25-28 million years ago, a massive seabird known as Pelagornis sandersi dominated the skies. With wingspans reaching up to 24 feet in length, P. sandersi’s wingspan was more than twice as large as the largest living bird capable of flight, the Royal Albatross (which can have a wingspan of up to 11.5 feet). P. sandersi‘s wingspan was also… As big as many World War I fighter jets: Longer than three Yao Mings lined up head to toe: And longer than most adult anacondas: The bird was so
Tag Archives: biology
The “TomTato” is a veggie lover’s dream: above ground, it’s a tomato plant; below ground, it’s a potato plant. The idea was the brainchild of the horticultural firm Thompson and Morgan, based in Ipswich, England. Although the concept sounds crazy, the plants are not genetically modified; rather, they are created using grafting. This process involves making matching incisions into two different plants which allows you to connect them. A similar process was recently used by a professor from Syracuse University to create
Today we celebrate the third annual World Elephant Day. The holiday was created in 2012 by Canadian filmmaker and elephant advocate Patricia Sims, along with the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand. The holiday was started to draw awareness to the plight of elephants around the world. Asian elephants are an endangered species, with only about 40,000 left in the wild. In their traditional home of Thailand, only about 4,000 Asian elephants remain today, down from over 100,000 at the beginning of the 1900s.
On the Brazilian coast, a couple hundred miles south of São Paulo, lies the small town of Laguna. Laguna is very much like most other small coastal towns in Brazil, with many people relying heavily on fishing to provide both food and income. However, the fishermen of Laguna have a truly remarkable secret weapon: a pod of about 20 bottlenose dolphins. Check it out in this awesome video from the BBC series Human Planet: This interaction is a beautiful example of a
If a monkey takes your camera from you and snaps a selfie of itself, who owns the picture? That is the question being argued right now after Wikipedia refused to remove a monkey selfie from its website. Nature photographer David Slater (who’s camera captured the image) requested it be taken down due to copyright infringement. In 2011, David was in Indonesia trying to capture a perfect shot of the crested black macaque. He set up his camera on a tripod in the hopes that he could
Matthew and his friend Andrew like to shred a couple waves every now and then. Recently, they were enjoying the waves off the coast of England when they had an unsuspected visitor. Matt describes the event: “Me and my friend Andrew were out enjoying some summer waves when this little guy came along and scared the hell out of Andy because we didn’t know what it was! It nudged his foot from underneath.” The next hour was filled with fun
Villagers from a village in the Sichuan province of China just collected the largest ever aquatic insect specimen. The bug, a massive dobsonfly, has a wingspan of more than 8 inches. The previous record-holder for the world’s largest aquatic insect was a South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan of 7.5 inches. Though dobsonflies are relatively common (there are over 200 species across Asia, Africa and South America), one of this size had been unheard of until now. Looking at
I’m no saint. Just like everyone else, I get frustrated with people from time to time. If you catch me after a particularly maddening encounter, you may hear the words “ignorant”, “bigoted”, “close-minded”, and maybe even “asshole”. But one word you will never hear me use to describe a person is “dumb”. The increasingly popular idea that the world is full of stupid people is a basic misunderstanding of what it means to be “smart”. Real intelligence is simply the measure of a person’s curiosity.
Sam Van Aken is an art professor at Syracuse University in New York. He wasn’t always immersed of the world of art though- as a child, he grew up working on his family’s farm before pursuing his art career. So, in 2008, when Van Aken learned that the orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be destroyed because of a lack of funding, he knew he had to put his farming past to use. Many of the
“The President” is one of the world’s largest, oldest and most famous trees. This giant sequoia is located in the only place giant sequoias are found: on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. The President is surrounded by smaller trees, which are referred to as the “House” and “Senate” to stick with the political theme. It is approximately 3,200 years old and measures 247 feet high, 27 feet in diameter, and 45,000 cubic meters in volume.