Lin Ruian discovered a bizarre snail with flashing green and orange horns while hiking in Changhua County, Taiwan earlier this month. At first glance, this gastropod appeared to have “flashing lights” turned on inside it, but upon closer inspection this is occurring because its motor neurons and body have been seized by a parasitic flatworm, called the green-banded broodsac, which commonly uses snails as hosts to spread. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Peta Pixel
The last thing you’d expect as a diver is for a great white shark to breach your cage while you’re still inside, but that’s exactly what happened here off the coast of Mexico. What exactly happened? Well, as it lunged for a piece of bait, the shark hits the side of the cage where it thrashed around, breaking through the bars and into the shark cage. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: KIRO 7
Jamie Bisceglia from Tacoma, Washington gathered with some fishermen who had caught an octopus during a fishing derby in the Tacoma Narrows and instantly saw an opportunity for a unique picture. There was a photo contest being held in the derby, and so she placed the octopus on her face and posed, before it unexpectedly bit her on the face. Read more for the video news report and additional information.
The Florida harvester ant, also known as the Pogonomyrmex badius, basically increase seed dispersal and protection, while providing nutrients that increase seedling survival of the desert plants. They also provide soil aeration through the creation of galleries / chambers, mix deep / upper layers of soil, and incorporate organic refuse into the soil. Dr. Adrian Smith from the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences shows how its venom injection works. Read more for a slow-motion video captured at 1,000 frames per second.
Photo credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA
It’s true, Spanish scientist Juan Carlos Izpisua and his team has managed to create the world’s first monkey-human chimera in a China-based laboratory. Estrella Nunez, a biologist at the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM), claimed they injected human stem cells into monkey embryos to grow organs for transplantation. The monkey embryos were genetically modified to inactivate the genes necessary for forming organs and injected human cells that are capable of generating any type of tissue. Read more for a video about a similar experiment and additional information.
Two extremely rare rainbow blanket octopuses were captured on camera during a night dive off the coast of Romblon, Philippines by Joseph Elayani. Its rapid color change is due to a reaction it has to the different light levels from the camera, and doubles as a defense mechanism against would-be predators. This rare species of cephalopod is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions deep down under the waves, thus they rarely m,ake contact with humans. Read more for a video and additional information.
Scientists have discovered that YouTube sensation Snowball the dancing cockatoo boasts sophisticated brain function thought to originally be exclusive to humans. They analyzed a new set of videos and determined that the famous bird, who resides at a bird sanctuary in Indianna, is also capable of creativity and spontaneity on a whim. In other words, he taught himself to perform as many as 14 different moves, none that were taught to him, according to his owner. Read more for two analysis videos and additional information.
The giant squid can grow to a tremendous size due to deep-sea gigantism with recent estimates putting the maximum size at 43-feet for females and 33-feet for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles. One giant squid was filmed for the first time in U.S. waters using a red-light camera called Medusa that boasts a mile-long plastic line that ends with a ring of jellyfish-like LED lights designed to lure curious squid towards it. Read more for the video and additional information.
An old NASA Tech Briefs article from 1995 discussed work done Marshall Space Flight Center researchers to see how various substances — including caffeine — affected spider web patterns. To be more specific, they exposed spiders to a range of different chemicals, including caffeine, marijuana, and Benzedrine (amphetamine) and recorded how they spun their webs under the influence of each of those substances. Read more for another video and additional information.
Petz, a Brazilian pet shop chain, has decided to use facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to let dogs to buy their favorite products by simply analyzing their facial expressions. How does it work? Simply turn on your internet connected camera, put the dog’s face in frame and then allow the AI system to analyze its facial expressions as you scroll through the various products listed on the site. Once it detects excitement, it automatically adds the product to your shopping cart. Read more for a video and additional information.