nature and science
theoceaniswonderful:

Hooded Cuttlefish (Sepia prashadi), Andaman Sea, Thailand
photo by prilfish

oranges-and-licorice:

painted-bees:

Penh was eyeing up my lollipop something fierce. 


Expecting her to be repelled by it, I let her check it out.
She wiggled her antennae all over it before shoving her face right into it with the fervor of a five-year-old sugar addict. Sean managed to snap a shot of the moment! 

Apparently it’s not “bad” for her, but too much sugar can’t be very ‘good’ either! Though, I’m have a feeling that she would insist otherwise if she were capable of doing so.

nom nom nom

statedept:

The UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report today saying it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950. Learn more about what the State Department is doing on climate change at http://www.state.gov/e/oes/climate/.
Data courtesy of NASA

statedept:

The UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report today saying it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950. Learn more about what the State Department is doing on climate change at http://www.state.gov/e/oes/climate/.

Data courtesy of NASA

wasbella102:

Mantelliceras Ammonite Commune, Mesozoic Era, Lower Cretaceous Period

wasbella102:

Mantelliceras Ammonite Commune, Mesozoic Era, Lower Cretaceous Period

scienceisbeauty:

Chicken (gallus gallus domesticus) beauty.

Photographer: Ernest Goh (check out his Facebook page)

Via Huffington Post (Photographer Explores The Surprising World Of Chicken Beauty Pageants)

libutron:

Some facts about the evolutionary relationships of charismatic dholes
Canids form one of the most prominent families of carnivores, with 36 interesting taxa in 13 genera that occur throughout most of the world. As a family, canids occupy every continent except Antarctica. Foxes, dholes, dingoes, wolves, jackals, coyotes and various dogs comprise the family. 
Within the canid family the dhole is something of an enigma and it is classified in a genus of its own - Cuon. All dholes belongs to the species Cuon alpinus, which includes nine extant subspecies.
The genus Cuon is post-Pleistocene in origin. In 1945 Simpson placed the dhole in the subfamily Simocyoninae of the family Canidae, together with the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) of South America on the basis of shared anatomical features, most notably the reduction of the role of the crushing post-carnassial molars. Many have questioned Simpson’s classification arguing that similarities in dentition are due to convergent evolution because of a highly predatory diet.
Currently, evolutionary relationships within the family Canidae, reconstructed using comparative karyology, allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA protein coding sequence data, and super tree method, as well as the relationships at the genus level studied with mtDNA, shows that the living Canidae is divided into five distinct groupings. These include the wolf-like canids, which consists of the coyote, grey wolf, Ethiopian wolf, jackals, dhole and African wild dog. This clade is associated with a group containing bush dog and maned wolf in some trees and, further, this larger grouping is associated with the South American foxes. The red fox group is a fourth independent clade, and finally, three lineages have long distinct evolutionary histories and are survived today by the raccoon dog, bat-eared fox and island and gray fox. 
The wolf genus Canis is a monophyletic group that also includes the dhole. Basal to Canis and Cuon are the African wild dog and a clade consisting of two South American canids, the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) and the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Consequently, although the African wild dog preys on large game as does the grey wolf and dhole, it is not closely related to either species but is sister to the clade containing these species. This phylogeny implies that the trenchant-heeled carnassial now found only in Speothos, Cuon and Lycaon, evolved at least twice or was primitive and lost in other wolf-like canids and the maned wolf.
In summary, dholes are part of a clade of wolf-like canids within which is related more closely to the extant jackals than to wolves.
[Source]
Photo: a pair of Indian dholes in wild, Cuon alpinus dukhunensis, from Maharastra National Park, Central India | ©Sandeep Dutta

libutron:

Some facts about the evolutionary relationships of charismatic dholes

Canids form one of the most prominent families of carnivores, with 36 interesting taxa in 13 genera that occur throughout most of the world. As a family, canids occupy every continent except Antarctica. Foxes, dholes, dingoes, wolves, jackals, coyotes and various dogs comprise the family. 

Within the canid family the dhole is something of an enigma and it is classified in a genus of its own - Cuon. All dholes belongs to the species Cuon alpinus, which includes nine extant subspecies.

The genus Cuon is post-Pleistocene in origin. In 1945 Simpson placed the dhole in the subfamily Simocyoninae of the family Canidae, together with the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) of South America on the basis of shared anatomical features, most notably the reduction of the role of the crushing post-carnassial molars. Many have questioned Simpson’s classification arguing that similarities in dentition are due to convergent evolution because of a highly predatory diet.

Currently, evolutionary relationships within the family Canidae, reconstructed using comparative karyology, allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA protein coding sequence data, and super tree method, as well as the relationships at the genus level studied with mtDNA, shows that the living Canidae is divided into five distinct groupings. These include the wolf-like canids, which consists of the coyote, grey wolf, Ethiopian wolf, jackals, dhole and African wild dog. This clade is associated with a group containing bush dog and maned wolf in some trees and, further, this larger grouping is associated with the South American foxes. The red fox group is a fourth independent clade, and finally, three lineages have long distinct evolutionary histories and are survived today by the raccoon dog, bat-eared fox and island and gray fox. 

The wolf genus Canis is a monophyletic group that also includes the dhole. Basal to Canis and Cuon are the African wild dog and a clade consisting of two South American canids, the bush dog (Speothos venaticus) and the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Consequently, although the African wild dog preys on large game as does the grey wolf and dhole, it is not closely related to either species but is sister to the clade containing these species. This phylogeny implies that the trenchant-heeled carnassial now found only in Speothos, Cuon and Lycaon, evolved at least twice or was primitive and lost in other wolf-like canids and the maned wolf.

In summary, dholes are part of a clade of wolf-like canids within which is related more closely to the extant jackals than to wolves.

[Source]

Photo: a pair of Indian dholes in wild, Cuon alpinus dukhunensis, from Maharastra National Park, Central India | ©Sandeep Dutta

rhamphotheca:

A Hypergiant Star And Its Clingy Companion
This enormous star is a million times brighter than the sun.
by Francie Diep
The astronomer who discovered the size of this star says it’s shaped like a peanut, but we disagree; that one “lobe” is much too large. Perhaps that’s because the larger star is, in fact, one of the 10 largest stars ever discovered. Its diameter is 1,315 times that of Earth’s sun.
Astronomers have seen the star, named HR 5171, before. In a new study, however, an international team of scientists learned much more about it. For example, they discovered that HR 5171 is a binary system with a small companion star that touches and orbits the larger star. The astronomers also calculated HR 5171 A’s (the bigger star’s) surprising size. The star is almost twice as large as scientists expect for stars of its type.
HR 5171 A is a yellow hypergiant, a type of star that’s rare in our galaxy. Like its type-mates, HR 5171 A is big, bright and unstable. It’s about 1 million times brighter than the sun. Over the past four decades, it’s been cooling, enlarging and expelling material outwards…
(read more: Popular Science)
image: European Southern Observatory

rhamphotheca:

A Hypergiant Star And Its Clingy Companion

This enormous star is a million times brighter than the sun.

by Francie Diep

The astronomer who discovered the size of this star says it’s shaped like a peanut, but we disagree; that one “lobe” is much too large. Perhaps that’s because the larger star is, in fact, one of the 10 largest stars ever discovered. Its diameter is 1,315 times that of Earth’s sun.

Astronomers have seen the star, named HR 5171, before. In a new study, however, an international team of scientists learned much more about it. For example, they discovered that HR 5171 is a binary system with a small companion star that touches and orbits the larger star. The astronomers also calculated HR 5171 A’s (the bigger star’s) surprising size. The star is almost twice as large as scientists expect for stars of its type.

HR 5171 A is a yellow hypergiant, a type of star that’s rare in our galaxy. Like its type-mates, HR 5171 A is big, bright and unstable. It’s about 1 million times brighter than the sun. Over the past four decades, it’s been cooling, enlarging and expelling material outwards…

(read more: Popular Science)

image: European Southern Observatory

astronemma:

First Ring System Around Asteroid

Observations at many sites in South America, including ESO’s La Silla Observatory, have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest object by far found to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System — after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — to have this feature. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris. The new results are published online in the journal Nature on 26 March 2014.

Continue reading via ESO

Images: Artist’s impression of the rings around Chariklo. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger.