United States

Lizards do push ups to defend their territory at dawn and dusk

Washington, August 28 : A new study has revealed that a Jamaican lizard called the Anolis engages in impressive displays of reptilian strength — push ups, head bobs, and threatening extension of a colourful neck flap called a dewlap — to defend its territory at dawn and dusk.

"Anoles are highly visual species, so in that sense it''s not surprising that they would use visual displays to mark territory. Still, the finding is surprising because these are the first animals known to use non-acoustic signalling at dawn and dusk," says Terry J. Ord, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University''s Museum of Comparative Zoology and at the University of California, Davis.

Discovery of prehistoric pregnant turtle may shed new light on reptile reproduction

Washington, August 28 : The discovery of the first fossilized specimen of an animal in the condition of pregnancy - a 75-million-year-old fossil of a pregnant turtle and a nest of fossilized eggs, in the badlands of southeastern Alberta in Canada, may shed new light on reptile reproduction.

The fossils, which were found by scientists and staff from the University of Calgary (U of C) and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, are yielding new ideas on the evolution of egg-laying and reproduction in turtles and tortoises.

Minimum mass for galaxies discovered to be 10 million times the mass of the sun

Washington, August 28 : By analyzing light from small, faint galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, scientists have discovered the minimum mass for galaxies in the universe, which they estimate to be 10 million times the mass of the sun.

Discovered by UC (University of California) Irvine scientists, this mass could be the smallest known “building block” of the mysterious, invisible substance called dark matter.

Stars that form within these building blocks clump together and turn into galaxies.

Scientists know very little about the microscopic properties of dark matter, even though it accounts for approximately five-sixths of all matter in the universe.

US’ top secret meeting with Pak officials over doomsday scenario on Pak-Afghan border

Washington, Aug 28 : In order to chalk out a strategy to combat the escalating violence along the Pak-Afghan border, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff secretly convened a secret meeting of the most senior American and Pakistani commanders on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday.

The gathering aboard the Abraham Lincoln was less confrontational in tone, aides said. “It was one of those meetings to help clear up the situation, get an understanding of the issues, and look for a way forward,” said a senior Pakistani officer privy to what was discussed at the meeting.

Changes in CO2 levels caused Greenland to be covered in ice

Washington, August 28 : The transition from the mostly ice-free Greenland of three million years ago, to the ice-covered region that we see today, can be attributed to changes in the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

Though there have been many reports in the media about the effects of global warming on the Greenland ice-sheet, there is still great uncertainty as to why there is an ice-sheet there at all.

Now, scientists at the University of Bristol and the University of Leeds in the UK, show that only changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide are able to explain the transition from the mostly ice-free Greenland of three million years ago, to the ice-covered Greenland of today.

Teens rarely use seat belts, either as drivers or passengers

Washington, Aug 28 : Injury prevention experts have long understood that teens prefer not to wear seat belts while driving. Now, a new research has found that adolescent passengers also rarely use seat belts.

In the first ever-direct comparison of the differences between driver and passenger seat belt use for teen population, the Meharry researchers found that 59percent of teens always buckled up in the driver seat but only 42 percent always wore seat belts as passengers.

Even more sobering, only 38 percent of all teens reported always buckling up as both drivers and passengers.