Life Gets a Little Easier for Reindeer, Tsunami-Hit Lands

Technology helps find grazing areas, predict waves

I shouldn’t have given all the props to chicks for being able to count. Turns out mosquitofish — freshwater fish found in north and central America — can count as well, and the test they passed to indicate this reminds me of the scene in Labyrinth where Sarah has to determine which door to enter.

Also in today’s links: how to grind rock without damaging your teeth, a fond memory for all former Odyssey-of-the-Minders, and more.

  • Sea urchins have teeth made of calcite, which they use to grind down rock also made of calcite — but their teeth are undamaged. Researchers used high-resolution x-ray analysis to determine why this is.
  • Mathematicians say they’ve created a formula that measures the shape of initial surface waves in order to predict the size and force of tsunamis.
  • Even arctic reindeer herders are in on the technology action, using satellite-based snow maps to determine the best foraging spots for their animals — which is especially valuable as temperature increases affect ice cover on pastures.