Cosmarium sp. (desmid) near a Sphagnum sp. leaf (100x)
Desmids are an order of green algae that are single-celled but divided into two compartments by an isthmus.
(via Cosmarium sp. desmid near a Sphagnum sp. leaf | 2012 Photomicrography Competition | Nikon Small World)
Quasars and interstellar water
The farther something is from us, the longer its light must travel to get to us. When we observe an object that is 13 billion light-years away—like some of the oldest stars—we are actually seeing what it looked like 13 billion years ago. Looking back in time at distant objects can give us clues about the properties of the early universe.
Quasars, or “quasi-stellar radio sources,” are the most distant objects that we can see. The closest quasars are about 600 million light-years away, meaning that the last quasars died out just under 600 million years ago. We are only able to see these very distant objects because they are incredibly bright. Where do they get their immense energy? It is thought that quasars are extremely compact clouds of gas surrounding supermassive black holes. As gas rotates and falls into the black hole, it is heated millions of degrees and emits a wide range of radiation that spans the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to visible light and even x-rays.
In 2011, a huge reservoir of interstellar water was found surrounding a quasar. Out of 200,000 documented quasars, this one (APM 08279+5255) is unique. It is termed “hyperluminous” because its absolute brightness is so great, and its water cloud is the biggest collection of water anywhere in the universe, containing 140 trillion times the water in Earth’s oceans and weighing 100,000 times the mass of the sun. Not only is it the biggest water cloud ever found, but the oldest water ever found—this quasar is about 12 billion years old, or about 9/10 the age of the universe.(Image credit: 1)
Guest article written by Michaela Alden (skeptic-tank.tumblr.com)
My old article about quasars, which I still think are the coolest things ever!
Stunning macro photography by Phil Corley (x).
Don’t remove credit!
Arboreal Salamander Found Inside A Split Log
These things can climb into anything!
(Marin, California - 4/2014)
Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins | Tursiops
"Bottlenose dolphins track their prey through the expert use of echolocation. They can make up to 1,000 clicking noises per second. These sounds travel underwater until they encounter objects, then bounce back to their dolphin senders, revealing the location, size, and shape of their target.” -
(by James R.D. Scott)
An unidentified grafted cactus showing a beautiful symmetry and color.
Anatomy of 1-year old stem of Ginkgo biloba: pith and xylem (primary and secondary)
"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.
*view it in full-screen mode
In May 2008, the U.S listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In Canada, polar bears are listed as a species of special concern. Russia also considers the polar bear a species of concern.
What’s happening? Today, scientists have concluded that the threat to polar bears is loss of their sea ice habitat in the Arctic from global warming. Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting, breeding, and in some cases, denning. Summer ice loss in the Arctic now equals an area the size of Alaska, Texas, and the state of Washington combined.
Photos by: [Anette Holmberg]
Young Spotted Eagle Rays, Aetobatus narinari (Myliobatidae), feed in a shallow lagoon at night, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands.
Water Flea - Ceriodaphnia
Ceriodaphnia is a little fresh water crustacean (less than 1 mm), living in freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes in most of the world .
Ceriodaphnia feed by filtering water with their thoracic appendages and eat any phytoplankton that drift by their carapace opening.
Besides being one of the most efficient bacteria consumers of all the zooplankton species , Ceriodaphnia has been suggested to be a good ecotoxicity test organism (bio-indicator) for assessing acute aluminum oxide nanoparticle toxicity in fresh water environment, due to higher sensitivity and shorter growth span .
Animalia - Arthropoda - Crustacea - Branchiopoda - Cladocera - Daphnidae - Ceriodaphnia
The Polydiversity of Polychaete Worms
Creatures from dreams and nightmares are here. They are real and they are unbelievably beautiful.
From the depths of the cold White Sea to the coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Some of them were collected recently and they are still undescribed! They’re only a drop in the whole diversity of polychaetes.
SOURCE: Worms Renaissance, 7 March 2014
The word ‘polychaete’
Each body segment of a polychaete worm has a pair of fleshy protrusions called parapodia that bear many bristles, called chaetae, which are made of chitin. Polychaetes are sometimes referred to as bristle worms. [WP]
Pictured above are the three winners of the 2013 GE Healthcare Cell Imaging Competition. Click through the images to read more about how each of these stunning images was sequenced.
Sponges Likely Paved the Way For All Life on Earth
by Jennifer Viegas
The seemingly lowly sponge, just by its very existence, might have paved the way for the evolution of complex life forms, including our own species, according to a new paper.
Sponges appear to have added oxygen to the deep ocean, creating an environment where more mobile, major oxygen-using animals could have evolved, holds the paper, published in the latest Nature Geoscience.
The research builds on work, presented earlier this year, which found that the most primitive sponges probably could survive in water containing very low levels of oxygen…
(read more: Discovery News)
photo: Deep Sea Expedition, 2007, NOAA-OE