The fact that the Dionaea muscipula or Venus flytrap feeds off unsuspecting insects by luring them into its jaw-like leaves with sweet-smelling nectar, has been known for centuries. However, scientists thought the prey only provided the plant with essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous that are severely lacking in their native habitats – the subtropical wetlands of North and South Carolina. They had assumed that like other plants the carnivorous plants obtained their energy through photosynthesis – using light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen. It turns out they were wrong.
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A large otter the size of a wolf, roamed the wooded marshlands of China’s Yunnan Province about six million years ago. Xiaoming Wang, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California, and her team arrived at this conclusion after an extensive study of fossils found in the 6.2 million-year-old sediment of the Shuitangba coal mine in Yunnan, China in 2010 and 2015.
New Zealand is no stranger to beached whales. Every year, rescuers help refloat many disoriented mammals that get stuck in the coastal waters or sand during low tide. However, last week’s simultaneous stranding of two pods, totaling over 650 pilot whales, in the shallow muddy waters of Golden Bay at the northwest tip of South Island is almost unprecedented. Local marine experts say it is the largest known whale stranding since 1985 when 450 of the mammals were found beached in Auckland, and the third largest on record.
A mako shark is being dubbed the “Energizer Bunny” after traveling a distance of half the globe, or 13,000 miles (just over 21,000 km), in less than two years. According to researchers at the Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), it is the longest track recorded in the Atlantic Ocean by a tagged mako shark.
NASA’s Near Earth Object (NEO) Observations Program has discovered and cataloged over 15,000 Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) since they began scouring the skies in 1998. However, every now and again, one manages to escape their powerful telescopes and keen eyes. This was certainly the case with asteroid 2017 BS32, which was discovered on January 30 just three days before its close encounter with Earth.
When geologists from the University of Toronto discovered water dating back 1.5 billion years at the Kidd Mine in Ontario, Canada, in 2013, they thought they had hit the jackpot. However, digging further inside the world’s deepest base metal mine led to an even bigger discovery — water that has been locked in the earth’s crust for at least 2 billion years!
New York-based Ecovative has been creating environmentally friendly packaging made from mushrooms and agricultural waste since 2009. Now, the company wants to bring their innovative material into homes and offices with a new line of compostable furnishings that are grown using just three ingredients: mycelium (the vegetative part of mushrooms), hemp, and salt.
Deep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico lies a salt lake so deadly that researchers are calling it the ‘Jacuzzi of Despair.’ Measuring 100 ft in circumference and 12 ft deep, the brine pool gets its well-deserved reputation due to its warm temperature and high methane and salt content — a fatal combination for many unfortunate sea creatures that wander in.