Philip Donkersley, Lancaster University
How important are bees and what will happen when they go extinct? Is there research into what is killing them? I’ve been told it’s weed killers… – Tink, aged 18, Cornwall, UK.
Bees – including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees – are very important because they pollinate food crops. Pollination is where insects move pollen from one plant to another, fertilising the plants so that they can produce fruit, vegetables, seeds and so on. If all the bees went extinct, it would destroy the delicate balance of the Earth’s ecosystem and affect global food supplies.
Continue reading Bees: how important are they and what would happen if they went extinct?
We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness, very fast. Actually, we are the main (and probably the only) cause of the sixth major extinction event in the history of our planet. Now, a recent UN report says at least one million species (animals, plants, and insects) are at the risk of extinction. There will be serious consequences for life on Earth, and also for human beings.
Continue reading UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction
If we limit global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C above the pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, the impacts of climate change would be much less dramatic, a new study says. According to the researchers, for vertebrates and plants, the number of species losing more than half their geographic range by 2100 will be halved when warming is limited to 1.5°C, compared with projected losses at 2°C. It would be even better for insects, the most diverse group of animals on Earth: the number is reduced by two-thirds.
Continue reading Most species hold their geographic range if we limit global warming to 1.5°C, study says
I stumbled upon an amazing web page showing what did ancient Earth look like. On “Dinosaur Pictures and Facts” web page (dinosaurpictures.org), there’s also an interactive animation. On this page, you can either select the years (i.e. 600 million years ago) or jump to a particular event (i.e. first multicellular life) and see how ancient Earth did look like then. You can also remove the clouds and stop the Earth’s rotation if you want to.
Continue reading What did Ancient Earth Look Like
Today, I stumbled upon a Facebook page, titled “Wrong” by Freethink. Then I searched them on YouTube and saw that they also have a YouTube channel. They published great videos on interesting subjects. I would strongly recommend you to take a look at their very underrated YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Here some of their great videos below:
Continue reading “Wrong” by Freethink Media
The largest insects on Earth – preparing such a list is not an easy task. Because, how can you identify the “large”? It is a relative term: if you mean the “bulkiest” by largest, for instance, this title may go to the Goliath beetle (Goliathus), which are among the largest insects on Earth, if measured in terms of size, bulk, and weight. They measure from 60–110 millimeters (2.4–4.3 in) for males and 50–80 millimeters (2.0–3.1 in) for females, as adults, and can reach weights of up to 80–100 grams (2.8–3.5 oz) in the larval stage, though the adults are only about half this weight.
Or maybe Actaeon beetle (Megasoma actaeon) claims the title, which is a rhinoceros beetle, a member of the Scarabaeidae family. They can be up to 7 centimeters (2.8 in) across, with a body length of up to 13.5 cm (5.4 in) long by 4 cm (1.6 in) thick.
If you are looking for the “heaviest”, check out the Giant Weta, the heaviest insect in the world. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams!
Continue reading Top 10 Largest Insects on Earth
A nice interactive webpage by the BBC – The British Broadcasting Corporation: how you and the world have changed since you were born? You’re simply entering your birth date, gender, and height; selecting units (metric or imperial/US) and then watching how our planet (and you) has changed in your lifetime.
Continue reading Your Life On Earth (presented by BBC)
In the insects’ world, the Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is a real beast. It is one of the subspecies of the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia), which is the world’s largest hornet. As its name suggests, it is endemic to the Japanese islands, where it prefers rural areas where it can find trees to nest in.
Continue reading A Japanese Giant Hornet cooked by Honey Bees (video)
A single Japanese giant hornet can kill up to forty European honeybees a minute. So, a few of them can decimate an entire colony containing 30,000 bees. Compared to honeybees, it is a really giant: adults can be more than 4.5 centimeters (1.8 in) long, with a wingspan greater than 6 centimeters (2.4 in). It also has scissor-like teeth which can wreak havoc on its prey.
In the small islands of New Zealand, the world’s heaviest insect lives – The Giant weta. There are 70 types of species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant weta is endemic to New Zealand and is an example of island gigantism: which is a biological phenomenon leading to a larger size than their mainland relatives because of their isolation and lack of large predators. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams or more!
Continue reading Giant Weta – The Heaviest Insect on Earth