Life on planet Earth

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Mon May 26, 2014 3:54 pm

^You're supposed to wipe them down when you're done, but I bet they'll still be gross soon enough.

vPretty interesting stuff below!

10 Awesome Animal Self-Defense Mechanisms and Why They Work

Bombardier Beetle
Beetles are some of the most fascinating insects, with some fairly incredible self-defense mechanisms Bombardier beetles are a subclass of more than 500 species who share the ability to eject a burning hot, acrid chemical from their posterior when they’re threatened. It works like this: the beetle stores a pair of compounds, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones, in two independent reservoirs in its abdomen. When it comes time to cut loose, the beetle contracts muscles that vent the two reservoirs into a durable mixing chamber that produces enzymes to break down the hydrogen peroxide in an exothermic reaction that raises the temperature of the liquid to 100 degrees Celsius. The pressure caused by the reaction pushes the liquid out of an outlet valve with a loud popping sound, and the resultant squirt is potent enough to kill most insects and burn human flesh.

Fulmar's Projectile Vomit
Is there any animal more helpless than a baby bird? These fuzzy little buggers can’t even fly to get away from predators. But the fulmar bird, a tubenosed seabird indigenous to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has evolved a disgusting way for its little ones to protect themselves. When approached by a larger bird, the cute, fluffy white fulmar chick will projectile vomit the contents of its stomach all over the attacker. This by itself is not terribly unique – plenty of animals puke under pressure – but it’s the ingredients of this vile orange spit-up that are really fascinating. The oils in the baby fulmar’s stomach clings to the feathers of predatory birds, matting them together and making them unable to swim or fly. If enough gets on the attacker, they can actually drown as a result.

Armored Ground Cricket
Acanthoplus discoidalis, the “armored ground cricket,” actually brings a lot of different self-defense options to the table. These katydids are native to South Africa and, when predators draw near, they rub their limbs together to make a loud, threatening noise while biting with their mandibles and angling their exoskeletal spikes towards sensitive parts of their enemy’s body. But if all that doesn’t work, they have one last option. If attacked from the side, they can autohemmorhage a gout of disgusting green blood at their attacker. This fluid contains phytotoxins, extracted from plants in the cricket’s diet, that are poisonous to several of the lizards that eat the cricket. After they repel an attack, they carefully clean themselves so as not to be mistaken for food by their own kind.

Potato Beetle's Poison Poop
Insect larvae are one of the most tempting foods for a variety of predators – they’re defenseless, full of protein and typically found in large numbers. One way that the three-lined potato beetle larvae protects itself is remarkably clever. The baby insects purposeful roll themselves in their own feces, which is poisonous to a number of predators. The preferred food of the larvae is nightshade and other alkaloid plants, which are toxic to mammals. Those alkaloids get excreted as “frass” (the scientific term for bug poop) from a gland on the larvae’s back. Interestingly enough, that very same frass is a delicacy for fire ants, which often protect the larvae as they grow to adulthood.

Blast Ants
Camponotus saundersi is a species of ant indigenous to Malaysia and Brunei. They live in large colonies and often come into conflict with other insect groups over resources. As with most other ants, their primary weapon of combat is their immense mandibles. But if things aren’t going their way, the blast ant has the ability to commit suicide in a massive explosion of poison. By contracting its abdominal muscles, the ant willingly ruptures its gaster and mandibular glands, releasing a spray of sticky, irritating liquid around itself at the cost of its own life. The reason an individual is willing to sacrifice itself involves the intensely social nature of ant colonies. Foraging territory is vital to the health of the anthill, so ensuring that opposing forces are repelled at all costs is a smart strategic move.

Sea Cucumber's Self-Eviseration
If you just met one, a sea cucumber would look like easy pickings. Aside from a somewhat tough, leathery skin, these marine invertebrates don’t seem to have any defensive abilities at all. But there’s a horrifying secret hidden inside the sea cucumber: their guts. When threatened, some sea cucumbers can eject their internal organs through their anus. These organs are often sticky and saturated with potentially toxic chemicals, so they serve as a deterrent to oncoming predators. Some cucumbers also boast Cuvierian tubules, which have great tensile strength and can entangle other fish when they’re expelled along with the internal organs. Amazingly enough, these creatures can actually completely regenerate everything they blasted out in two to four weeks

Texas Horned Lizard's Eye Squirt
This spiky-bodied reptile mostly depends on its coloration to hide it from predators, but when its natural camouflage isn’t enough, the Texas horned lizard has a bizarre weapon to use as a last resort. If a predator isn’t deterred when the lizard puffs its body up, it tenses muscles around its eye sockets. This increases the pressure in a number of compartments called sinuses that are filled with blood. The sinus walls break, causing blood to rapidly eject from the animal’s eye ducts, squirting distances of up to five feet. In addition, a noxious, distasteful chemical mixes with the blood when the sinus walls break, adding yet another deterrent.

French Guiana Termite
Insects don’t really have long retirements – when you’re too old to contribute to the colony, you die. But for the elder members of Neocapritermes taracua, there’s one last thing they can do for their brethren. As they get older, the worker class of these insects secrete blue crystals that contain proteins with copper called hemocyanins. The older the termite, the larger the “backpack” of crystals they carry around. When these sacs are ruptured (typically by the bites of other termites), these crystals combine with ambient moisture to create a toxic blue liquid that takes out a group of attackers. The crystals are only produced by the worker termites – the soldiers and breeders don’t make them, because they both typically die before they reach old age.

Boxer Crab
One thing that separates man from the animals, they say, is our use of tools. We’ve seen some primates and lesser animals capable of that accomplishment, though, and now there’s a tiny, incredibly stupid crab that does it for self-defense. Lybia tessellata is known as the “boxer crab” for its habit of finding small poisonous sea anemones and carrying them around as weapons in its claws. The stinging cells of the anemones aren’t powerful enough to penetrate the crab’s armor, but they are enough to fend off potential predators as well as paralyze smaller animals, which the crab then eats with its maxillipeds.

Hagfish
The ocean is a tough place, with predators around every corner, and the humble hagfish doesn’t seem to have too many ways to deal with them. But looks can be deceiving, and this eel-shaped fish can take down foes much bigger than itself with a little help from some super-sticky slime. When threatened, the hagfish secretes a substance from 100 tiny glands located along its flanks. When combined with water, this substance expands into over five gallons of gelatinous goo that sticks in the gills of undersea carnivores, causing them to suffocate. The slime is created by cells that create incredibly long protein threads and store them in “loops” that can be rapidly unfurled when the animal is threatened. Each thread can be up to 15 centimeters in length, and they’re stored in a way that prevents them from ever tangling with each other. Scientists are investigating this bizarre substance for possible uses in the human world.

http://www.tested.com/science/life/461347-10-awesome-animal-self-defense-mechanisms-and-why-they-work/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing14%7Cdl25%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D480495#!/science/life/461347-10-awesome-animal-self-defense-mechanisms-and-why-they-work/
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Tue May 27, 2014 3:18 pm

^I love stuff like this. Animals and insects are just amazing creatures.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:19 pm

Image
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:21 pm

Yeah, we are. It's a wonder we can even see a blue sky anymore.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:42 pm

We could certainly do better.

The amount of plastic churning around in the oceans is outrageous.

And having nothing to do with that is this:
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:49 pm

Yeah, we are. It's a wonder we can even see a blue sky anymore.

Maybe, but the only harm will come to us. Eventually we’ll all find a way to kill off our species, nature will start a natural clean-up of things and nature will take back its world. The Earth isn’t going anywhere. It’s more like it’s just tolerating us until we all die off.

^And that python is fricking awesome.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:03 pm

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:22 pm

Indian woman kills leopard with sickle


That's easily the most badass headline of the decade.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:37 pm

Pilot sees 'strange red glowing light' while en route to Alaska

A mystifying series of events was witnessed by Dutch pilot JPC van Heijst and his co-pilot as they flew their Boeing 747 to Alaska in 'a part of the world where there was supposed to be nothing but water.'

According to Daily Mail, the pilot saw 'an intense flash of light like a lightning bolt, directed vertically up in the distance.' The Huffington Post reported that 20 minutes later, he saw a collection of red glowing lights beneath him.

Here's what Heijst told the Daily Mail:

'Last night over the Pacific Ocean, somewhere South of the Russian peninsula Kamchatka I experienced the creepiest thing so far in my flying career,' he said.

'The closer we got, the more intense the glow became, illuminating the clouds and sky below us in a scary orange glow, in a part of the world where there was supposed to be nothing but water,' he continued.

'The only cause of this red glow that we could think of, was the explosion of a huge volcano just underneath the surface of the ocean, about 30 minutes before we overflew that exact position.'

According to discovery, instances of volcanic eruptions sparking lightning isn't an unheard of theory -- there have been proven occurrences.

While the pilot said the scenario left him and his co-pilot feeling extremely uncomfortable, he is hoping it will pay off: 'Now I'm just hoping that if a new island has been formed there [from the eruption], at least it can be named after me as the official discovered,' the pilot told Daily Mail.


http://www.aol.com/article/2014/08/27/pilot-glowing-red-light-mystery/20953042/







http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2734573/Mystery-glow-Pacific-Ocean-Pilots-left-baffled-strange-orange-red-lights-spotted-dead-night.html#ixzz3BhGjPRKE
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:30 pm

Pilot sees 'strange red glowing light' while en route to Alaska

And this may be the least badass headline of the decade.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:01 pm

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/p ... ets-abyss/

Just watch this video until the end. Reason 1,272,289 why animals are so much more badass than humans.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:18 pm

Another awesome animal vid. This one is where a monkey was electrocuted at some India train station and his buddy works his/her butt off to try to revive him...he pulls and bites him and even throws him into water. Pretty incredible.

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:44 pm

This is great:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/offbeat/incredible-photo-shows-a-weasel-riding-a-woodpecker/ar-BBi9UTj?ocid=mailsignout

Anytime I hear something about a weasel I think of this:


This article is from 2013. I have never heard anything about this.
http://qz.com/122003/plastic-recycling-china-green-fence/

Related to wastefulness and the decline of western civilization (mostly just us in the US)
http://www.wired.com/2015/02/high-end-dumpster-diving-matt-malone/
My cousin sent this to me. He read the article and then went to see for himself. He found three new vacuum cleaners in the boxes that he is going to sell.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:05 pm

This article is from 2013. I have never heard anything about this.

This isn't a big secret. Any local trash pick-up will give you a pamphlet or something that tells you what the recycle place really will accept. Many of these recyclable items has that little triangle on the bottom of it and it has a number on it. I believe my place will accept stuff with a #1 or #2 and maybe a #7 or something but will not accept any of the other numbers. You're supposed to throw those away. The same goes for "printed cardboard." You can recycle cardboard but if it's got printing on it (like a cereal box or pizza box) it's no good and they can't reuse it. So you throw those out too. Though the article putting the blame on China is a bit silly...

And, yeah, I believe the dumpster diving. Places throw out stuff for the dumbest reasons, especially if a customer returns it and says it's broken...they don't have time to test it and can't put that back on the shelf and many manufacturers don't "take back" stuff, so they toss it. Of course, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to dumpster dive, many places have cameras and all the time to sell stuff would be a pain. But to each their own.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:38 am

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby fone » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:33 pm

Eli :wave:

Knew about mycelium, but never thought about how other plants could use it. Have a big chunk of fungus under the front lawn. When it gets close to the surface, it creates fairy rings of mushrooms and the grass actually gets greener in circular patterns where nitrogen is more plentiful from it.

The largest living organisms on earth.
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fear lines in his frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby El Bastarde » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:21 pm

Nature always finds a way.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:34 pm

And we think we are the advanced ones
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:19 pm

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:45 pm




very cool. I'll never look at sand the same way.
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:42 pm















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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:16 pm

The next great Phish song will be called Plasma Tube

http://www.shockingscience.com/plasma-tubes-above-earth-science/
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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:41 pm

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby ghost » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:40 pm

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Re: Life on planet Earth

Postby Katiemay » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:22 pm

^Day-umm. That's a long way down. I love that they have 'Superdeep' as part of its actual name.
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