Mantis Sports Shades
Scientists from Newcastle University outfitted praying mantises in miniature 3-D glasses attached with beeswax in an effort to determine whether mantises use 3D vision. They concluded that the insects likely make use of 3-D vision when they hunt.
Theropod dinosaurs may have engaged in mating behavior known as a scrape ceremony, recreated in this image. Researchers analyzed evidence of more than 50 fossilized scrapes in the ground in Colorado. The grooves averaged over six and a half feet long, and were similar to those created by birds during scrape ceremonies that allow them to show off in front of potential mates, suggesting that dinosaurs may have also participated in a similar love dance.
Life Among the Stars
Clumps of hundred of thousands of stars packed together into dense spheres, known as globular clusters, may contain forms of life, according to research presented this week. Scientists previously thought these clusters of stars were uninhabitable, but new research suggests that they could possibly contain planets and support habitable environments.
Monkey See, Monkey Selfie
A federal judge has ruled that the macaque who took a now-famous selfie with a British photographer’s camera in 2011 cannot own the image’s copyright. After someone posted the photos in Wikipedia Commons, making them available for anyone to use, a legal battle ensued. Photographer David Slater claimed that he owned the copyright to the photos, while PETA also got involved, eventually suing Slater on behalf of the macaque, arguing that the monkey owned the copyright. Last year, the US Copyright Office updated its policies to reflect that it would only register copyrights for works produced by humans.
Ice Bridge Inspired by da Vinci
Students and staff at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have announced plans to build a bridge in Finland based on one of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs. Da Vinci’s original sketch depicted a massive stone bridge, but the students intend to put a Nordic twist on the design, opting to construct the bridge out of ice reinforced with paper fiber.
A Map to the Universe
Artist Pablo Carlos Budassi created a circular rendition of the entire observable universe in one map. He assembled it using logarithmic maps created by a team of Princeton University researchers. The solar system is located in the center of the map, surrounded by the Milky Way, a ring of nearby galaxies, the remainder of the cosmic web and a ring of plasma left over from the Big Bang.
A flock of starlings, known as a murmuration, fly in startling synchrony before landing for the night in Israel on Monday. Scientists remain uncertain as to why starlings engage in these aerial feats, although some theorize that they may be a way of protecting themselves against predators.
Intergalactic Sand Dunes
NASA’s Curiosity rover snapped a panoramic photo of the Bagnold Dunes on Mars, allowing for the first close-up view of active sand dunes anywhere other than earth.
Young Unicorns of the Sea
Aerial photographs have captured glimpses of a narwhal population and their babies in the Canadian Arctic. These photos have allowed researchers at McGill University in Canada to count the offspring in the population for the first time, according to New Scientist.