Archives for the month of: February, 2012

It takes the sun 365.242190 days to get round the sun (a solar year or tropical year). Because the calendar year is 365 days, that means we need to add an extra day every four years to keep the calendar year and the solar year in sync. In 1582, the calendar lost ten days – October 4th was followed by October 15th.

Leap years are years that are divisible by four, except… years that are also divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also divisible by 400, when they are leap years. Got that?

Researchers have found chameleons that are just 29 mm long. The lizards, Brookesia micra, live in Madagascar.

In the Black Sea, researchers have found springtails in a deep cave – Plutomurus ortobalaganensis at 1980 metres and Schaefferia profundissima at 1600 meters. Springtails are hexapods (have six legs) and these both like cheese!

Researchers in the Netherlands have grown muscle tissue from cow stem cells and could have created burgers in the lab by October.

The northern wheatear, which only weighs 25 g (0.8 oz) migrates 18,640 miles, from sub-Saharan Africa to its Arctic breeding grounds.

Honeybees warn hornet predators that they have been spotted by vibrating their bodies

The oldest fossils found so far are cell- or bacteria-like microfossils found in Australia that date back 3.4 billion years.

When an ant is attacked by an enemy ant from another colony, the attacked ant retains the enemy’s smell and passes it onto the rest of the colony. This means that any ant from the colony will recognise any ant from the intruder’s colony.

Tasmanian devils get a very infectious and fatal facial cancer that is can be caught by another Tasmanian devil by biting, mating or touching. Scientists have sequenced the genome of the cancer itself, and this might help save the animals. The whole Tasmanian devil genome was sequenced in June 2011.

An 83 year old woman has had a new lower jaw fitted using a jawbone created from titanium in a few hours using a 3D laser printer.

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