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.
Owl Neck Rotation
as many of you have heard owls can turn their necks 360 degrees fully around. Well I’m here to tell you that is not entirely true, as owls can only turn their head 270 degrees. But how? Well owls are special because they have fourteen different bones in their neck protecting their spinal chord, compared to the 7 bones found in humans, this excess amount of bones means more flexibility and as such owls can turn their necks farther . But why are owls the only birds that can do this? well it is obvious that owls are physiologically different than most birds especially in their heads, and owls lack the muscles in their eyes that allow them to rotate so owls cannot move their eyes without moving their heads, and if an bird cannot see behind it or to its side it is easy prey to a predator, so to prevent this these wise birds evolved an alternate method to move their field of view and look creepy in the process…
Today I visited the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, primarily to see their articulated Blue Whale. As it turns out the rest of the museum is spectacular as well, but it’s going to take a few posts just to convey the sheer size of this majestic beast. This is a must see if you’re ever in Vancouver BC, nothing can prepare you for seeing a creature this large.
These are some photos from my friend Milo — I’m so horrendously jealous that he got to visit this magnificent creature today! Did you know that the heart of a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is roughly the size of a small compact car, and only beats around once a minute? Its arteries are so large that a small person can crawl through them. They are the largest creatures to have ever existed in the history of our planet.
It’s no lie that I love blue whales.
E.T. Was Basically A Medical Catastrophe
A case report in the British Medical Journal (available here for those with access) has studied the famous 1982 temporary stranding of a young alien life form in suburban southern California. After an in-depth analysis of gross anatomy and the E.T.’s forced hospitalization, the so-called “alien botanist” is determined to be essentially a medical catastrophe, presenting multiple severe pathologies and medical maladies.
Who approved this guy for spaceflight?
A list of anatomical abnormalities:
- Possible Perthe’s disease (incorrect formation of the femur)
- Lower limb lymphoedema (swelling of the stubby legs)
- Centripetal adiposity, possible metabolic syndrome (he’s basically chubby)
- Congenital dextrocardia (not only does his heart glow, it’s completely out of order)
- Functional acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (extreme intoxication and disorientation after merely one can of beer)
- Complete absence of genitalia
- Clubbed digits (the odd swelling at the tip of his remarkably luminous fingertip)
After entering a state of shock and delrium, perhaps from malnutrition due to a diet consisting solely of beer and Reese’s Pieces, he entered cardiac arrest and failed to respond to resuscitation. His body was placed in the freezer room quickly enough to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen, however.
This preservation of brain function was key as ”ET made an exceptional functional recovery, balancing in the basket of Elliott’s bicycle and performing feats of telekinesis en route to the site of his eventual departure.”
Perhaps if extraterrestrial travelers will carry more complete medical history or medical ID bracelets, better treatment may be applied in future cases.
Vascularized human forearm
The human body by Andreas Vesalius, 1543 – one of 100 diagrams that changed the world
In the 16th century, people had very developed gluteus maximus muscles, because they had to walk everywhere. But life expectancy was low, on account of not having skin.
after you cringe, just take a deep breath & really look at this. it’s amazing how unbelievably intricate & mechanical the human hand is, let alone any aspect of the anatomy & biological beauties evolution has produced.
System of the human body (via)
A kidney uriniferous filtration tubule (nephron). The main filtering units in the kidney are called glomeruli. Filtered fluid passes into the specialized tubules seen here. Water and useful substances are absorbed, concentrating the fluid. The concentrated fluid passes to the bladder as urine. The tubules have two portions. The first is called the nephron, and is concerned with urine production. The second, called collecting tubules, carry out the final concentration of urine.
Carved Tibetan skulls