Category Archives: Life on Earth

Biodiversity isn’t just pretty: it future-proofs our world

By Elizabeth Boakes, a research associate at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. Edited by Sally Davies

A small boy hauls enthusiastically on his fishing rod. The line flies up and a needle-spined fish strikes him in the eye. Desperate to stay outdoors, he ignores the pain, but his sight deteriorates over the following months. He continues to pursue his love of nature but, now blind in one eye, he is confined to studying creatures that are easy to see: insects. He grows to become the global authority on ants, and in later life is given the moniker ‘the father of biodiversity’.
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Watch: The Man Who Flies With Migrating Birds

Using a two-seater ultralight aircraft built by himself, Frenchman Christian Moullec flies with migrating birds since 1995. In that year, dubbed the “birdman”, Moullec, saw that lesser white-fronted geese were struggling with their migration from Germany to Sweden. Inspired by the work of the famous Austrian ethologist Konrad LorenzNotes 1, known as “the man who walked with geese”, he decided to help them and built his handmade aircraft. Today, if the weather permits, he flies with birds almost every day and guides them through their journey. This stunning footage published by National Geographic shows Moullec, “the man who flies with migrating birds” guiding the flocks of vulnerable species in his ultralight and taking enthralled passengers with him. According to National Geographic, he takes tourists up to fly with birds from March through October.
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The oldest fossils suggest that life should be common in the Universe

Are we alone in the Universe? Or any other life forms exist out there? A new study, published on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)Notes 1 suggests that the life emerged so early on Earth – it should be widespread. In other words, the Universe should be filled with life.
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CrocBITE: Worldwide Crocodilian Attack Database

Where native large crocodilians and humans live close to each other, crocodile attacks on humans occasionally occur. In fact, only 6 out of 22 crocodilian species are considered dangerous to adult humans.Notes 1 And in those six species, only individuals 2 meters (6.6 feet) and longer in length are capable of killing adult humans. Two species, which are also the largest and most aggressive, saltwater crocodile and Nile crocodile are well-known reputation for preying on humans. These two also have the most documented cases. Each year, hundreds of people die of either Nile or saltwater crocodile attacks. The mugger crocodile, which can be found throughout the Indian subcontinent and the surrounding countries, also very dangerous to humans, killing many people in India every year. Despite the American crocodile is considered to be less aggressive, a few (unverified) fatally attacks reported. Also, species/individuals smaller than 2 meters can inflict painful and dangerous bites on adult humans and they even capable of killing children. Even then, according to the Worldwide Crocodilian Attack Database most interactions between crocodiles and humans are non-eventful.
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Top 10 Largest Crocodiles Ever Recorded

Crocodiles (subfamily Crocodylinae) or true crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Although they are big, they suffer from a prevalence of “big fish” stories and over-exaggeration. In the Internet age, photographs of crocodiles manipulated digitally to make the animal look much larger than it is. So, how big the largest crocodiles are actually? Here are the top 10 largest crocodiles ever recorded.
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Dinosaur-killer asteroid hit “worst possible place”, Scientists Say

According to the scientists who drilled into the Chicxulub crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, the famous dinosaur-killer asteroid hit the “worst possible place”. They summarized their findings so far in a BBC Two documentary titled The Day The Dinosaurs Died. The documentary presented by professors Alice Roberts and Ben Garod.
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Watch: How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Are we alone in the universe? Or are there any other “living planets” other than Earth? Until 1992, we even don’t know if there are any other planets around the other stars or not. In 1992, two Swiss astrophysicists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the first “exoplanet” (planet around other star than Sun). Then discoveries continued. Especially after the launch of Kepler space telescope on March 7, 2009, which is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars, we quickly learned that our Solar System is not a rare phenomenon at all. As of November 2017, scientists have confirmed more than 3,500 exoplanets in more than 2,700 star systems. Now, the question is: are any of these planets (or the planets waiting to be discovered in the future) harbor life? If so, how we can find out? How to tell if a planet harbors life?
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Watch: Our Living Planet From Space

Life makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we’ve discovered so far – there may be extraterrestrial life, or maybe notNotes 1, but it is the only “living planet” that we know of. Since 1997Notes 2, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean. This view of life from space is furthering knowledge of our home planet, and how it’s changing.

In the Northern Hemisphere, ecosystems wake in the spring, taking in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen as they sprout leaves – and a fleet of Earth-observing satellites track the spread of vegetation. Meanwhile, in the oceans, microscopic plants drift through sunlit surface waters blooming into billions of carbon-dioxide-absorbing, oxygen-producing organisms – and satellites map the swirls of their color.
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