SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Mysterious Sensory Organ Found in Whale's Chin
If you came face to face with a great whale, you might find a few surprises in its chin: Like whiskers, if you look closely at the surface. And, hidden inside the chin, lies a mysterious sensory organ, unknown to centuries of whalers and biologists.
You just need the right tools to find it: a high-tech, oversized x-ray machine, and the right saws to slice it into thin pieces that fit in a microscope.
A group of scientists based at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, have done all that looking--and they discovered an organ that serves a crucial purpose and answers a longstanding mystery. How do great whales, such as humpbacks and blues, drive their jaws so wide open and then snap them shut, while swimming at full speed?
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VIDEO: How Hair Ice Grows
In 2013, American Scientist featured an article on odd ice formations on plant stems, including these curling ribbons of ice. One of the types of ice discussed in the article was hair ice—long, thin strands of ice that grow under quite specific conditions. The only problem is that a new study shows the theory put forth at the time—that gas pressure pushes the water out—isn’t correct... (click the link above to read more).
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