A bit of time has passed since the pinto and navy bean plants moved away from their humble beginnings in the seed starter kit. I didn’t document it thoroughly, but the beans’ transition out of the starters involved some amount of trial and error. Keep in mind that I have no yard and am now…
… an extinct genus of ape that existed from roughly nine million years to as recently as one hundred thousand years ago, in what is now China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as several hominin species. The fossil record suggests that individuals of the species Gigantopithecus blacki were the largest apes that ever lived, standing up to 3 m (9.8 ft), and weighing up to 540 kg (1,200 lb).
Gigantopithecus’s method of locomotion is uncertain, as no pelvic or leg bones have been found. The dominant view is that it walked on all fours like modern gorillas and chimpanzees. he jaws of Gigantopithecus are deep and very thick. The molars are low crowned and flat and exhibit heavy enamel suitable for tough grinding. The features of teeth and jaws suggested that the animal was adapted to chewing tough, fibrous food by cutting, crushing and grinding it. Gigantopithecus teeth also have a large number of cavities, similar to those found in giant pandas, whose diet, which includes a large amount of bamboo…
(read more: Wikipedia) (images via: NovaTaxa)
How the Global Pet Trade is Impacting the Survival of Many Exotic Species
by Ken Howell,
Curator of Upland Tropical Rainforest, National Aquarium
When it comes to pets, most people are content keeping traditional cats and dogs while others desire animals with a more exotic flair. Pet stores and online vendors offer the potential exotic pet owner an abundance of wildlife, ranging from parrots and marmosets to cobras and scorpions. Sadly, many recipients of exotic wildlife are unaware that their purchases may support a trade that is often illegal, inhumane, or detrimental to wild populations.
It may come as a surprise to many that the United States is one of the largest importers of live animals in the world with over one billion live animals imported since the year 2000. Various regulatory agencies strive to control this trade. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for enforcing not only its own internal regulations but also those regulations that fall under the auspices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)…
(read more: National Aquarium)
Neuroscience: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment: Genetic Predictor of Response to Exposure Therapy
There is growing evidence that a gene variant that reduces the plasticity of the nervous system also modulates responses to treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. In this case, patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, with a less functional variant of the gene coding for…