Our passion for the outdoors is the driving force behind many of our adventures. And when we’re not abroad, we love to enjoy discovering the places we live and travel. Here are some of the best natural history links we found this week.
Flying robots protect endangered wild animals: Scientists continue to explore ways that drones can help conserve endangered species. “Snotbot” is a small drone with a camera and, most unusually, a petri dish. Marine biologist Andy Rogan uses it to take pictures and videos of whales and to collect whale mucus.
The tiny drone flies over the marine mammal and waits for its nose. The emitted air spring covers both the drone and the petri dish with whale mucus.
«[It] It has the consistency of water. “It’s more seawater than slime,” Rogan says.
The fluid contains a wealth of biological information, including DNA, stress indicators and pregnancy hormones. Help scientists better understand whale health and their environment.
Squat Hammer bombed the ship Shackleton. One of the biggest discoveries of the week was the discovery of the Ernest Shackleton ship Endurance. The media focused on how the ship was preserved after a century at the bottom of the sea.
However, one group was interested in something else. Arctic biologists reviewed the images to see the various underwater organisms that made the ship their home. These include a group of invertebrates and filter feeders such as anemones, carnoids, and sea squirts.
The biggest surprise was the crouching crabs that climbed over the wreck. Although they are called lobsters, they are closely related to crabs. This is the first sighting of such a creature in the Weddell Sea.
Is squid farming ethical? The demand for squid meat is constantly increasing. Poachers now catch more than 350,000 tons of wild squid each year. It is such a lucrative business that one company is planning to open the world’s first commercial squid farm in the Canary Islands next year.
It claims that agriculture is necessary to “protect species of great ecological and human value,” but there has been significant backlash. Squids are recognized as sentient beings. They are also solitary and can become aggressive if they stay too close to others.
“There is very strong evidence that they experience pain and suffering,” says behavioral ecologist Alex Schnell. She is one of many who think that cultivating an octopus with great wealth is impossible.
He stressed that “there is no reliable method for humane slaughter that can be commercially implemented on a large scale.” The methods currently used are batting, brain cutting and suffocation in a net.
Digging under the ice cap in Greenland
Hiawatha Crater is 58 million years old: The researchers dated the Hiawatha crater, which is 58 million years old. NASA’s Operation IceBridge discovered the crater in 2015 while surveying the northwest edge of the Greenland ice cap. The impact crater is under one kilometer of ice.
Since its discovery, scientists have been trying to find out its age. The crater itself could not be studied, but the sediment was washed away by meltwater at the base of the ice. Known signs of shock have been found in the flow, including molten rock and gravel containing zircon crystals. From this point of view, geochemists were able to predict that the crater formed 58 million years ago.
Hawaii’s coral reefs show surprising resilience: Coral reefs don’t do well in warmer, more acidic oceans, but a long-term study of Hawaii’s corals suggests some resilience. The researchers placed three types of coral in conditions that mimic future ocean conditions. Although many died, about half survived. Some even thrived at the end of the study.
This study, conducted over a 22-month period, provides more realistic results than the more common short-term studies. The additional study time indicated that the corals were able to adapt to the new conditions to some extent.
Prehistoric squid named after President Joe Biden: The prehistoric squid with ten arms is named after US President Joe Biden. Syllipsimopdi Bideni is the oldest ancestor of cephalopods. Scientists have dated the fossil at 328 million years.
The fossil appeared in the Mississippi Bear Gulch in Montana. Likely a primitive version of the vampire squid, its extra tentacles would have made it a more efficient predator than modern species. These fossils are incredibly rare: due to their soft bodies, cephalopods rarely fossilize. This basic evidence shows that these cephalopods were on Earth 82 million years earlier than previously thought.