Meet the world’s most adorable frog/real life Pokémon, the Namaqua rain frog. I did NOT expect that sound to come out of that thing.
Seriously, I can’t stop smiling. However, my dogs hate this thing. I challenge you to make it through this video without becoming instantaneously happy.
(video by Dean Boshoff)
Some adorable valentines inspired by nature, from the always wonderful Bird and Moon comic.
That middle one is especially cool. Certain species of ants “milk” sweet sap from aphids in order to get a sugary meal. It’s a biological relationship called “mutualistic symbiosis”. Maybe not love, but certainly a tight-knit bond.
How a molecular biologist proposes! So cute.
DNA amplified to different sized fragments via the polymerase chain reaction, and then seperated by size on a gel. This isn’t that hard actually. I just got a Valentine’s Day idea for my lady :) Time to design some romantic DNA.
I think more people should get creative with their science, no?
(via a very awesome person who uploaded this to imgur and should be married forever)
EDIT: The guy who made this went on Reddit on explained how he did it! Check it out.
This is the world’s smallest snowman - at 10 micrometres across, it’s only 1/5th the width of a human hair. The tiny guy was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.
What?! No quantum carrot for his nose? No corn cob nanopipe? No buttons made out of graphene?
Beau, the echidna puggle
What’s an echidna puggle? Really freakin’ adorable, obviously. But what is an echidna, you may ask? Echidnas are monotremes, which are one of the three types of mammals, alongside marsupials (like koalas
and platypuses) and placentals (us!). Monotremes lay eggs, and their urinary, defecatory, and reproductive systems all converge on the same whole in their cloaca (hence the name monotreme, meaning ‘single opening’). This echidna puggle is named Beau, and he was rescued by members of the Taronga Zoo in Australia. Be sure to check out the adorable video here and click through the image for more pictures.
After you finish squeeing and then read that and learn all about echidnas, may I just add this?
Anyone else see the resemblance?
The Adorable Biology of Snoring Hummingbirds
I think we’ve all felt like this on a Monday, right? This little hummingbird has just reserved a spot in my list of Top 10 Cutest Things I’ve Ever Seen, thanks to its snoozy little snore.
Of course, hummingbirds don’t really snore, do they? Maybe … sort of … but not for the same reasons we do. When humans (or my dogs) snore, it’s usually an obstruction l vibrating the back of the throat when we try to breathe in. Not that I ever snore or anything. So, this adorable little hummingbird is definitely sawing some logs, but the reason why is way cooler than the reasons we do.
Hummingbirds have incredibly high metabolic needs. To do all that buzzing around and to keep their tiny bodies warm, they eat the human equivalent of a refrigerator full of food every day, mostly in the form of high-energy nectar and fatty bugs. Because of their small size, they also lose a lot of body heat to the air. In order to preserve energy on cool nights, they have the ability to enter a daily, miniature hibernation called torpor.
Normally, if our bodies get cold, our muscles twitch (shivering) and we crank up our metabolism to create heat. That way we stay at our “set point” of 98.6˚F. In torpor, hummingbirds actually lower their bodies’ “set point”, powering down their brains and metabolism so far that their breathing is undetectable! This way, they aren’t burning calories on cold nights when they aren’t able to eat and recharge.
Just before morning, their natural circadian rhythms kick in and they start to thaw out, like heating a car engine on a cold day. What we see in the video is probably a bird coming out of torpor (which is what the scientists in the video were studying), starting to breathe in more oxygen to raise its body temperature, and making that adorable snoring noise.
Hummingbirds can do this on a daily basis if they get cold, regularly powering down on frozen tree branches around the world. Allegedly, you can even put them in the freezer for a while, but who would do such a thing?!
If only all science was this cute!
UPDATE: Sheri WIlliamson commented below that, from her extensive hummingbird experience, this may be the bird’s distress call as it comes out of torpor, aware of the researchers but too frozen to do anything about it.