Most male birds try to attract mates with elegant gestures. Seabirds bob their heads and flutter their wings, while peacocks fan out their beautiful feathers. However, the white bellbird, endemic to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, dispenses with the pleasantries and cut to the chase by shrieking in its prospective "date's" face at a deafening 125 decibels (Db)— the loudest bird call ever recorded. To put it in perspective, that is 40 Db higher than the safe hearing range for humans! Prior to this, the honor belonged to another Amazon-dweller — the aptly-named screaming piha — which has a peak recorded "song" volume of 116 Db.
On Monday, November 11, 2019, stargazers will be treated to an unusual sight: our solar system's smallest planet, Mercury, passing between the Earth and the Sun. The rare event, called a transit, will be the fourth of just 14 transits of Mercury that will occur during the 21st century. The last one took place on May 8, 2016, and the next will not occur until November 13, 2032. However, it will not be visible from North America, which means the continent's residents will have to wait until May 7, 2049, to observe the celestial delight again.
Antibiotics — medications that destroy or slow down bacteria growth — are becoming increasingly less effective as the pathogens find new ways to evade the drugs. Some produce pumps that flush the antibacterial medicines out from the bacterial cell, while others modify themselves, so they are unrecognizable as targets. Now, researchers at UK's Newcastle University have recorded the germs shedding their outer skins and changing their shapes to avoid detection.
Looking for something spookier than your neighborhood haunted house this Halloween? Then you may want to take a peek at some of the ghostly space images NASA scientists have been able to capture through various missions, like the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
On October 20, 2019, Wing, a subsidiary of American multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc., began the most advanced trials of commercial drone delivery in the US yet in Christiansburg, Virginia. Residents can now use a smartphone app to order items from Wing partners such as pharmacy giant Walgreens and local specialty chocolate and popcorn retailer Sugar Magnolia. A Wing drone will pick up the order and gently lower the package with the help of a tether outside the customer's door within an hour!
Humpback whales spend summers feeding in the cold Arctic and Antarctic waters and then migrate to tropical waters during the winters to breed and give birth. Since they don't eat at all during this time, the mammals have to ensure they have enough fat reserves to feed their calves and to sustain themselves. To optimize their prey consumption, humpback whales often create circular "nets" with bubbles exhaled from their blowholes. Now, for the first time, researchers have captured detailed footage of the so-called bubble-net fishing technique from the whale’s point of view along with, an aerial video.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC, is home to 2,700 animals representing more than 390 species. However, few are as beloved as giant panda cub Bei Bei, whose progress, from a frail newborn weighing less than a third of a pound to a healthy, 240-pound (109-kg) "toddler," has been eagerly followed by millions of fans both online and on-site. On November 19, 2019, America will bid farewell as its favorite panda cub departs for Chengdu, China, to join a cooperative breeding program to try to save his vulnerable species, which currently numbers just 1,864 specimens in the wild.
Ever since humans began venturing into space, 227 astronauts have left the spacecraft to perform some sort of extravehicular activity (EVA). While 14 of those have been women, the female astronauts have always been accompanied by a male counterpart. On October 18, 2019, US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first all-female team to conduct a spacewalk to replace a failed battery controller.