While whales are known to grieve the loss of their loved ones, the recent story of an orca mom clinging to her dead calf for over two weeks demonstrates unprecedented evidence of the strength of the species’ familial bonds. The heart-wrenching saga began on July 24, 2018, after a female calf born to J35, aka Tahlequah — a member of the endangered Southern Residents Killer Whales (SRKW) pod — died 30 minutes after birth. Instead of letting the carcass sink into the ocean, the grieving mother began carrying the lifeless body by balancing it on her forehead or nudging it along the water surface with her nose.
Iron Man fans rejoice! The flight suit that transforms Tony Stark into a superhero is now a reality! Called Daedalus Mark 1, after the mythical Greek craftsman most famous for the feather wings he, and his son Icarus, used to escape from the kingdom of Crete, it is the brainchild of British inventor Richard Browning.
The most noticeable difference between the modern human face and that of the hunter-gatherers, who lived on Earth over 200,000 years ago, is the forehead. While we now have flat, smooth foreheads with visible eyebrows, our ancestors sported a pronounced brow ridge. Experts have always believed that the thick rim, and the evolution to the beautiful tufts of facial hair, served a physiological function. Now, a team of scientists from UK’s University of York and Portugal’s Universidade do Algarve suggest the distinct facial features help with our social relationships.
Researchers have always maintained that Triassic dinosaurs were small, chicken-sized critters, and that it was not until the Jurassic period — about 180-million years ago — that massive herbivorous sauropods, like the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, emerged. However, the discovery of a new dinosaur species in Argentina suggests that the animals achieved gigantism during the late Triassic period, about 30 million years earlier than previously believed.
Large predators are increasingly appearing in unexpected places — alligators in saltwater marshes, killer whales in rivers, and mountain lions far away from the closest mountain. Experts hypothesize that as successful conservation efforts increase the local populations of these predators, they are moving beyond their usual habitats in search of food. However, Brian Silliman, professor of marine conservation biology at Duke University has a different theory. He believes the animals are recolonizing habitats they lived and hunted in for centuries — before human activity pushed them to the brink of extinction, and long before researchers began studying them.
Archeologists had always assumed that our early ancestors began baking about 10,000 years ago, after they gave up their nomadic way of life and became farmers. The scientists hypothesized that the abundant grain harvests inspired ancient humans to mill the crop into flour and make bread. However, the discovery of the charred remains of a flatbread that dates back over 14,000 years seems to indicate humans began baking long before their transition to an agricultural-based life.
Every now and again, Mother Nature reveals a delightful surprise in the form of something unusual and remarkable. One such extraordinary occurrence is the recent discovery of an extremely rare hybrid between a melon-headed whale and a rough-toothed dolphin. The mammal was first sighted in August 2017 by a group of researchers on a two-week expedition to document marine life off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.
There are numerous meteor showers throughout the year. However, few are as popular, or as reliable, as the Perseids. The celestial show, which occurs when Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, usually starts in mid-July and continues until the last week of August. This year, the best time to view the event will be between August 11 to 13, when our planet traverses through the densest comet dust and the meteors are the brightest and most frequent.