Sea Turtles' Navigational ‘Magic’
Sailors used to struggle with it but migratory sea turtles have now proved capable of sensing longitude, using almost imperceptible gradients in Earth's magnetic field.
For centuries, determining longitude was an extremely difficult task for sailors, so difficult that it’s been thought improbable — if not impossible — for animals to do it. But migratory sea turtles have now proved capable of sensing longitude, using almost imperceptible gradients in Earth’s magnetic field. That turtles and other migratory animals could detect these small changes was considered unrealistic, but experiments on animals released in out-of-the-way locations repeatedly described them finding home with unerring accuracy and efficiency, explicable only as a product of both longitudinal and latitudinal awareness. The mechanism found in turtles might also exist in birds.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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