Nature

Nature

Are male lions lazy all the time?

For years it was assumed that male lions leave the hard work to the females, only making an appearance at the dinner table after the big hunt. But scientists have now shown the very opposite to be true.

Nature

Who can jump the furthest?

The world record for the high jump currently stands at 2.45 metres. Pretty impressive by human standards (it’s stood for 23 years now), but a distance that a puma would find laughable. The feline predators can leap more than double that height – up to 5.4 metres from a standing position.

Nature

Can bacteria see?

Cyanobacteria have been living on Earth for 2.5 billion years, generating oxygen through light energy. There’s only one puzzle that researchers have not been able to solve so far. How do the unicellular organisms find sources of light?

Nature

Can plants count?

Researchers at the University of Würzburg in Germany have discovered that catching prey is as easy as one, two, three for Venus flytraps. The plants can count the movements of their prey using the sensory bristles on their leaves before they close.

Nature

Where is the highest tidal range in the world?

At low tide around 40,000 hectares of mud flats are laid bare, while at high tide the waves crash over the cliffs on the coast. Canada’s Bay of Fundy breaks all records: at low tide and high tide, the water level differs by up to 16.3 metres – the largest tidal range in the world.

Nature

What is the most successful predator?

Lions are successful in one out of every five hunts. For tigers and leopards the success rate lies between five and 38%, while our own domestic cats taste victory on every third attempt. All of these are rates that pale in comparison to Africa’s black-footed cat.

Nature

How do stinging nettles get under the skin?

Just one ten-thousandth of a milligram of stinging nettle fluid is enough to unleash that unpleasant tingling beneath the skin and the accompanying red rash. When disturbed, the stinging hairs on the nettles’ leaves act like needles and inject a chemical cocktail into the skin.

Nature

How long can a virus survive without a host?

Most viruses can only remain active for a few hours outside of a host, but the norovirus is a survivor – the vomiting bug has been found on a carpet after 12 days. The virus can also withstand extreme climates.

Nature

Is spring getting earlier?

Bluebells in January? It’s a scenario that sounds absurd, but if the warming of our planet continues at its current rate, spring will arrive earlier and earlier with each passing year.

Nature

What's lying beneath Antarctica's ice?

With the help of laser measurements taken by aircraft and analysis of satellite images, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have created adetailed topographic map of Antarctica for the first time.

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