Image source: tristan tan/Shutterstock
  • Asian elephants often leave protected areas to feed and come into conflict with humans.
  • The elephants, it turns out, can recognize the largest quantities of food by smell.
  • This insight could lead to keeping Asian elephants out of harm's way via redirection using olfactory cues.
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Surprising Science

Late historian's 3D map of Notre Dame can help France restore it to impressive detail

Digitally recording historical sites could serve as insurance in the case of disaster.

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
  • Notre Dame, France's famous medieval cathedral, was severely damaged by a fire on Monday.
  • Fortunately, at least two recent projects have taken detailed 3D scans of the cathedral, which could help in restoration efforts.
  • As laser-scanning and digital imaging technology gets cheaper, some suggest we should digitally record historical sites in the event they get damaged, or worse.
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Culture & Religion

Five Hawks Down: watch the tragic migration of six Californian raptors

Tracking project establishes northern Argentina is wintering ground of Swainson's hawks

Image: @TrackingTalons / Ruland Kolen
  • Watch these six dots move across the map and be moved yourself: this is a story about coming of age, discovery, hardship, death and survival.
  • Each dot is a tag attached to the talon of a Swainson's Hawk. We follow them on their very first migration, from northern California all the way down to Argentina.
  • After one year, only one is still alive.
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popular

World’s largest bee, thought to be extinct, found in Indonesia

The Megachile pluto is about four times the size of a honeybee.

Clay Bolt
  • The giant bee was first discovered in 1859, but since has only officially sighted once.
  • An international team of researchers set out to rediscover the bee in January.
  • Determining exactly when a species is extinct is difficult, especially for small animals like insects.
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Surprising Science

Lack of basic research hiding behind 'clean meat' hype

Despite tens of millions of dollars pouring into new technologies, a 'clean' burger remains elusive.

  • Tens of millions of dollars are funding projects to create a consumer-ready lab-grown burger.
  • Despite the hype, experts warn that a lot more research needs to be conducted.
  • Mainstream adoption of plant-based foods, however, is making lab-grown meat a welcome possibility.
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Surprising Science