Category Archives: Life on Earth

Is bigger always better, or will the tiny inherit the Earth?

As I scuba dive in Oslob Bay off Cebu Island in the Philippines, I see a tiny shadow dart over the surface of the spherical coral block – a minute fish, a goby of the genus Eviota, among the smallest vertebrates in existence, only about a centimetre long and less than 1/10th of a gramme light. It’s about a million times smaller than myself, with the same basic vertebrate body: a spinal cord, a bony skull, a brain, kidneys and a liver. With the exception of gills and lungs, the tiny fish and I share similar sets of organs, just at a very dissimilar size.

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How big is the blue whale? Watch to see

The blue whale (scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales (Mysticeti). Up to 31 meters (102 feet) in length and 190 tonnes (210 short tons) in weight, it is the largest extant animal and also is the heaviest known to have existed. But it’s hard to conceptualize how big these wonderful animals really are. To put things into perspective, Facts in Motion channel prepared a video titled “Blue Whales Are Way Bigger Than You Think”. The video also explains the evolutionary reasons behind how and why blue whales get that large.

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We are pumping 10 times more carbon into the atmosphere than when there were palm trees in the Arctic

Around 55.5 million years ago, there was a time period with more than 5°C – 8 °C warmer global average temperature than today, which named “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” (PETM). As a result, there were crocodiles and even crocodiles in the Arctic and the region was completely ice-free. Now, a new study suggests that if we keep burning fossil fuels at the current rate, the Earth will be again 8 degrees warmer within the next few hundred years. We’re going to face another PETM-like event soon.

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How seeing snakes in the grass helped primates to evolve

Evolution has favoured the modification and expansion of primate vision. Compared with other mammals, primates have, for example, greater depth perception from having forward-facing eyes with extensively overlapping visual fields, sharper visual acuity, more areas in the brain that are involved with vision, and, in some primates, trichromatic colour vision, which enables them to distinguish red from green hues. In fact, what separates primates from other mammals most is their much greater reliance on vision as the main sensory interface with the environment.

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Earth without Moon – what would it be like?

The Moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite. It is also the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits. It formed about 4.51 billion years ago from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia (this is known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis and is the most widely accepted explanation of the formation of the Moon). This impact happened not long after the Earth has been formed. But, what if that giant impact never happened? What would the Earth without Moon be like?

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Dinosaurs were already doomed as the frequency of Asteroid Impacts increased 290 million years ago

By studying lunar craters, scientists have discovered that the asteroid impacts became more frequent about 290 million years ago. So was just a matter of time for dinosaurs to becoming extinct.

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African musicians protest the destruction of the environment with a song titled “Samalilani” (Preserve)

Musicians from Zambia (Africa) protest the destruction of the environment and the wildlife with the song titled “Samalilani” (means “preserve” in English). They also draw attention to climate change and environmental issues facing Zambia, like deforestation and charcoal burning.

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