A love of nature drives many of our pursuits. And when we’re not outdoors, we like to explore discoveries about the places we live and visit. Here are some of the best natural history links we found this week.
Nessie, is that you?
New evidence for the Loch Ness Monster?: Millions of years ago, plesiosaurs were swimming in the seas around the UK. The reptiles, known for their long necks, could grow up to 13m in length. Newly discovered fossils suggest that they lived in freshwater habitats such as lochs.
While others have found plesiosaur fossils in lakes and freshwater, this study found the fossils of 12 amazing plesiosaurs. On the same subject : Upstate Blues Legend celebrates 80th birthday with music and food. Nick Longrich, who led the study, believes that this is evidence that they lived in these areas.
Nessie believers point to this as proof that the Loch Ness Monster is more than just a myth. The long neck of a plesiosaurus resembles that of a monster, and these fossils prove that such animals would have lived in an environment like Loch Ness. But there is one small issue: Plesiosaurs died out 66 million years ago, and Loch Ness was formed 10 million years ago.
Record coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef: The northern and central parts of the Great Barrier Reef have the highest number of corals in 36 years.
The Great Barrier Reef has faced several storms and bleaching events in recent years, which have wiped out many living corals. Although the coral cover in the south is decreasing, this is a glimmer of hope that the reefs are starting to recover. This year’s total blackout event was the fourth in six years, and the first during a La Niña.
Scientists are concerned that if this trend continues the new reefs will not survive because the new corals are at risk of stress. “The coming disturbance could reverse the observed recovery in the short term,” marine scientist Mike Emslie explained.
A hatchling sea turtle burrows into the sand. Image: Shutterstock
Male turtles needed
Female sea turtles in Florida: Sand temperature determines whether a sea turtle egg develops into a male or female. See the article : Inflection point in High County real estate means a change of approach. As global temperatures rise, so does the percentage of female turtles that hatch.
Florida is a very popular place for nesting turtles. For the past four years, no male cubs have been born. Elsewhere, on cooler shores near the Great Barrier Reef, 65% of hatchlings are female. On the warmer beaches in this region, this rises to 90%.
The “feminization” of sea turtle populations is occurring worldwide and is now posing a threat to sea turtle populations. Scientists fear that other reptiles, such as lizards, will face the same problem.
Giant European Pandas six million years ago: Researchers have examined two fossilized teeth from the Bulgarian Museum of Natural History. They belong to the giant panda species that lived six million years ago in Europe.
It’s not the first time scientists have found fossils of giant pandas in Europe, but these are the smallest specimens. Scientists think it may be the last panda species found on the continent.
The pandas may have lived in swampy forests, many of which became coal fields. Modern giant pandas eat bamboo but these ancient teeth would not have been strong enough for this. At the end of the Miocene period, extreme temperatures would dry up the swamp-like landscape, making it impossible for black and white bears to survive.
South Korea to probe the moon
South Korea begins lunar orbit: South Korea’s space program continues. See the article : Bill to boost semiconductor industry, high-tech research passes key Senate test. On August 5, they began their first lunar cycle.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the U.S. Air Force Base. Florida. The orbiter weighs 678kg and separated from the rocket after 40 minutes. South Korea’s space agency has confirmed that it is in good working order and is on track to enter lunar orbit in December.
There, it will complete a year-long study. Among other tasks, it will look for a place to land. South Korea aims to send a probe to the moon by 2030.
Aerial photo of a sinkhole outside the town of Tierra Amarilla, Chile. Photo: Sernageomin
Huge sinkhole opens in Chile: Huge sinkhole opens in Chile. It is 32m wide and is located near Tierra Amarilla, a town north of Santiago.
The pit was opened on July 30 at the Alcaparrose copper mine. Geologists think the sinkhole is 200m deep and has a pool of water flowing through it. They have set up a 100m security zone around the area and are investigating what happened.
Sinkholes form where underground water bodies have no drainage. The water erodes the rock, making caves. Then the rock above collapses inward due to lack of support. Sinkholes take years to form but can open suddenly. Fortunately, this set up in an uninhabited area.