In the ongoing question of “what makes human’s special?”, biologist have recently demonstrated that honey bees have the ability to conceptualize zero.
The bees in the study were trained, one group to fly towards displays with higher quantities of black shapes, and one towards cards with fewer shapes. Once the second group was trained to recognize “lower” number of black spots, they introduced blank cards. The bees were then able to recognize that the absence of black spots is less than low number of spots.
This phenomenon is referred to as the “numerical-distance-effect” and has been observed in children and primates. So bees have at least the conceptual ability of a smll child.
Good job bees! Read more about it here.
FromDavid Sischo on facebook (with accompanying photo):
“Have you ever held an entire species in your hand? Its hard to describe how this makes one feel. Exhilarated, filled with deep sadness at the state of the world, terrified that these beings are in our care, but also relieved that we intervened before this species met oblivion. Around a year ago the last six Achatinella fulgens, an endangered tree snail species once common in the gulches and ridges surrounding Honolulu, were brought to our DLNR captive rearing facility. This is after the habitat this last population occupied slumped down the mountain leaving all of the trees knocked down. From six we now have 22! It feels as though we are trying to start a fire that was left unattended and only a tiny ember remains. I guess we’ll just keep fanning the flame.” #racingextinction #extinction #hawaii #oahu #honolulu #conservation#kahuli #nature #wildlife #inourhands #fantheflame
To survive in this harsh environment, the flies perform a feat that Mark Twain described with great fascination in 1872. “You can hold them under water as long as you please—they do not mind it—they are only proud of it,” he wrote in a passage of his book Roughing It. “When you let them go, they pop up to the surface as dry as a patent office report.”
This is the best description ever, and makes me want to go into taxonomy.
Read more about these aberrations here!
If you see a hagfish don’t anger it. Under attack, these bottom scavengers and hunters releases thick, clear slime in astonishing quantities. Potential predators back off quickly when presented with the slime, because it clogs their gills. The hagfish itself escape their own mucus that they tie their bodies into a knot and scrape it off (A highway in Oregon was harder to clean up after a truck full of hagfish crashed there last year.)
However, it turns out that this mucus is a precious resource for a hagfish. After sliming a predator, the fish can take nearly a month to refill its slime glands. So leave the poor slime monsters alone.
Read about it here.
The Mexican cavefish have no eyes, little pigment, and require about two hours of sleep per night to survive.
Imagine what you could do with those extra hours! So we should ask cavefish, how do they do it?
Read more about that very research here.
And I for one am wondering how the hell they do it! I just moved to a bigger city and I love it, but I’m finding my time a little stretched thin.
And I have opposable thumbs, and grocery stores. I can’t imagine how wildlife are doing it. Are they better at adulting than I am?
Read about how mountain lions are handling it here.