Scientists create ‘solid’ light
In a feat reminiscent of the Green Lantern, researchers have made light form into a ‘solid.’
Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)
…a common species of salamandrid salamander which is distributed throughout most of southern and central Europe, where they are common in more elevated areas. Fire salamanders typically inhabit deciduous forests where they will spend their time in moist hidden areas like under stones, tree trunks, and in leaf litter. Like other salamanders fire salamanders are carnivorous and will feed on a variety of arthropods, earthworms, and molluscs. They are also known to occasionally eat small frogs or salamanders.
If threatened fire salamanders are capable of exuding the neurotoxic alkaloid “Samandarin" from their skin, which will cause muscle convulsions and hypertension in vertebrates.
The Green Flash
"Given a clear path to the horizon — such as over the ocean — this means that there’s a slight region of space just above the reddened Sun where only the shorter wavelength light is visible!
And when that happens, in addition to the normal color gradient that comes with a sunset, you can also get a small, separate region above the disk of the Sun that appears yellow, green, or even blue! (And much fainter than the rest of the Sun!)”
During sunset, the Sun appears to redden, dim, and eventually sink below the horizon. Every once in a while, a rare phenomenon emerges along with it: a green flash, where a greenish-colored beam of light appears just over the Sun. What causes it? One of the most beautiful natural phenomena our planet has to offer, explained in glorious detail.
Radiated Tortoise - Astrochelys radiata
Now listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red Lit, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), endemic to the spiny forest of southern Madagascar, had virtually never been studied in the wild until the late 1990s.
Recent research projects and surveys have contributed to defining the extent of the decline of the species, and it now appears that A. radiata faces serious extinction risks unless current trends are halted.
This species is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. In wild mature females of this species produce up to three clutches per season with only 1–5 eggs per clutch, leading to an estimated average production of two clutches of four eggs each per breeding female.
Photo credit: ©Bernard Dupont | Locality: Toliara, Madagascar (2013)
Coastal Cleanup Day is the largest volunteer event in the world, and we make it happen at over 50 inland and coastal sites in California. Pledge to share your support here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/16062-8forthebaythrough Heal the Bay
"Furred Sponge Crab" (Pseudodromia latens)
…a species of ‘Sponge Crab’ (Dromiidae) which is distributed from the Namibian border and around the South African coast to Sodwana Bay, it is also recorded from the Indian Ocean. Like other members of its family Pseudodormia latens will cut a off ‘piece’ of sponge and place it on its back, using its fifth pair of legs (which are specially bent upwards) to keep it in place. The sponge will then serve as a form of camouflage/protection for the crab.
This is where the sperms get produced: Cross section of a human testis tubule filled with sperm.
Scanning electron micrograph, magnification x363.
By Richard Kessel
from Daily Anatomy
13 natural remedies for the ant invasion
Ants are making their way into homes this time of year. Thankfully there are natural pest control methods to help you cope with and eliminate the problem. Plus, many of the solutions use what you already have in your cupboard!
Western Spotted Frog - Heleioporus albopunctatus
Heleioporus albopunctatus (Myobatrachidae) is a species of fat, globular burrowing frog, with granular skin, rather stubby limbs and toes with only rudiments of webbing. The body is chocolate-brown above; the back, head, sides and limbs are marked with scattered large white or yellow spots.
Endemic to Australia, this chubby frog is largely restricted to coast and ranges of south-western Australia.
Photo credit: ©Stephen Zozaya | Locality: Watheroo, Western Australia (2013)
Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog - Pseudophilautus femoralis
The genus Pseudophilautus consists of 65 known species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Pseudophilautus femoralis (Rhacophoridae) is an Endangered species whose distribution is restricted to tropical montane forests in central and southern Sri Lanka.
It is arboreal, and associated with the understorey of tropical moist montane evergreen forest. Individuals are found on, or under, leaves. It is very sensitive to any disturbance of its habitat. Breeding takes place via direct development, with the eggs attached to the underside of leaves, hence its common name of Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog.
Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)
TSA Tuesday: Loggerhead Musk Turtle
This week the spotlight is on the Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor minor) which can be found in Central Florida, Georgia and Eastern Alabama. This shy species is highly aquatic, rarely leaving the water except to nest or occasionally bask on the knee of a cypress tree. They commonly inhabit clear limestone springs, rivers and streams. Their varied diet consists of aquatic insects, crayfish, plants, carrion, snails and mussels.
* A juvenile is pictured.
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)
Get on board the non-consumption train
Ask yourself the following 13 questions before you continue through that check-out line.
Scientists Find Evidence for Tectonic Plates on Jupiter’s Moon Europa
Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth.
Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa’s icy crust expanding. However, they could not find areas where the old crust was destroyed to make room for the new. While examining Europa images taken by NASA’s Galileo orbiter in the early 2000s, planetary geologists Simon Kattenhorn, of the University of Idaho, Moscow, and Louise Prockter, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, discovered some unusual geological boundaries.
"We have been puzzled for years as to how all this new terrain could be formed, but we couldn’t figure out how it was accommodated," said Prockter. "We finally think we’ve found the answer."
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that Earth’s outer layer is made up of plates or blocks that move, which accounts for why mountain and volcanoes form and earthquakes happen…
(read more: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)