Thanks to a cold environment, which causes a slow metabolism, bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) can live for more than 200 years - nearly 3 times longer than the average human, making it the longest-lived mammal.
Bowhead whales can grow 14 to 18 m (46 to 59 ft) in length, and unlike most whales, they lack a dorsal fin. This thick-bodied species can weigh from 75 to 100 tonnes (82 to 110 US tons). They live entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to low latitude waters to feed or reproduce. The bowhead also has the largest mouth of any animal.
Of course, following around a whale to measure how long it lives is practically impossible. Researchers discovered this amazing feature in 2007, when a 15 m [ ... ]
Proteins are subatomic biomolecules. They're produced by cells, so it's logical to assume that they are much tinier than cells, and of course, much tinier than the organelles that produce them. In a remarkable achievement, scientists have now obtained the first-ever photographs of single proteins. Using a "holography electron microscope," researchers tested on a range of protein samples, all just a few nanometers in size. Hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen in red blood cells, and cytochrome c, the protein that transfers electrons within the body, were just two examples.
The Mydas fly (Gauromydas heros) is the world's largest fly. It can reach body lengths of 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) and a wingspan of 4 inches (10 centimeters). Mydas fly are found in arid and semiarid regions of the world, but are infrequently encountered as the adult lifespan can be quite short.
The long-lasting search and debate around the size and identity of the world's smallest free-living insect seems to have now ended with the precise measurement and second record of the featherwing beetle species (Scydosella musawasensis). Described in 1999, representatives of this minute beetle have recently been retrieved once again from fungus in Colombia. The smallest individual measured the astounding 0.325 mm.
Angustopila dominikae is the only known specimen measuring the astounding 0.86 mm in shell height. That means ten of them could fit into the eye of a large sewing needle at the same time! Until now, the smallest known land snail was a thai species measuring about 0.9 millimeters long. Researchers believe that it probably feeds on microorganisms and may be hermaphroditic. However, because the team didn’t recover any DNA, a lot of uncertainly remains.
This blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata), weighing no more than 12 grams can migrate over the Atlantic Ocean from New England and eastern Canada to the Caribbean islands - a 2500 kilometer flight - nonstop! These finding were discovered after researchers tagged these little birds with miniature geolocators on their backs. They concluded that no other "bird this size migrates for this long in one go... it is truly one of the most amazing migratory feats ever recorded."
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