Squids can change color to escape predators and scientists have spotted the most distant galaxy yet


New Delhi: A team of researchers from Japan Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University for the first time recorded squids changing color to blend in with their surroundings to avoid predators.

Until now, octopus and cuttlefish were the only cephalopods a group of marine animals characterized by their multiple arms and soft bodies known to be able to camouflage itself by matching the color of a substrate.

the to research paved the way for further studies of how squid see and perceive the world around them.

Squids usually hover in the open sea. The team wanted to know what happens when they get a little closer to a coral reef or if they are chased by a predator to the bottom of the ocean.

Squids are difficult to keep in captivity, so this type of research has been avoided until now. But since 2017, this team has been breeding a species of oval squid in captivity.

This type of squid, known locally as “Shiro-ika”, is one of three oval squids found in Okinawa. When out at sea, they are light in color, meaning they blend in with the ocean surface and the flickering sunlight above. But the researchers suspected that when they got closer to the ocean floor, it would be a whole different story.

Camouflage was accidentally observed by researchers while they were cleaning their tank to remove algae growth. They noticed that the marine animals changed color depending on whether they were on the cleaned surface or on the algae.

Following this observation, the researchers carried out a controlled experiment. They kept several squids in a tank and cleaned half the tank leaving the other half covered in algae.

They placed an underwater camera inside the water and hung a regular camera above it, so they could capture and run statistical tests on any color changes.

The team found that when the squid were on the clean side of the tank, they were light in color, but when they hovered above the algae, their color became darker.

The experiment revealed an ability that had never before been reported in squid. Read more.

The most distant astronomical object discovered

An international team of astronomers has discovered the most distant astronomical object ever a galaxy located 13.5 billion light-years away.

Dubbed “HD1”, the galaxy was discovered by the team, which includes researchers from Center for Astrophysics, an astrophysical research institute jointly operated by Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

The team has two ideas about the nature of the galaxy one is that HD1 can form stars at an amazing rate and may even harbor the very first stars, which has never been observed before. Second, HD1 may contain a supermassive black hole about 100 million times the mass of our sun.

HD1 is extremely bright in ultraviolet light. At first, the researchers assumed that HD1 was a standard starburst galaxy, that is, a galaxy creating stars at a high rate. But after calculating how many stars HD1 produced, they said it was doing so at “an incredible rate”.

HD1 would form more than 100 stars every year. This is at least 10 times higher than what we expect for these galaxies. Read more.

Discovery of the fossil of a dinosaur killed by an asteroid

In a first, scientists claim to have found fossils of creatures that were killed and buried on the same day a giant asteroid hit Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The team found a dinosaur member, complete with skin which is just one of a series of remarkable discoveries emerging from the site in North Dakota, USA.

Very few dinosaur remains have been found in the rocks that even record the last thousands of years before the impact, which is why it would be extraordinary to have a specimen from the same day of the fateful impact.

In addition to the leg, the team found fish breathing in impact debris as it rained down from the sky.

They also found a fossil turtle skewered by a wooden stake, remains of small mammals and the burrows dug by them, the skin of a horned triceratops, the embryo of a flying pterosaur inside its egg and which could be a fragment of the asteroid impactor itself.

Finds from the site reveal unprecedented details about what happened that day.

Scientists now widely agree that a space rock about 12 km wide hit the planet, causing the last mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The impact site has been identified in the Gulf of Mexico about 3,000 kilometers from the US site where the fossil was found. However, the energy imparted to the event was so great that its devastation was felt from afar. Read more.

Ocean samples produce more than 5,500 new species of RNA virus

Samples collected from oceans around the world by an international team of researchers have provided a treasure trove of new RNA data (Ribonucleic acid) with scientists identifying more than 5,500 new species of RNA virus.

The research is reshaping the understanding of how these submicroscopic particles evolved.

The team used machine learning analyzes to identify more than 5,500 new species of RNA viruses. These represent the five known RNA virus phyla, and the team suggests that at least five new RNA virus phyla are now needed to classify species.

The most abundant collection of newly identified species belongs to a proposed phylum that researchers have named Taraviricote, recognizing the contribution of 35,000 water samples speak Tara Oceans Consortiuma global study in progress aboard the schooner Taraof the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans.

While microbes are essential contributors to all life on the planet, the viruses that infect or interact with them have various influences on microbial functions. These types of viruses are believed to have three main functions kill cells, change the way infected cells manage energy and transfer genes from one host to another.

Learning more about the diversity and abundance of viruses in the world’s oceans will help explain the role of marine microbes in ocean adaptation to climate change. Read more.

Pterosaur fossil cache found in Atacama Desert

A team of Chilean scientists has discovered a cache of well-preserved bones of ancient flying reptiles that roamed the Atacama Desert more than 100 million years ago.

The remains belong to pterosaurs flying creatures that lived alongside dinosaurs. The team from the University of Chile has been looking for pterosaurs for years. Usually, the remains of pterosaurs are found isolated.

The discovery could shed light on how pterosaurs behaved in groups.

Most of the pterosaur bones were found flattened and broken, but the team says they were able to recover three-dimensional bones preserved at the site. This well helps scientists better understand the anatomy of pterosaurs.

The discovery also shows that pterosaurs were once widespread in northern Chile. Read more.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)


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