Animals

There is a Species of Jellyfish that is Biologically Immortal

JellyfishJellyfish are very bizarre, they have no eyes, no heart, no brain and are very simple organisms. They are similar to bacteria in that they do not “think” but more react to stimuli in order to escape or feed. In nature, there is one Jellyfish that is weirder than all the rest and that is called  Turritopsis Dohrnii or more commonly dubbed “The Immortal Jellyfish”.

Whilst the Jellyfish itself may be quite a simple organism, its life cycle is not. In the development of a full adult jellyfish, the organism goes through several very distinct and different phases in its life. The Jellyfish life starts, as with ours, with a sperm and an egg, once the egg has been fertilized and has developed, the jellyfish hatch as Planula Larva and swim out on their own. These are tiny oval shaped organisms with small hairs called cilia which help propel them through the water. This stage of life is fairly short-lived and after a few days the Planula Larva drops to the bottom of the ocean floor and attaches itself to the rock and transforms
into what is called a Polyp.

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Planet Earth

There is More Water in the Earth’s Mantle Than on the Surface

parts-of-the-earth-diagramThe planet Earth is huge. It is so large that we could not even fathom it’s size, the Earth has been estimated to weigh around 6 million, billion, billion kg (that’s 24 noughts!), we consider our planet to be the “blue planet” due to the amount of water but in reality water makes up less than  0.1 % of the entire planet’s mass.

The Earth’s surface contains 70% water, the vast oceans of Earth span for tens of thousands of kilometres, however in comparison to the size of the planet, the Earth’s surface is a tiny portion of the world. For example, in the Earth’s crust, the first layer of the Earth, which is around 35km below earth (which is around the length of the city of London) the mass of the land is 40 times greater than that of the oceans due to the sheer size of the bedrock.

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Animals Food

The Greenland Shark is so Slow it Can Only Eat Something if it is Asleep, Dead or Wanders into its Mouth

6376473_origOne of the most peculiar animals I have come across is the rare Greenland Shark, these massive creatures can grow up to 24 feet long and live in the cold Arctic waters around Greenland, Iceland and Canada where temperatures can be as low as -1°C.  To preserve their energy in these cold waters they swim very slowly at less than 1 mile an hour, exerting their energy they can achieve a burst of speed that reaches 1.7 miles per hour but as their main prey, the Seal, can swim at speeds of around 6 mph, this doesn’t do the shark much good!

Due to the slow swimming speed of the shark, trying to grab a meal is quite an issue, researchers have learned that they are most likely ambush predators, waiting until their prey is asleep (usually Seals in the water) and then slowly approaching. They have also been found to be scavengers and eat carrion (dead and decaying flesh of animals) and they are not picky eaters either. Researchers have found many different and unusual animals in the stomachs of Greenland Sharks including polar bears, horses, moose and even an entire reindeer!

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