The about million species of insects known to humanity thus far have managed to neatly fit into one of 31 existing scientific orders. However, when George Poinar, Jr., the world’s leading expert on plant and animal life forms, found preserved in amber, saw the carcass of this 100-million-year-old insect, he knew it would require its own scientific order – an incredibly rare event.
Kids News - Articles for Grade 8
While the world is still debating the safety of self-driving cars, the futuristic city-state of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is preparing to launch an autonomous aerial taxi. Starting in July, commuters will be able to summon the world’s first passenger drone, the EHang 184, to transport them to their desired destination without having to deal with Dubai’s congested freeways.
About forty light years, or 235 trillion miles, away in the constellation Aquarius lies a planetary system with seven Earth-sized planets, at least three of which could be habitable. The exciting news was revealed to the public at a NASA press briefing and through the release of a study in the journal Nature on February 22.
It has always been believed that the final segment of the human vertebral column, the coccyx, or tailbone, is the remnant of a lost tail. Now, some researchers assert it may be the vestige of not one but two tails, both of which, humans and their closest relatives (great apes) managed to shed over millions of years of evolution.
In January 2016, Professor Mike Brown, the California Institute of Technology researcher who demoted Pluto to dwarf status, reported that he and some colleagues had discovered evidence of a ninth planet in our solar system. Dubbed Planet X, the gaseous giant believed to be two to three times the size of Earth, purportedly has a highly elliptical orbit and takes over 20,000 earth years to revolve around the sun. Though exciting, the find was based on computer simulations, which means that no one has ever seen this mysterious planet.
The fact that the Dionaea muscipula, or Venus flytrap, feeds on 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 vegetation 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.
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.