If you’re like me, you’ve pondered from time to time the goings-on of life in the deep. What’s happening down there this very moment? What do the creatures look like when they’re just hanging out? But most of us will never be able to take a trip in a submersible. Now, though fuzzy and in [...]Keep reading
October 23rd, 2012 | 1
At least gazelles can run. But if you’re a tree, a blade of grass, or a hapless kohlrabi, there’s nothing you can do when the choppers, nippers, or clippers of your predator — aka “grazer” — approach. Such is the fate of most photosynthetic organisms, which we landlubbers tend to think of as plants. But [...]Keep reading
April 16th, 2012 | 16
Two billion years ago, around the time atmospheric oxygen levels were rising, one cell engulfed another, and instead of becoming lunch, the ingestee became an Earth-changer and, eventually, a vital part of you: mitochondria. These microscopic cell inhabitants/engines allowed their host cell to suddenly begin to burn oxygen when digesting their food, an energy source [...]Keep reading
November 28th, 2011 | 1
Hidden away in calm, sheltered coastal waters is a remarkable little animal: a tiny transparent sheet of cells called a placozoan. Though composed of only a few thousand cells and no more than 25 micrometers thick (a bacterium is about 1 micromter thick), it’s an animal — the simplest we know of.
And hidden inside them, scientists found recently, may be a clue to the Cambrian Explosion