Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Elusive Bay Cat

I have always thought that apart from the big five (tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cheetah), all other members of the cat family were not as rare nor endangered.
I was doing my daily reading this morning when I stumbled upon a webpage that talks about the seven threatened cat species you may not know. None of the big five got on the list, and there was one particular cat that caught my attention; one that doesn't have a picture (yes, it's that rare).
 It's called the Bornean Bay Cat Catopuma badia.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can Humans Regenerate Lost Limbs?

Some animals are known for their regenerative power. If a salamander loses its leg, it can grow a new one within weeks. Crabs and spiders for example, can also regenerate lost limbs. If you held a small lizard by its tail, chances are that it would shed its tail in order to escape. And no, it wouldn't die from its injury.

So why can't humans do the same?
Nicely played. Image:
To understand why we can't regrow lost limbs like amphibians, we have to first understand how scarring occurs. Take for example, someone loses an entire index.

Monday, June 17, 2013



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Lack of Research in the Conservation of Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran rhino is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world. 

The smallest member of the rhinoceros family once roamed as far as Myanmar, India and China. Today, there are less than 200 individuals left in the world, and they are all scattered across little pockets of forest in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Many people would cite deforestation and poaching as the two primary forces that are killing the animal. But those two clouts are also killing other animals. So if every species is facing the same threat, why is rhino's number dropping while the number of other endangered species manages to recover?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Do Tornadoes Form?

via Scientific American:

Tornadoes occur on every continent except Antarctica, but more form over the central US than anywhere else in a zone called Tornado Alley. That's because conditions in the alley are ideal for creating tornadoes.

Warm humid air low on the ground moves north from the Gulf of Mexico and collides with cool dry air high above the ground  rolling in from the Rocky mountains. The collision of air masses creates a supercell, a massive thunderstorm that has a strong rotating updrafted air.

The difference in speed between the faster high winds and the slower low winds causes the air in between to rotate around the horizontal axis. If one end of the rolling air gets caught in the updraft, it's being upwarded into the funnel cloud. Its spin gets tighter and faster and the cloud becomes longer. Rain or hail from the thunderstorm can then push down on the tail of the funnel cloud until it reaches the ground, forming a tornado.

The top wind speed of most tornadoes is usually under 110 miles an hour and most are on the ground for less than 10 minutes. However, extreme tornadoes are truly extreme. The longest tornado path was cut by the tri-state tornado on March 18th 1925. It tore up property for 219 miles and was on the ground for well over 3 hours and killed 747 people.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why Don't Penguins Fly?

Because it's energetically-inefficient to be both a diver and a flyer at the same time. 

A recent study on a penguin-like seabird, the thick-billed murre, shows that it's inefficient to be both; be a Jack of all trade and a master of none.
This is probably how penguins flew several million years ago. Image:
Murres are horrible aviators. They beat their wings really fast and they land awkwardly. They fare better in the water, but still not as good as penguins.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...