Science…Wednesday? Mega Volcanoes, Alien Beaches, and Don’t Drink Too Much Tea!

Hello Aledans! I know this should be a Science Tuesday post, but since I took Monday off this is technically my Tuesday! So happy virtual Tuesday 🙂 Are you ready for some awesome science-y goodness? I know you are 😉

(Photo : J.A. Peñas - SINC) This is an artist's impression of the egg laying of an Ampelosaurus. (From the article)
(Photo : J.A. Peñas – SINC) This is an artist’s impression of the egg laying of an Ampelosaurus. (From the article)

70-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Egg Fossils Discovered in Spain, Linked to New Species in the Region: The best part of this article is the picture of the dinosaur squatting to lay an egg 😛

Birds Evolve Shorter Wings to Survive on Roads: Birds in Nebraska have evolved shorter wings, which may help them avoid dying on roads by taking off quickly and darting away from cars.

Fossils of Earliest Old World Monkey Unearthed: Unlike the new-world monkeys of the Americas, tails of old-world monkeys are never prehensile, or able to grasp things.

I had no idea.

Antarctic’s First-Ever Whale Skeleton Found: Though their flesh decomposes within weeks, whale bones can last anywhere from 60 to 100 years, supporting bacteria and strange creatures like zombie worms, which are mouthless, eyeless animals that feed off the skeletons.

3,300-Year-Old Egyptian Cemetery Reveals Commoner’s Plight: This reminds me of the article about Ancient Roman’s eating bird food from a couple weeks back.

Inbreeding Common in Early Humans, Deformed Skull Suggests: Yet if such small, inbred populations did exist, it would invalidate many of the genetic inferences about when humans split off from the tree of life, Trinkhaus said, because these inferences assume large, stable populations.

The ilter consists of a ceramic disk containing copper or silver nanoparticles. By Jim Smith (From the Article)
The ilter consists of a ceramic disk containing copper or silver nanoparticles. By Jim Smith (From the Article)

Cheap ‘Nano-Tablet’ Purifies Water for up to Six Months: It consists of a small ceramic disk filled with silver or copper nanoparticles that is placed inside a water vessel, where it can repeatedly disinfect water for up to six months.

Giant Squid All One Big, Happy Family: The results suggest that giant squid are all one species. Even more, they’re all part of the same big population, meaning there don’t seem to be groups of giant squid that interact only with one another. Geography doesn’t seem to be a barrier to their breeding, to the extent that any giant squid in the world is a potential partner for any other giant squid in the global oceans.

Oceans May Be Common on Rocky Alien Planets: Never fear space travelers! There is likely a beach where you’re going 😉

Holy Land Farming Began 5,000 Years Earlier Than Thought: Ancient farms, like those in the region today, likely cultivated vineyards, olives, wheat and barley, he said.

Too Much Tea Causes Unusual Bone Disease: The patient’s blood levels of fluoride were four times higher than what would be considered normal, the researchers said.

Note to self: Don’t drink 100 tea bags in a day.

Roman Ruins Yield Clues to Ancient Earthquakes: Analyzing other ancient ruins for such damage could help shed light on the history of earthquakes in a region, which could yield insights on what risks that area faces in the future, the scientists who examined the mausoleum said.

Ancient Giant Trees Found Petrified in Thailand: “The result was the appearance of what is considered the world’s longest piece of petrified wood, with a length of 72.22 meters” (236.9 feet), the researchers report. “In 2006, the name of the park was changed to the Petrified Forest Park because of the fascinating discoveries.”

Look at that tiny giraffe! (From the Article)
Look at that tiny giraffe! (From the Article)

Shrunken Heads of Sea Snakes Explained: Sea snakes are so pretty, and this is really interesting.

Mega Volcanoes May Have Killed Half of Earth’s Species: This entire article is freaking awesome. Not only did the mega volcanoes cause a mass extinction, but they ripped apart Pangaea and created the Atlantic Ocean.

Single Drug May Combat Several Deadly Viruses: The findings, published today (March 21) in the journal Cell Chemistry and Biology, could eventually lead to a broad-spectrum medicine for many viral diseases, similar to the way antibiotics work on bacterial infections.

Ancient Stone Ships Reveal Life and Death in the Bronze Age: Archaeologists think these 3,000-year-old stone ships were used as symbolic vessels to carry the dead into the afterlife, since bones and urns are often unearthed from the sites. But one researcher believes Scandinavia’s stone ships were also useful to the living, as ritual gathering spaces and possibly even teaching tools.

Robes and Shovels, Medieval Monks Cultivated Wetlands: Another case of people doing amazing things well before we thought they could.

Solar-Powered 3D Printer Uses Sand to Make Glass: Someday your lightbulbs may be made out of solar-powered 3D-printed glass from the desert.

Information Superhighway Approaches Light Speed: Nothing moves faster than light in a vacuum, but large volumes of data can now travel at 99.7 per cent of this ultimate speed limit.

…and in related news:

Scientists Examine Nothing, find Something: …what we think of as nothing isn’t really nothing. Even if you were to create a perfect vacuum, at the quantum level it would still be populated with pairs of tiny “virtual” particles that flash in and out of existence and whose energy values fluctuate. As a consequence of these fluctuations, the speed of a photon passing through a vacuum varies, about 50 quintillionths of a second per square meter.

~~~~~

Wow! Last week was chock-full of cool science-y goodness!

If you want to receive the same daily science emails I do, you can sign up for the Sigma Xi SmartBrief here.

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Published by

Rebecca Enzor

Rebecca Enzor is a chemist in Charleston, SC who writes Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy and Magical Realism. Repped by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.

One thought on “Science…Wednesday? Mega Volcanoes, Alien Beaches, and Don’t Drink Too Much Tea!”

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