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Ed Yong: Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

Ed Yong: Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

Related:  TEDx - 1EvolutionAnimal ScienceECO SYSTEMS / BIOMIMICRY

5 talks full of weird facts about sex Now playing One afternoon, Kees Moeliker got a research opportunity few ornithologists would wish for: A flying duck slammed into his glass office building, died, and then … what happened next would change his life. [Note: Contains graphic images and descriptions of sexual behavior in animals.] Selman v. Cobb County School District Background[edit] The statement "evolution is a theory and not a fact" has been used as a tactic by creationists and intelligent design advocates, causing confusion over the difference between how theory is defined and used in the field of science and how the term is used colloquially to signify "conjecture", "speculation" or "opinion".[3] Both the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in state schools in the USA have been challenged in court and found to be a violation of the Establishment Clause (notably Edwards v. Aguillard, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District).

Cuttlefish Remember What, Where and When They Ate You and I both have the ability to travel back in time… at least in our minds. For example, I can remember that last Monday, I was at my desk, writing a post about stomachless animals. You too have a seemingly endless catalogue of the whats, wheres and whens of your life. This ability to remember the what, where and when of our past experiences is known as “episodic memory”. The term was first coined in the 1970s by Canadian psychologist Endel Tulving, who thought that such memories depended on language and were unique to humans. He was wrong. This infographic shows what it’s like to be a modern refugee “Syrians are just looking for a quiet place where nobody hurts you,” says one refugee, who survived a capsized escape craft on his dangerous journey. Clarice Holt, an illustrator in London, was moved by the simple, powerful truths she heard in Melissa Fleming’s TED Talk — and made these beautiful illustrations to show the personal stories and shattering data of the modern refugee crisis. “An illustration can be like Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar,” says Holt. “If someone is captivated by an image, they can absorb so many things along with it.” Holt began the sketch in pencil, then used a brush pen to draw the images.

Why penguins stopped flying Birds like murres helped researchers understand why penguins no longer fly (Live Science) Penguins are excellent swimmers. But even with wings, the aquatic flightless birds do not take to the skies despite having wing-like flippers. The improbable—but true—evolutionary tale of flatfishes — NOVA Next Every summer there’s a snowfall in the sea. Instead of drifting down, it falls up, and rather than flakes of ice, it’s made of innumerable diaphanous eggs that rise from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. There, they hatch into baby flatfish, each no larger than a pinhead. For the first few weeks of life, they look and act like typical fish fry, swimming upright through sun-dappled waters, darting after plankton.

‘Solar powered’ sea slug uses captured algae to photosynthesise – Anatomy To You Elysia chlorotica not only resembles a leaf, but uses plant-type cells to draw energy from the sun, too! This remarkable seaslug is able to extract chloroplasts from the algae it feeds on and incorporate them into their own tissues. The young slugs feed on algae and digest everything but the photosynthesising organelles, which are stored in the intestine and then actually taken up by the host cells themselves. Should you stop eating fish? Oceanographer (and TED Prize winner) Sylvia Earle (TED Talk: My wish: Protect our oceans) has spent half a century campaigning to save the world’s seas. A new Netflix original documentary about her life’s work sheds light on the environmental impact of the commercial fishing industry and Earle’s crusade to create underwater “hope spots” through her organization, Mission Blue. After watching the film, it’s hard not to wonder: Are any fish still okay to eat? We turned to our favorite aquanaut for advice.

The Smell of Evolution Evolution drives relentlessly forward, leaving behind a messy wake. One of the best places to survey its sloppy creativity is inside your nose. When you smell a lily or a cigar or a jug of spoiled milk, you are grabbing their molecules out of an ocean of air. You have exposed nerve endings dangling deep inside your nostrils, each of which is studded with proteins called olfactory receptors.

Naked Mole Rats: The Animal Kingdom's Most Functional Dysfunctional Family The naked mole rat lives as bees or ants do — in a colony with a queen and soldiers. Naked mole rats are very cute, in a very ugly way. "They have very little hair, no fur, some whiskers, some hair between their toes, like hobbits, and actually some hair inside of their mouth, which keeps their mouth nice and clean while they dig because they dig with their teeth, says David Kessler with the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Massive Extinction Fueled Rise of Crocodiles A massive extinction between the Triassic and Jurassic eras paved the way for the rise of the crocodiles, new research suggests. The researchers, who detail their work today (March 26) in the journal Biology Letters, found that although nearly all the crocodilelike archosaurs, known as pseudosuchia, died off about 201 million years ago, the one lineage that survived soon diversified to occupy land and sea. The lineage included the ancestors of all modern crocodiles and alligators. "Even though almost all the lineages except for one was extinct, the remaining survivors still did well in terms of morphology and body plans and the whole morphological diversity," said study co-author Olja Toljagic, an evolutionary biology researcher who was at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich at the time of the study. Dinosaur counterparts

More similar than we know: When animals go mad A golden retriever chases his tail every morning for hours on end. In the evening he compulsively licks his paws till they’re bare and oozy. When he’s given Prozac, he calms down and stops injuring himself … After the death of her mate, a scarlet macaw plucks out every last one of her feathers and doesn’t stop until she’s befriended by a cockatoo … A tabby cat who grew listless and stopped eating after his favorite human went off to college is cheered by the arrival of the family’s new pet rabbit, whom he likes to follow around the house.