In the cottony cushion scale—a common agricultural pest that grows to about a fifth of an inch (half a centimeter) long—a new phenomenon has arisen: When some females develop in fertilized eggs, excess sperm grows into tissue within the daughters.
This parasitic tissue, genetically identical to the female’s father, lives inside the female and fertilizes her eggs internally—rendering the female a hermaphrodite and making her father both the grandfather and father of her offspring, genetically speaking.




Emphasis added.


National Geographic

In the cottony cushion scale—a common agricultural pest that grows to about a fifth of an inch (half a centimeter) long—a new phenomenon has arisen: When some females develop in fertilized eggs, excess sperm grows into tissue within the daughters.

This parasitic tissue, genetically identical to the female’s father, lives inside the female and fertilizes her eggs internally—rendering the female a hermaphrodite and making her father both the grandfather and father of her offspring, genetically speaking.

Emphasis added.

National Geographic

sciencecenter
sciencecenter:

The tentacled snake uses its special appendages to detect fish in the water
Aside from its helpful adaptation, the tentacled snake (Erpeton tentaculatus) is a devastatingly effective hunter. Snakes are instinctively born knowing how to lure fish into a trap formed by their J-shaped body. The snake then startles the fish with a slight movement of the snake’s abdomen, initiating the fish’s escape instinct and manipulating it to drive the fish right into the snake’s mouth. If the fish takes an alternate path, the snake strikes at the location where the fish will be milliseconds later - even before the fish has started moving.

I have always wondered if the very similar protuberances on marine eels had a similar function. 

sciencecenter:

The tentacled snake uses its special appendages to detect fish in the water

Aside from its helpful adaptation, the tentacled snake (Erpeton tentaculatus) is a devastatingly effective hunter. Snakes are instinctively born knowing how to lure fish into a trap formed by their J-shaped body. The snake then startles the fish with a slight movement of the snake’s abdomen, initiating the fish’s escape instinct and manipulating it to drive the fish right into the snake’s mouth. If the fish takes an alternate path, the snake strikes at the location where the fish will be milliseconds later - even before the fish has started moving.

I have always wondered if the very similar protuberances on marine eels had a similar function. 

skeptv

skepttv:

“Bodies” Make Up Fake Coral Reef

Hundreds of life-size human sculptures were recently installed as part of a new underwater sculpture garden off Cancún, Mexico.

via tooyoungforthelivingdead:

A new artificial coral reef made of more than 400 eerie-looking human figures has been made to replace the natural coral reef that is decaying due to human intervention.

Fish and coral have already colonized the sculptures, providing new habitat for wildlife and a new attraction for tourists.

holy crap.

Talk about art that changes with time…

skeptv

skepttv:

Pistol Shrimp sonic weapon - Weird Nature - BBC

Enter the weird and wonderful underwater world of the Pistol Shrimp in this interesting short video from BBC animal show ‘Weird Nature’. Learn how the shrimp turns sound into a weapon to ward off predators and stun prey.

The sound is quite audible through a few feet of water and the glass/acrylic of a standard fish aquarium, though many tend to run rather than snap when threatened.

skeptv

skepttv:

Pink Boots and a Machete

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, Fulbright scholar, television correspondent, field biologist, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Mireya Mayor shares her adventures from the field.

Interview: Mireya Mayor

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Mireya Mayor explains how her role as a mother frames her work for wildlife conservation.

Cool person and a cool story.

s33 asked:

"our tendency to detect intelligent agents when none are actually present"

I think that HADD is crap. If anything, our tendency as humans is to fail to give the benefit of the doubt to other humans let alone other species as far as intelligence and equality. Mythology is not the result of mistaking inanimate objects for spiritual entities, rather it is the natural function of the human psyche to express superlative qualities as personified characters. It is a playful, fictive process which is interpreted in a variety of ways, ranging from simple entertainment to social drama to sacred revelation and has nothing whatsoever to do with survival or evolutionary biology.

Obviously whatever we have in the way of signifying sentience is present in other life forms as well - not as an independent phenomenon but as an aspect of being a living organism as opposed to a dead one.

Mythology is not the result of mistaking inanimate objects for spiritual entities, rather it is the natural function of the human psyche to express superlative qualities as personified characters. It is a playful, fictive process which is interpreted in a variety of ways, ranging from simple entertainment to social drama to sacred revelation and has nothing whatsoever to do with survival or evolutionary biology.

Oh?  I suppose you have some other hypothesis or data to present?  ”Natural function of the human psyche”?  Why does it have that function?  ”Playful fictive process”…that means nothing and explains less.  Everything about human physiology and psychology has something in principle to do with evolution.  We are not privileged to have received some of our qualities by providence or magic rather than evolution like everything else.

Listen my friend.  I have tried before to get you to realize that you speak about science and physics in a way that may make you appear intelligent to those unfamiliar with the subjects, but it is obvious to those with formal schooling that your knowledge is superficial at best.  Your pronouncements are based on wish-thinking and fuzzy logic.