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Posted by duddy   January 4, 2017   12196 views

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 [ ... ]
whales age bowhead arctic ocean size
Posted in Discoveries
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Posted by duddy   December 22, 2016   13615 views

Despite slang terms that imply otherwise, the human penis contains no bones. The same cannot be said for many of our closest evolutionary relatives: Chimpanzees and bonobos both have penis bones (a macaque one is pictured, left), also known as bacula.

To find out why some primates have the feature whereas others don’t, researchers traced the bone’s evolutionary history through time. The baculum first evolved between 145 million and 95 million years ago, as reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. That means it was present in the most recent common ancestor of all primates and carnivores. Why some descendants, like humans, lost their bacula appears to be due to differences in mating practices: In primates, the presence of a penis [ ... ]
biology evolution anatomy reproduction organs apes humans
Posted in Research
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Posted by bio_man   December 20, 2016   12199 views

The photo shown below was taken at a market in Shanghai, China.

Can you guess what they are?

Water caltrops (Trapa natans) are the seeds of a floating annual aquatic plant that's native to warm temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa. The plant grows in slow-moving water up to 5 m deep, and bear an ornately shaped fruit that resembles the head of a bull or the silhouette of a flying bat. Each fruit contains a single very large, starchy seed. T. natans and T. bicornis have been cultivated in China and the Indian subcontinent for at least 3,000 years for the edible seeds that are used in pastries, served steamed or boiled from street vendors, and even as a remedy for inebriation.

[ ... ]
china Shanghai edible strange food asia water plant
Posted in Interesting Facts
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Posted by duddy   December 15, 2016   8753 views

Opals (shown above) are is a hydrated amorphous form of silica (SiO2·nH2O); its water content may range from 3 to 21% by weight, but is usually between 6 and 10%. Because of its amorphous character, it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia.

The internal structure of precious opal makes it diffract light. Depending on the conditions in which it formed, it can take on many colors. The one pictured on the left is called the "Virgin Rainbow" opal, being the finest [ ... ]
Australia Opal Rocks Earth colorful colors
Posted in Interesting Facts
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Posted by duddy   December 8, 2016   10387 views

It doesn't take a genius to recognize the vast number of contributions the people of Jewish ancestry have made in modern history. According to a 2005 scientific paper, "Natural History of Jewish Intelligence", Jews as a group inherit higher verbal and mathematical intelligence than other ethnic groups, on the basis of inherited diseases and the peculiar economic situation of Jews in the Middle Ages. Specifically, the Ashkenazi Jews - those who originated in Eastern Europe, such as Albert Einstein (left) and Carl Sagan (right) - tend to have higher intelligence than other ethnic groups; in fact, about 80% of modern Jews have Ashkenazi ancestry.

One observational basis for inferring that Jews have high intelligence is their prevalence in occup [ ... ]
jewish ancestory intelligence people group scientists einstein sagan
Posted in Interesting Facts
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