In the darkest depths of terra firma, springtails, a humble class of creepy-crawlies, quietly go about their business. Researchers documenting life in the world’s deepest cave, Krubera-Voronya on the eastern side of the Black Sea, discovered four new species of springtail, including the eyeless Anurida stereoodorata (inset), which subsist on fungi and decaying organic material. The intrepid scientists monitored sections of the cave for a month, looking for life using pitfall traps baited with cheese.
Two of the species, Plutomurus ortobalaganensis (pictured above), found 1980 meters down, and Schaefferia profundissima found 1600 meters down, now hold the record for deepest living underground invertebrates, researchers report today in Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews. Their new finds bury the previous record-holder for deepest-dwelling springtail, Ongulonychiurus colpus, a Spanish cave creature found 550 meters down. And since these new species were one of the most common decomposers in Krubera-Voronya cave, they probably have no need to snatch creatures from the surface for food—as H.G. Wells’s subterranean Morlocks did in The Time Machine.
(via: Science NOW) (Image: Rafael Jordana and Enrique Baquero)
Anthony Michael Simon doesn’t produce his own art, instead he lets spiders do the work for him.
About the work:
Chicago native Anthony Michael Simon first discovered the artistry of the silk-producing arachnids while trekking through a forest in Korea, where he is currently based, looking for a location for his next sculptural art installation. He came across a huge spiderweb and it somehow clicked in his mind that he could catch spiders and have them naturally spin their webs in his studio.
Fractal pancakes and organ pancakes! Now I know what’s been missing from my morning routine all these years. These are from Saipancakes and if you’re not satisfied with what you see here, don’t worry, they have lots more.
Eighteen Madagascan pochards—the rarest duck on the planet—are exuding cuteness in a captive breeding center in Antsohihy, Madagascar. These adorable ducklings represent nearly a third of the entire population of their critically endangered species, signaling new hope that these birds can be saved from extinction.
Madagascan pochards were thought to be extinct until explorers rediscovered 22 of them nesting at a small, forested lake in northern Madagascar in 2006. By July 2009 only six females remained. That’s when conservationists, in cooperation with the Malagasy government, opted to launch an emergency captive breeding program.