as it fills with water during rain. A fully grown saguaro cactus is able to absorb as much as 200 gallons of water during a heavy period of rain. Cactus have even gone so far as to cover themselves in a waxy outer layer, known as the cuticle, which further reduces water loss.
So weirdly enough I chose three species that fly, and one system that literally does not (waka waka).
Bats are the only mammals that are truly capable of flight and primarily eat smaller mammals and insects (frogs, lizards, mosquitoes) and are primarily harmless to man. More amazingly bats can fly up to 30mph in pure darkness using there echoes as a radar.
Different (and much smaller) than Bats, the Bee has a very distinctive structor and role to how the colony behaves. Most (if not all) the Bee’s that you and I see tend to be “Worker Bees” and are Female, they are tasked with protecting the hive and forging for food while the queen lays her eggs. Also in the winter months, the colony survives on pollen and honey that they stored up for the winter.
Ah the dragonfly (not the Opera dev tools), the Japanese Samurai used the dragonfly as a symbol of victory (among other things). The dragonfly is also very territorial and aggressive with other dragonflies, as well as being amazingly adaptable with to fly from over 40mph to hovering like a helicopter.
Public Transportation System
Coming out of Nantes, France in 1826, the public transportation system is something that has never really worked well in the U.S., versus Europe with the best public transportation. Most of us think of busing as the main face of public transportation, and while that is true, other forms also include air, train, and ship.
-Luminescent bacteria are divided into two genera: Photobacterium and Vibrio
-Chemical energy is turned into light energy in a chemical reaction, making luminescent bacteria glow (the pigment luciferin is oxidised by the enzyme luciferase)
-Luminescent bacteria are symbiotic, existing within larger organisms such as the Angler fish, the Lantern fish, and certain jellyfish
-Luminescent bacteria can be found outside of the sea. A Canadian man once found some when he decided to have some imitation crab meat as a midnight snack. The bacteria has also been found to grow in seawater flush lavatories on cruise ships
Black footed ferret
-Black footed ferrets are an endangered species native to central North America (they have been reintroduced in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, etc)
-They are about the size of a mink
-They are most active above ground from dusk to midnight and 4 a.m. to mid-morning
-They were discovered in 1851 and their population declined steadily through the 20th century due to a decrease in the prairie dog population (up to 91% of their diet consists of prairie dogs) and the sylvatic plague
-They were declared extinct in 1979, but a woman's dog found a dead one in 1981, which then changed their status to endangered
Hagfish-Hagfish are jaw-less, boneless, creatures that live in the depths of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans
-They do not have eyes, so they use the six short tentacles around their mouths to pick up scents and grab prey (worms, fish, crustaceans)
-The Hagfish has large glands on the sides of its body that secrete huge amounts of slime, discouraging predators from biting into it, and also helping them slip into the bodies of larger creatures, allowing them to feed on their insides
-Fossil records show that they are over 300 million years old and have changed very little over time
Baggage handling systemthe goal of the system is to have the bags keep up with the passengers
There are three main parts to the baggage handling system:
1. Move the bags from the check-in area to the departure gate
2. Move the bags from one gate to another during transfers
3. Move the bags from the arrival gate to the baggage-claim area
-The system is similar to roads in a city. The bags are placed onto conveyer belts (local roads) and DVC or destination-coded vehicle tracks (highways)
-Hundreds of computers keep track of the location of every bag, every traveler's itinerary and the schedules of all the planes
-The computers control the conveyor junctions and switches in the DCV tracks to make sure that each bag ends up exactly where it needs to go
-When you check in, your bag is given a tag that contains all of your information, and from there, it goes to the conveyor belts, DCVs, is loaded onto the plane, makes a transfer if necessary, and goes to the baggage claim at the airport of the passengers final destination
Monday, November 24, 2014
The Coconut Crab is the largest arthropod on land. It is also know as the robber crab or palm thief. They can weigh up to 9 pounds and can grow to be 3 feet in length. They can't swim and will drown if held under water for a long period of time and are commonly found in islands along the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. They got the name coconut crab because they are known to climb coconut trees, pick the coconut and use their claws to open and eat the flesh. They also feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, and organic matter like kittens, chickens and other Coconut Crabs. Fun fact: Coconut
Crabs may have ate the remains of Amelia Earhart.
ummingbirds are among the smallest species of birds. They are between 3 and 5 inches long and weigh less than a penny. They're know as Hummingbirds because of the sound they make when they flap their wings which is 50-200 times per second. They can fly 15 mph up, down, backwards, forward or sideways. In addition, they have a heart rate of 1,260 beats per minute, and 250 breaths per minute. Hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism of any homeothermic animal. They also have the ability to go into a hibernation like state by slowing their metabolism 1/15th its average rate. They do this in order to save energy when food is scarce.
Many species go through metamorphosis, which is the transformation from larval stage to pupa or chrysalis stage to adult stage. It is basically an incredible growth spurt that requires abrupt changes through cell growth and differentiation. There are two kinds of metamorphosis: incomplete and complete. Incomplete metamorphosis is when development requires repeated stages of growth such as moulting (ie. hemimetabolous insects like grasshoppers and crabs) and the young resemble the adults, they mainly differentiate in size. Complete metamorphosis, which is what homometabolous insects go through, is development that requires a resting stage (pupa/chrysalis) and they emerge in a different form as an adult. The theory is that the pupal stage is the evolutionary compaction of all the nymphal stages of their hemimetabolous ancestors.