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Can you imagining putting a person in a time capsule and then opening it up 80 million years later to discover that they’re still alive? Scientists have found a bacterial colony buried 100 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean floor that hasn’t received light, oxygen, or food for over 80 million years, and they’re still alive! A very slow metabolism and dividing to make identical copies of themselves allow these bacteria to survive for so long.
Nudibranchs are a type of sea slug whose name means “naked gill” and they have some crazy ways of living. They come in many shapes and colors and can be found both in reefs and sandy ocean floors. One kind of nudibranch can eat a toxic sponge and store the poison in its own body, giving it a new defense mechanism. Another type farms algae within its body and uses the algae to make food for itself from the sun.
A female zebra shark living in captivity at a hotel in Dubai has had four recorded births, despite the fact that she has not mated with any males! Some animals, including some amphibians, reptiles, birds, and sharks, are able to have offspring by so called "virgin births" (parthenogenesis) where a female creates a fertile egg without sperm from a male.
Water is a unique molecule. Most liquids become denser as they cool down, but when water freezes, it becomes less dense, allowing ice to float. If ice did not float, a lot of animals would be in trouble. In fresh water ecosystems, animals rely on the top layer of water freezing over, which actually allows heat to be trapped underneath and keeps them alive through the winter.
Did you know that cold water is denser than hot water? Cold water sinks down and warm water rises up. These properties cause many of the large scale ocean currents as cold water in higher latitudes sinks to the bottom of the ocean and then moves toward the equator.
Photo: Australian Geographic As summer approaches in the northern hemisphere, coral colonies of certain species are preparing for mass spawning events, in which coral parents synchronously release egg and sperm into the water to be fertilized. Following fertilization, the embryos develop into swimming larvae, which will seek a suitable substrate upon which to settle and metamorphose into a polyp. During these mass spawning events, timing of release of egg and sperm by coral colonies on a reef is key. Scientists are still perplexed by the processes that trigger spawning release in... (more)