Eastern emerald elysia (Elysia chlorotica)

Elysia chlorotica is a small-to-medium-sized species of green sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusc. This sea slug superficially resembles a nudibranch, yet it does not belong to that clade of gastropods. Instead it is a member of the clade Sacoglossa, the sap-sucking sea slugs. Some members of this group use chloroplasts from the algae they eat; a phenomenon known as kleptoplasty. Elysia chlorotica is one of the “solar-powered sea slugs”, utilizing solar energy via chloroplasts from its algal food. It lives in a subcellular endosymbiotic relationship with chloroplasts of the marine heterokont alga Vaucheria litorea. They can be found along the east coast of the United States and as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada.

photo credits: New Scientist, elescrutinio, bizzarrobazar


Amazing! The silent flight of an owl. From the BBC’s Natural World: Super Powered Owls.

How the Octopus Stays Untangled

“Octopuses use unique locomotion strategies that are different from those found in other animals,” researcher Binyamin Hochner said in a recent release. “This is most likely due to their soft molluscan body that led to the evolution of ‘strange’ morphology, enabling efficient locomotion control without a rigid skeleton.”

Hochner, alongside two of his colleagues, recently authored a new study on octopus limb coordination and locomotion, which was published in the journal Current Biology. They describe how, like everything else about the octopus, its strange and agile way of getting around is likely a consequence of its unexpected evolutionary history - in which squishy cephalopods’ ancestors were likely once more like rigid and immobile clams.

According to the study, the secret is that an octopus does not move itself by pushing or pulling in one direction, but instead allocates different arms for different directions (ie - to head right, the two left-most arms might push off the floor while the others simply stay out of the way).


Scientist are surprised by how many biological features this creature shares with planet Earth’s tortoise.
With approximately half of an elephant’s size, the rare, armored Philachas can be found in groups of up to three; one male and two females. Males are extremely protective and will try to chase away any intruder within a kilometer radius from the point where the female(s) rest. Although clumsy, they can reach high enough speeds to charge effectively against an enemy opponent. In a continuous run a Philachas will reach a top speed of 60 mph in just a few minutes. This omnivorous creatures can extend their necks out to around 1.5 meters, this display is more common on females especially during the mating season.

For Fukushima Birds, Things are Getting Worse Even as Radiation Abates

The destructive earthquake and tsunami that triggered a catastrophe at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant are now four years behind us, but the effects of that disaster are still being felt today. Now a new study has revealed that even as ecosystems slowly recover, Fukushima’s native bird population is actually dwindling more than ever - and researchers think they know why.

“A growing body of empirical results from studies of birds, monkeys, butterflies, and other insects suggests that some species have been significantly impacted by the radioactive releases related to the Fukushima disaster,” Timothy Mousseau, a lead researcher behind one of many ongoing investigations, announced last August.

He explained that a common theme researchers have noticed is that prolonged exposure to low doses of radiation has a very different effect on organisms compared to sudden high-level exposure, as seen at Chernobyl. This came to be called Fukushima’s “insidious effect” and was expected to abate, with lingering radiation levels, by 2016.

“So now we see this really striking drop-off in numbers of birds as well as numbers of species of birds,” he explained. “Both the biodiversity and the abundance are showing dramatic impacts in these areas with higher radiation levels, even as the levels are declining.”

Photo : Flickr: Katsura Miyamoto

Different type of fractures

“Buckle or torus fracture: one side of the bone bends, raising a little buckle, without breaking the other side

Greenstick fracture: a partial fracture in which one side of the bone is broken and the other side bends (this fracture resembles what would happen if you tried to break a green stick)

Open (or compound) fracture: a fracture in which the ends of the broken bone break through the skin (these have an increased risk of infection)

Closed fracture: a fracture that doesn’t break the skin

Displaced fracture: a fracture in which the pieces on either side of the break are out of line (which might require the doctor to realign the bones or require surgery to make sure the bones are properly aligned before casting)

Non-displaced fracture: a fracture in which the pieces on either side of the break line up

Hairline fracture: a thin break in the bone

Dingle fracture: the bone is broken in one place

Segmental: the bone is broken in two or more places in the same bone

Comminuted fracture: the bone is broken into more than two pieces or crushed”

More information and source: http://bit.ly/1kMx70L

From: Daily Anatomy

I followed this little Bumblebee (Bombus sp.) around the yard, as it was scoping out nesting sites! 

Bumblebees are incredibly important pollinators: they do something called buzz pollination, which gives a superior fruit set to plants like nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants), cucurbits (watermelons), and vaccinums (blueberries, cranberries), as compared to that provided by oft-used European Honeybees.

This spring, I’ve noticed unbelievable number of pollinators looking at some of the insect habitats I’ve built. I’m hoping a number of them move in, and enjoy the flowers of my labour for years to come!

Related: Beneficial Insect Habitats; Insect Hotels; Natural Insect Habitats; Creating Insect Habitats

Luanchuanraptor henanensis

Source: http://teratophoneus.deviantart.com/art/Luanchuanraptor-henanensis-374862216

Name: Luanchuanraptor henanensis

Name Meaning: Luanchuan thief 

First Described: 2007

Described ByDinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Dromaeosauridae

Our first (in cladistic order; not counting those dinosaurs I did out of order,) eumaniraptoran, and our first basal dromaeosaurid! This dinosaur is famous because it was the first Asian dromaeosaurid found outside of the Gobi Desert or northeastern China. It is known from some scattered remains that determined it was a medium sized dromaeosaurid. It was found in the Qiupa Formation in Luanchuan, Henan, China. It lived in the Late Cretaceous, potentially the Campanian age, though the exact age was unknown. If it was in the Campanian age, it lived between 83 and 72 million years ago. 




Shout out goes to natureandwonder!

Iran’s ongoing brain drain

Sabeti and Mirzakhani are only 2 of numerous others. Nearly twice as many Iranian-Americans have attained a bachelor’s degree compared to the national average. Over 25% of Iranian-Americans holds a master’s or doctoral degree, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups studied in the United States (Sources: 12). The Iranian regime that is forcing millions of people to have the desire to leave their country of birth should really start thinking about the impact of their brutal policies on their own citizens.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This 3D medical animation depicts carpal tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel release. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder of the hand caused by compression of the median nerve. Two different types of carpal tunnel release are animated, an open carpal tunnel procedure and the endoscopic approach.

By: Nucleus Medical Media.

Western lowland gorillas can be distinguished from other gorilla subspecies by their slightly smaller size, their brown-grey coats and auburn chests. They also have wider skulls with more pronounced brow ridges and smaller ears.