Dried filters from the mouths of filter-feeding rays started appearing in apothecary shops in recent years, but there’s been no way to know which of these gentle-natured rays was being slaughtered. Now scientists have discovered enough differences to identify the giant manta and eight devil rays using the dried filters.
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Biologist Robert Paine has been awarded this year’s International Cosmos Prize that carries a cash award of about $408,000 and has previously gone to well-known conservationists such as David Attenborough and the leaders behind the Census of Marine Life project.
The basics of how a muscle generates power remain the same: Filaments of myosin tugging on filaments of actin shorten, or contract, the muscle – but the power doesn’t just come from what’s happening straight up and down the length of the muscle, as has been assumed for 50 years. The rest of the force should be credited to the lattice work of filaments as it expands outward in bulging muscle – whether in a body builder’s buff biceps or the calves of a sinewy marathon runner.
Seeds gobbled by birds and dispersed across the landscape tend to fare better than those that fall near parent plants. Now it turns out it might not just be the trip through the air that’s important, but also the inches-long trip through the bird.
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation names 173 fellows for 2013.
Book Q and A: To allow buildings on 34 million year-old fossils would be like using the Dead Sea Scrolls to wrap fish in, proclaimed the lawyer defending land that would eventually become Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. UW scientists consider the genetic underpinnings of such evolutionary rescue.
The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.
Taking into consideration size, an ancient relative of piranhas weighing about 20 pounds delivered a bite with more force than prehistoric whale-eating sharks or – even – Tyrannosaurus rex.
Microorganisms – 99 percent more kinds than had been reported in findings published just four months ago – are hitching rides in the upper troposphere from Asia.