Posts Tagged ‘geeky science blogging’

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What am I sappy Kiwi blogging?

September 1, 2017

Image credits: Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust.

“Kiwi are only found in New Zealand and are part of the group of ratites, which includes ostriches and emus, and are actually the smallest members of the group. For comparison, they are about the same size as a chicken. Though it was expected that the kiwi would be more closely related the moa (extinct), which also lived in New Zealand, they actually are much more closely related to the elephant birds of Madagascar (also extinct). It is hypothesized that the kiwi’s ancestor was able to fly and reached New Zealand separately from moas. Once on the island, it lost its ability to fly and eventually became the kiwi bird known today. Actually, the Latin genus name of kiwi birds, Apteryx, is based on their inability to fly. The “a-” means “without” and “pterux” means “wing”. They do have very tiny, vestigial wings, but you can barely see them and they aren’t any help with levitation.”

Kiwi have feathers that look like hair and very strong, muscular legs. They rule the ground instead of the air. They can smell very well and are the only bird that have nostrils at the end of their beaks, which are quite long. They use their nostrils to sniff out invertebrates and seeds to eat. They can use just smell to detect food.

Kiwi birds are quite shy and usually only come out at night. Kiwi can live a long time, between 25 and 50 years. Once a male and female bond they spend their whole lives as a monogamous couple. During the mating season, they call to each other at night, and meet each other about every three days in the nesting burrow. Kiwi live in forests, scrublands, and grasslands. They sleep in burrows, hollow logs, or in the middle of dense vegetation. They are very territorial and defend their territory against other kiwi. Another weird fact is that, according to the San Diego Zoo, kiwi have the lowest body temperature of any bird, 38 °C (100 Fahrenheit).

The size of an egg inside of a kiwi. Image credits: Matt Chan.

The females carry huge eggs for their body size. A female can carry an egg up to one-quarter of their body weight. As mentioned before, the kiwi is about the same size as a chicken but its egg is actually six times as large as a chicken’s egg. The reason for this is that the kiwi bird doesn’t have to fly so there aren’t any constraints on its weight. It doesn’t need to be aerodynamic. Kiwi also has marrow in their bones, like humans, which also makes them heavier.  The female has to eat three times as much as usual to help the egg develop. Right before the egg is laid she can’t eat anything because the egg presses against her stomach, leaving no room for food. Tthe chicks hatch pretty much developed; they have feathers already and fend for themselves right from the get-go. However, they take between three and five years to grow to their full size.”

Reblogged from Animal Files at ZME Science.

 

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What are we all watching?

August 21, 2017

These are some indirect pictures of the shadow of the moon and the sun reflected through the leaves.  This was about the time of the maximum extent of the eclipse here in  Cleveland.

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What am I sappy water bear blogging?

August 4, 2017

credit: SciSource

When I was studying biology, we knew them as water bears, however . . “the tiny tardigrade has been named the world’s most indestructible species after scientists discovered it is the only creature that will survive until the Sun dies.

Although cockroaches are traditionally seen as Earth’s most resilient species, the eight-legged microbeasts are actually far hardier and will continue to thrive for around 10 billion years, come hell or high water, Oxford University has found.

Tardigrades, which are also known as space bears or moss piglets, are able to survive for up to 30 years without food or water and endure temperature extremes of up to 150 degrees celsius, the deep sea and the frozen vacuum of space.

credit: SciSource

Researchers from Oxford and Harvard University, found that their astonishing abilities would protect them from calamities which would wipe out all life on Earth. In fact the only forces capable of harming tardigrades, such as a gigantic asteroid, an exploding star or a deadly gammar ray burst will not happen before our own Sun dies.

Not only does it suggest that tardigrades will survive long after humans have died out, but it gives hope that life could exist on even the most barren and hostile planets.

“Life on this planet can continue long after humans are gone,” said Dr Rafael Alves Batista,  of the Department of Physics at Oxford University.

“Tardigrades are as close to indestructible as it gets on Earth, but it is possible that there are other resilient species examples elsewhere in the universe.

“In this context there is a real case for looking for life on Mars and in other areas of the solar system in general. If Tardigrades are earth’s most resilient species, who knows what else is out there.”

Story from The Telegraph: Science

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Why am I saying, “By Jupiter!”

July 26, 2017

Look how Jupiter keeps those asteroids in line . . . and thanks for that.

 

This was stolen from HMS Defiant and others.

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Where am I traveling?

July 12, 2017

 

What a terrific project. I know intellectually that we are traveling all the way around the sun every year.  I am still stunned when I visualize the actual process – of being 93 million miles away from the sun on a trip that annually covers 584 million miles at a speed of about 67,000 miles per hour.

Thanks Daily Timewaster.

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Why am I looking up?

June 8, 2017

From WordlessTech

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Where am I traveling?

April 26, 2017