This is what humans would have to look like in order to survive a car crash. The Australian government teamed up with a sculptor, trauma surgeon, and engineer for a road safety campaign and created ‘Graham,’ who has no neck, knees that bend in all directions, and extra fat to protect the ears, nose, head, and ribs from fatal injury. Source

Inclusivity Win: SpaceX Has Successfully Launched A Handicap-Accessible Ramp Into Orbit

Well, it looks like the possibilities of outer space just opened up for a whole lot more people. After years without any options for the disabled, SpaceX stepped up to the challenge, and they delivered in a huge way. As of Tuesday, they have now successfully launched a handicap-accessible ramp into orbit.

Awesome! Read more

Unusual bird-human partnership runs even deeper than scientists thought |

Of all the relationships between people and wild animals, few are more heartwarming than that of African honey hunters and a starling-sized bird called the greater honeyguide. Flitting and calling, the bird leads the way to a bee nest and feasts on the wax left after the hunters have raided it. A study in Science this week now shows that this mutualistic relationship is even tighter than it seemed, with the bird recognizing and responding to specific calls from its human partners.

The work, by evolutionary biologist Claire Spottiswoode and her collaborators, “is the first to provide clear and direct evidence that honeyguides respond to specialized human signals … and that the birds associate those signals with potential benefits,” says John Thompson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “The honeyguide literally understands what the human is saying,” adds Stuart West, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. “It suggests that the honeyguide and human behavior have coevolved in response to each other.”  

thescienceexplorer.com
Bonobos Form All-Female Coalitions to Target Violent Males
When a male bonobo harasses a young female, he’d better look out. A coalition of protective older females might be headed his way.

Researchers observing wild bonobos over four years in the Democratic Republic of Congo found that whenever females formed coalitions, they would invariably attack males. This was typically in response to a male displaying aggressive behavior towards another female.

In their study, published in the journal Animal Behaviour, the researchers conclude that “coalitions in female bonobos might have evolved as a counterstrategy against male harassment.”

Alliances feature prominently in the social lives of primates. Often forming among female relatives, these partnerships can strengthen the females’ ability cope with competition from non-relatives.

Bonobos are unusual in that females typically form alliances with unrelated females. As lead author Nahoko Tokuyama of Kyoto University explains in a press release, “For bonobos, females leave their birth group during adolescence, so females in a group are generally non-relative to each other. Despite this, they frequently form coalitions.”

Females had a better chance of defeating offending males when they formed coalitions than when they confronted a male alone.

The researchers believe that forming coalitions to combat aggressive males has enabled female bonobos to acquire the more dominant position in the social hierarchy. “We may have uncovered one of the ways in which females maintain a superior status in bonobo society,” says Tokuyama.

Older females may gain additional value from participating in coalitions. “It’s beneficial for the older females as well, because the younger females start spending more time with them in hopes of getting protection,” he explains. “This way, the older female can give her son more opportunities to mate with the younger females.”

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The ANDROMEDA Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located 2.5 million light years from Earth. It is the nearest major galaxy to Earth and was named after the mythological princess Andromeda.

Before it was discovered as a galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy was thought to be a nebula and was referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula. It contains one trillion stars- twice the number of stars in the Milky Way.

The Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years. This collision will result in one giant elliptical galaxy. Since everything in each of the galaxies are fairly spaced out, it is unlikely that there will be any collisions between stars. It is thought that some stars and systems will be ejected during the collision, our solar system included. The probability of this happening right now is pretty low, but it is a possibility. The remaining galaxy after the collision has been nicknamed Milkomeda (a merger between the two existing names).

It is believed that another galaxy, the Triangulum Galaxy, will also participate in this collision. It is thought that it will end up orbiting the new Milkomeda galaxy and then eventually collide with it. It is also thought that the Andromeda Galaxy has already undergone a collision with at least one other galaxy in the past.

Got any questions/facts about the Andromeda Galaxy? Send me a message and we can talk about it! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s galaxy!

Have a favourite galaxy? Send it to me and I might feature it as a part of this week’s space month!

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Aquilegia caerulea is in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Commonly known as Colorado Columbine, it is native to the Rocky Mountain Range from New Mexico to Idaho. This species is an herbaceous perennial found in a variety of alpine habitats such as in meadows and woodlands, as well as rocky outcroppings. The five white petals have long showy nectar spurs that extend far beyond the flowers. These petals are surrounded by 5 blue to lavender sepals that are generally larger than the petals. This species is also the state flower of Colorado, and there are many varieties available for use in home gardens and landscapes.

This awesome image from NASA reveals what Jupiter looks like when viewed from its south pole. And it looks like the biggest spin art ever.

This incredible sight is a polar stereographic projection captured by the Cassini spacecraft on December 11th and 12th during its Jupiter flyby en route to Saturn.

NASA describes some of Jupiter’s features in this image:

“The map shows a variety of colorful cloud features, including parallel reddish-brown and white bands, the Great Red Spot, multi-lobed chaotic regions, white ovals and many small vortices. Many clouds appear in streaks and waves due to continual stretching and folding by Jupiter’s winds and turbulence. The bluish-gray features along the north edge of the central bright band are equatorial “hot spots,” meteorological systems such as the one entered by NASA’s Galileo probe. Small bright spots within the orange band north of the equator are lightning-bearing thunderstorms. The polar region shown here is less clearly visible because Cassini viewed it at an angle and through thicker atmospheric haze.”

[via Twisted Sifter]