This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
Looks like a human cadaver?
Actually, it’s a synthetic cadaver created by SynDaver Labs, who pride themselves on the extraordinary realism of their works in order to aid medical professionals with their study of the human body.
Good morning! Perspective - how big is our Moon?
And it’s about this far away (much farther than most people think):
The light from the moon is 1.28 seconds old. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is Why didn’t Chris Hadfield put the moon over Canada?!
Combine this with a video about the true scale of the solar system.
Fetal X-ray of a dolphin
Dolphin females ovulate only 2-4 times a year (affected by water temperatures, food and other environmental and social factors). Dolphins like humans, have sex not only with the aim of generating progeny but also as a way to generate strong ties.
The gestation of a dolphin lasts 1 full year (ie 12 months in the belly).
via Ardea Iniciativas y Estudios Ambientales
How the Geneva Drive (the mechanical step that makes the second hand on a clock work by turning constant rotation into intermittent motion) works.
As an engineer, this makes me happy.
If only one loop of this gif were equal to one second…
Get That &%$@ Thing Away From Me: Why Humans Hate Bugs
“Why do so many people have such a deep revulsion towards insects? Is it ingrained, or a byproduct of modern culture?Jeffrey Lockwood, an insect ecologist and philosopher at the University of Wyoming, tries to answer such questions in his new book: The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects.”
Read an interview with Jeffrey Lockwood at Popular Science.
Medical and Biological Illustration
Schematic representation of neurotransmitters crossing between neurons showing the action of a drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease.[source]
Whales and their kin (family name is cetacea which includes dolphins, porpoises and whales) are the most incredible animals. When you really think about them, they’re almost alien.
They’re mammals, in the same general class of animals as Humans and Rodents. The difference being that they’re among the largest animals to have ever lived on Earth, with some very unique evolutionary adaptations. Not to mention that they’re among the smartest species of animals on the planet.
It really gets interesting when you think about their evolution. It seems hard to imagine that whales weren’t always these big familiar mammals of the sea, but they started out as small, land based animals that resembled a deer or wolf rather than a fish body shape.
The most primitive ancestor known to modern whales is Pakycetus, which were about the size of a wolf and at least semi-aquatic. There is some debate about whether other species like Indohyus belong to the title as earliest ancestor or earliest cetacean.
These terrestial animals looked evolution in the eye and basically just said screw it, the ocean has all this food and opportunities, I’ll give up on land and become a completely aquatic mammal. Through incremental changes to adapt to a marine environment they underwent a major transformation.
Look at this guy!
I mean to go from that to this just BLOWS MY MIND:
And wait there’s more!
Whales closest living relatives are these guys right here:
The Hippotamus is on the same family tree of species as Cetaceans are. They diverged from the ancestors of modern cetaceans like Indohyus tens of millions of years ago.
Wow, whales. Wow.
Evolution you are amazing.
Predatory ‘king of gore’ dinosaur discovered
A new super-predator dinosaur that roamed the Earth 80 million years ago has been discovered in southern Utah.
It was closely related to its slightly larger relative, Tyrannosaurus rex, but lived earlier, making it the largest living land predator of its time.
Growing to about 30ft (9m) long, the predator has been named Lythronax argestes which means “king of gore”.
The research, published in the journal Plos One, highlights once more that the age of discovery is far from over.
The team also hopes this new find will help uncover what the climate was like towards the end of the age of dinosaurs.
"It’s always exciting to find new species but what’s really significant is what these species tell us about their ancient world," said Randall Irmis, co-author of the study at the Natural History Museum of Utah, US.
"This was a very different place 80 million years ago. It was a very lush, wet, tropical environment and there were no polar ice caps at the time."
First discovered in 2009, the partial skeleton included a number of bones from the skull and some from the rest of the body. The fossils were then excavated and studied in the lab.
The new discovery was closely related to T. rex and shows that similar features evolved 10 million years earlier than previously thought.
Lythronax had a short and narrow snout and forward slanting eyes. Like its evolutionary relative, it had a head full of sharp teeth and was a ferocious predator, the largest of its ecosystem.
The team also uncovered the most complete fossils of another named species of Tyrannosaur - Teratophoneus curriei. It was previously only known from a few skull bones but the team now have more than 70% of its skeleton.
"There’s a whole diversity of different branches of the Tyrannosaur family tree that are waiting to be found out there," Dr Irmis told BBC News.
It was previously unclear why there were so many different Tyrannosaurid species present in a similar area, as the animals were able to move around freely. The palaeontologists believe this was due to a changing of sea level.
"We think that when the sea level was high it was isolating areas in western North America that caused different species to evolve in isolation and that’s why we’re finding so many different species," added Dr Irmis.
He explained that the creature had been named the “King of Gore” because of its super-predator status. The second part of its name “argestes” comes from Greek poet Homer’s naming of a south-westerly wind.
"Tyrannosaurids were the really large predators in their ecosystem. It’s fairly certain based on what we can see on their skull, teeth and body size they probably ate whatever they could fit in their mouths," added Dr Irmis.
Another research member of the team, Joseph Sertich of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, US, explained that the back of its skull was very wide which gave it good hunting eyes.
"One of the things that makes T. rex different from other dinosaurs is that it is able to look forward, it has binocular vision. Lythronax had that feature as well, its field of view could overlap which probably made it a better hunter,” Dr Sertich told BBC News.
"It was the apex predator of it’s time. It was the oldest advanced Tyrannosaur of its group, which is quite surprising.
"This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s amazing what we’re finding in southern Utah right now. You can walk over some of the hills and find fossils littering the sides of the slopes," he added.
Mike Benton at the University of Bristol, UK, who was not involved with the study, said the new find was important for understanding patterns of evolution of the Tyrannosaurids.
"Previously, Tyrannosauri origins were uncertain, whether in Asia or North America, and the new find tends to suggest a mainly North American evolution for the group.