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Saturday, January 16, 2021

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Recent Geo Beats Videos

Newly discovered bat has already won 2021 Halloween

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A group of scientists led by the American Museum of Natural History and Bat Conservation International have discovered a new species of a striking orange and black bat in a mountain range in West Africa. The species, which the researchers expect is likely critically endangered, underscores the importance of sub-Saharan "sky islands" to bat diversity. The species is described in the journal American Museum Novitates.

Scientists discover a bizarre new way snakes climb trees

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Julie Savidge: Only four major types of snake locomotion have been recognized for nearly 100 years. And we've discovered a fifth. In this locomotion, the snake forms a loop like a lasso around the cylinder with its body. The loop of the lasso squeezes the cylinder to generate friction and prevent slipping. The snake has little sideways bends within the loop of lasso that allow it to move upwards by shifting the location of each bend. It looks like it's wiggling its body upwards. Snakes move very slowly and it appears to take a lot of energy, as you can see snakes pause and breathe heavily. This locomotion allows this snake to climb larger, smooth cylinders or in its native range, smooth bark trees than any other type of locomotion.

Why some volcanic sites look like wheat fields

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Some volcanic sites create a scene remindful of a messy barbershop floor, except that it's acres and acres wide rather than a few square feet. The ground downwind of the crater can be strewn with Pele's hair, and it is almost impossible to avoid stepping on it.

Harvard professor says alien object may have passed through our solar system

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ʻOumuamua was the first interstellar object discovered near Earth that came from outside the solar system. It looked nothing like the asteroids and comets, these rocks that we have seen from within the solar system. First, it was much more elongated than those are. But more puzzlingly, it exhibited a push away from the sun, not followed by a cometary tail. So, what provided this extra push. One possibility is that it was pushed by sunlight, just like a very thin object of the type of an object discovered just in September of 2020, which was the rocket booster of the lunar Lander from 1966, Surveyor 2, that was produced by us and exhibited some push from sunlight. And so if it is a very thin object, if it is of very extreme geometry, then it cannot be produced by nature and it must be artificial. And so that is the possibility. The object also exhibited shiny reflectance and didn't show any heat coming off. It came from a very special frame of reference which is the rest frame of the local stars in the Milky way, sort of the galactic parking lot not associated with any particular star. And so it was weird on many, many counts, unlike any comet or asteroid that we have seen before. And that raises the possibility that it might be artificial in origin. It's interesting to check whether every now and then we might see a message in a bottle. I like to go along beaches when on vacation and look at seashells that were swept the shore. There are natural objects, but every now and then I encounter a plastic bottle that reflects a civilization that produced it. And so we should be open-minded and examine all the objects that come into our solar system from outside and possibly find evidence for either space junk or perhaps equipment that came from another civilization.

Dwarf giraffes have been spotted in the wild

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Researchers with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation recently spotted two dwarf giraffes in Namibia and Uganda. These adult male giraffes are the first dwarf giraffes that have been described in the scientific literature. Using digital photogrammetry techniques, the researchers found that these giraffes had shorter legs compared to others of similar age. Limited mobility caused by shorter leg dimension might make these giraffes more susceptible to predation, even in the adult life stages. Also, successful mounting for breeding seems physically improbable, suggesting the inability to transfer any potential genes associated with this condition. However, the researchers caution that the study was conducted largely on two opportunistic observations of wild giraffes encountered in the field.

A new lava dome just formed in Hawaii

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Lava forms a “dome fountain” at the inlet to the lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater January 2-3, 2021. Lava from the western vent cascades beneath roofed vertical channels to enter the lava lake at an inlet that has become partially submerged. The result is a rolling upwelling of lava near the inlet called a “dome fountain.” Dome fountains have been observed during eruptions at Mauna Ulu and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Dome fountains can occur when lava rapidly emerges from a constricted vent or fissure onto the surface or, as in this case, beneath the surface of a lava lake. The feature resembles, in part, a bubbling water fountain. The height of the dome fountain was estimated to be about 5 m (16 ft) with an estimated width of 10 m (33 ft).

This pregnancy test was designed for blind people

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From dealing with finances to accessing private medical information, privacy matters no matter who you are. But blind and partially sighted people are often denied their right to privacy due to inaccessible design and information. Taking a pregnancy test is a poignant example of this, as blind and partially sighted women often have no choice but to involve other people in reading their results. Meaning their private news is made public. Accessible design matters, and to prove it’s possible, RNIB created a pregnancy test prototype that would allow women to be the first to know their own news.

Rare video captures snow leopard's call in the wild

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Do you know what a snow leopard's call in the wild sounds like? I'm guessing you didn't imagine him sounding like this. The White Lion Foundation recently released this footage from Northern Pakistan's Karakoram Mountains. This is a rare video as snow leopards are by nature elusive and solitary, only coming together to mate and raise young. The adult male is exercising his vocal calls to establish territory and to let females know he is in the area. Sadly, this stunning snow leopard is one of the world’s most endangered big cats. There are an estimated 4,000 to 7,500 left in the wild, and over the last decade an average of one a day is believed to have been killed. Many leopards die at the hands of poachers and the illegal trade, but more than half are killed in retaliation for attacks on local herder’s livestock.

So, this is how geologists collect hot lava

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Geologist Tim Orr has quite a job. This 2017 clip shows how geologists sample lava from active volcanic sites. This video was captured in Hawaii. The lava is quickly put in a bucket of water to quench it. Changes in the lava chemistry provide information on the magma plumbing system, and regular sampling provides a long term record of these changes.

Does this video suggest plants are conscious?

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Mimosa leaves, pea tendrils, Venus flytraps and sundew traps all lost both their autonomous and touch-induced movements after exposure to anaesthetics. In Venus flytrap, this was shown to be due to the loss of action potentials under diethyl ether anaesthesia. The same concentration of diethyl ether immobilized pea tendrils.

Archaeologists uncover 2,000-year-old Roman snack bar in Pompeii

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The Thermopolium of Regio V, one of the snack bars at Pompeii, complete with an image of a Nereid riding a sea-horse, which had previously been partially excavated in 2019, re-emerges in its entirety, with other rich decorative still lifes, food residues, animal bones and victims of the eruption.

This cryopreserved hornet could help save billions of bees

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Five Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia), from the first nest found in the United States, have taken a trip across the country to a Washington, D.C. area Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility and the Smithsonian for study and preservation. Once the specimens were taken into the "cold storage room," they were transferred to a table kept at below zero temperatures with liquid nitrogen, databased, placed in special cryo-vials and finally, lowered into silver liquid nitrogen containers, which will maintain the specimens' tissue in perfect condition.

Thermal camera captures water lake turning into lava lake

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This thermal timelapse shows the switch from water lake to lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u, spanning December 20 to December 24. During the initial phase of lava appearing in the crater, a large steam plume is generated as lava interacts with and boils off the water lake. The temperature scale in this initial phase is saturated, but the camera settings were later changed to accommodate the much higher temperatures of the new lava in the crater. The sequence also shows the early evolution of a lava lake - a process rarely observed in detail. An island formed at the bottom of the crater in the initial stages is rafted up by the new lava, and continues to drift in the lake currents today. As the lava fills the crater, it has approached the level of the main fountaining vent, which could soon be submerged. Temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.

Scientists develop body piercing for rats to defeat human diseases

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Researchers from Harvard University describe a newly developed behavioral monitoring system, CAPTURE (continuous appendicular and postural tracking using retroreflector embedding), that combines motion capture and deep learning to continuously track the three-dimensional movements of freely behaving animals. In the study, lead author Jesse Marshall, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, and senior author Bence Ölveczky, Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, attached markers to rats' head, trunk, and limbs and used CAPTURE to record their natural behavior continuously for weeks.

A physics student just built the world's smallest Christmas tree

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You are looking at the world's smallest Christmas tree. While most people strive to make massive Christmas trees, this TU Delft physics student went to the other extreme end. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, Maura came up with the the idea of making a Christmas tree by removing 51 atoms from a perfect crystal lattice. The tree is exactly 4 nanometers tall, or 4 millionths of a millimeter. The scanning tunneling microscope is a complex device that is capable of scanning individual atoms and even changing their position. Maura uses this microscope to build small structures, literally atom by atom, in order to study their quantum mechanical properties.