Scientists believe that more Tyrannosaurus rex existed during the Cretaceous Period landscape than once thought. That’s right, they claim that up to 2.5 billion of them roamed the Earth during their estimated 2.4 million years and 127,000 generations inhabiting the western North America region. Many factors were considered, including geographic range, body mass, growth pattern, life expectancy, duration of a single generation and the total time this dinosaur existed before extinction 66 million years ago. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The team at Voyageurs Wolf Project from northern Minnesota have just captured the first-ever footage from a wild wolf’s collar. This equipment was fitted on the animal last spring to capture 30-seconds of video at the start of every hour for 42 consecutive days. In all, it recorded over four hours of the wolf devouring fish, watching birds, strolling through the woods, and most important of all, getting several good sleeps. Read more for the video and additional information.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink has just released a video of its nine-year-old monkey named “Pager” playing MindPong using its brain. How is this possible? It has two Neuralink devices implanted in its brain, which can be used to not only play games, but soon, interact with others on Twitch and Discord. However, the monkey does use a joystick at first to interact with the computer for a banana smoothie, delivered through a straw. Read more for the video and additional information.
You may have seen images of dolphins swimming in the Grand Canal last year, but those were added in post production. This week, two dolphins were actually spotted in Venice, Italy, first starting out in the Grand Canal before swimming over to Giudecca island, where they toured two churches by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, before returning home to the Adriatic Sea. This visit was made possible due to the lack of tourists and the many cruise ships that normally arrive. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Sayaka Mitoh
Many already know that slugs are quite resilient creatures to say the least, but scientists have discovered two sea slug species, Elysia cf. marginata and Elysia atroviridis, that can decapitate themselves and then proceed to grow new hearts as well as bodies. Biologist Sayaka Mitoh enjoys studying Japanese sea slugs because they can photosynthesize like a plant drawing food from the sun, but one day, she noticed a sea slug had decapitated itself and the head kept on moving and living. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: J Mallefet / UC Louvain / FNRS
Scientists from Belgium and New Zealand have discovered that the kitefin shark glows in the dark, thanks to bioluminescent sites along its belly, sides, back and dorsal fins. The team collected samples from the Chatham Rise area of seabed east of New Zealand. It’s currently the largest known bioluminescent vertebrate and since it doesn’t have any natural predators, the bioluminescence can be used to “counter-illuminate” itself against weak sunlight filtering from above to hunt for prey. Read more for a video and additional information.
The NVIDIA Jetson Nano just might be the most affordable AI computer yet, thanks to its CUDA-X AI computer that delivers 472 GFLOPS of compute performance for running modern artificial intelligence workloads, while also being highly power-efficient, consuming as little as 5 watts. It supports high-resolution sensors, can process many sensors in parallel and run multiple modern neural networks on each sensor stream. Read more to see how computer science grad students Jason Stock and Tom Cavey used it to reward good dogs.
Due to the pandemic, many in-person meetings have now gone digital, and sometimes, things go wrong. Texas Lawyer Rod Ponton accidentally activated the kitten filter and Judge Roy Ferguson of Texas’s 394th judicial district had to inform him of such. This issue came about after Ponton used his secretary’s computer for the call and was representing the state of Texas in the hearing, which focused on a person who had attempted to leave the US with contraband. Read more for the video and additional information.
Photo credit: Frank Glaw / Scientific Reports 2021 via Gizmodo
Researchers have discovered what could quite possibly be the smallest chameleon in the world, called Brookesia nana, in Madagascar. Despite its size, they were quite easy to find, as the search team went out at night when these tiny creatures are roosting on branches above the forest floor. Why are they so small? Well, some theorize that resource availability could be greater in this area for those with a smaller body size due to competition or natural resource abundance. Read more for another picture.
Johani Mamid has filmed crocodiles in the past, but his most recent trip to the Crocodile Park in Broome, Western Australia almost ended up in disaster. While he’s a trained crocodile feeder, this reaction by one of the giant crocodiles was a surprise, as it leapt up to attack his drone. Fortunately, it was able to be flown away in time, just before the animal grabbed ahold of the drone, although plans may need to be changed in the future. Read more for the video and additional information.