Archive for November, 2005

“Singing” Icebergs Recorded in Antarctica

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 29, 2005   View Article

They may not sound like Bing Crosby, but some icebergs can sing, scientists report.

“They are partly melodic, but not really melodic like singing, more like the screeching of a horror film in parts,” said Vera Schlindwein, a scientist with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.

World’s Oldest Rocks Suggest Early Earth Was Habitable

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 28, 2005   View Article

Astronauts in Earth’s orbit today look down on a jigsaw puzzle of continents rising from vast oceans, the conditions ripe for supporting life.

Controversial new research suggests that the continents formed—and conditions for life arose—much earlier than was previously thought.

Woolly Mammoth Tusks Yield Clues to Animals’ Lives

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 22, 2005   View Article

A woolly mammoth that died millennia ago nursed for at least six years, according to an analysis of one of its tusks. The finding raises the question: Did its mother finally get tired of being poked?

“That’s an interesting question,” said Adam Rountrey, a graduate student in geology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who helped analyze the tusk. “At this age the tusks are not protruding very far, but sure, eventually they could get in the way.”

2,000 Year Old Seed Sprouts, Sapling Is Thriving

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 22, 2005   View Article

A sapling germinated earlier this year from a 2,000-year-old date palm seed is thriving, according to Israeli researchers who are cultivating the historic plant.

“It’s 80 centimeters [3 feet] high with nine leaves, and it looks great,” said Sarah Sallon, director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center (NMRC) in Jerusalem.

Army of Tiny Fungi Keeps Forests Healthy, Study Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 21, 2005   View Article

Communities of microscopic fungi that live inside trees might help protect their hosts from disease and predators, new research suggests.

These fungi, called endophytes, are found throughout various types of plants from the roots to the leaves. Many different endophyte species can live together in a single plant.

5-Foot Giant Water Scorpion Once Roamed U.K. Shores

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 30, 2005   View Article

If you think scorpions are scary, try this on for size: a six-legged water scorpion the size of a human. Newly discovered tracks reveal that about 330 million years ago, just such a creature lumbered along the riverbanks in present-day Scotland.

The fossilized track is the largest of its kind ever found and shows these now extinct creatures could walk on land, according to Martin Whyte, a geologist at the University of Sheffield in England.

Glowing Butterflies Shine With Natural LEDs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 17, 2005   View Article

For 30 million years African swallowtail butterflies have dazzled their mates with glowing splashes of color on their wings. And the process they use to control the flow of light in their wings is strikingly similar to a technology that humans only recently developed, physicists report.

From the lasers used to read information on CDs and DVDs to the data carried across oceans along optical fibers, the control of light is essential to modern living.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach