Posts Tagged: creatures
33

Bilbo Floresiensis

Once upon a time a tiny human species with large feet shared the planet with our own kind. It hunted giant rats and miniature cousins of the elephant, defended its kills from monstrous storks and dodged fearsome dragons. This is not the plot of a lost Tolkien book. This really happened. I’m referring, of course, to our extinct relative Homo floresiensis, which lived on the island of Flores in Indonesia as recently as 17,000 years ago and has for obvious reasons been dubbed the hobbit. It turns out that despite the species’ small size, it may have looked rather familiar, according to a scientific reconstruction.

There is something about using [...]

29

The Last Unicorns

Dr. W. Franklin Dove spent years of his career creating unicorns. Unicorn goats, unicorn cows. Even tri-horned animals roamed Dove’s barns. Dove created these strangely-horned animals by removing immature “horn buds” from the heads of young animals and implanting the horn buds to a different location on the skull.

I knew they were real! I knew it. I saw one once at the Shiawassee County Fair, I swear. There was also a snake lady but she was not real… I don't think?

30

Forever Old

Guess what the newly discovered oldest living thing on Earth is? Hints: it is at least 100,000 years old, weighs more than 6,000 tons, and is not a talking mountain.

20

Squash or Snuggle: Tardigrades

They live invisibly in the ground, in the muck of ponds and deep-sea sediments, in dunes, in moss, in stone walls, on the tops of mountains, and deep inside glaciers… Their stocky bodies and stumpy legs do give them an ursine cast, but there aren’t many bears that have eight legs, or daggers in their mouths that pierce smaller animals or algae cells. There are also aren’t many bears that could be taken aboard a spacecraft, left out in the vacuum of space for ten days, and still be alive when they returned to Earth… Here on Earth, they can survive without water by going into a state of suspended [...]

33

The Fungus Among Us

Here is a time-lapse of what really goes on behind your refrigerator's closed door. The pink stuff that (always) forms on low-fat sour cream was booked on another shoot the day this was filmed. [via]

3

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Not Great or a Patch

When dealing with skeptics, environmental activists usually have to walk a fine line between "This isn't so bad; you can make a difference if you just buy this Prius," and "This is so bad that there's really nothing you could do to reverse it, even if every person tried really hard for a thousand years, but try anyway." One such activist is Angel White, a microbial oceanographer at Oregon State University. She's among a group of scientists letting us know that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which has gotten attention on a lot of TV programs including Oprah, and is written up in textbooks as being the size of [...]