NEWS DIGEST 02.12.2020: Britain approves Pfizer COVID vaccine for mass immunisation

Good morning. Today’s article is derived from stories being featured on Google News. The UK has become the first country in the world to officially approve a coronavirus vaccine. The version that has been approved is the Pfizer/BioNTech variant, which … Continue reading NEWS DIGEST 02.12.2020: Britain approves Pfizer COVID vaccine for mass immunisation

HANGING AROUND: Why do bats roost upside down?

  VIJAY SHAH   Imagine you’re in a dark forest. It’s getting late and the shadows are getting longer. You decide to find somewhere to bed down for the night, and by chance, you stumble upon a cave. Out comes your sleeping bag and jim-jams, and as you switch on the nightlight, you become aware of fluttering motions above your head. Hundreds of small shadows flutter erratically about the cave ceiling above you. Parts of it appear to be moving, a strange fuzzy mass with leathery wings sprouting from it and then flying towards yo as you cower!. Now if … Continue reading HANGING AROUND: Why do bats roost upside down?

MEGALODON: An ancient shark of mega proportions

VIJAY SHAH and SUNNY ATWAL Every year around six people are killed by sharks and dozens more injured, often seriously. Feared for their aggression, speed, size and taste for human flesh, the shark has been the stuff of legends for thousands of years and more recently, have been the subject of Hollywood blockbusters. Forty years ago, cinemagoers queued up for popcorn, ready to be terrified by the protagonist of the Jaws films, a bloodthirsty great white who snacked on sunseekers visiting the beach of sleepy little Amity Island.  On the 10th of August, 2018, a new movie resurrecting the familiar … Continue reading MEGALODON: An ancient shark of mega proportions

A MEAL FOR EIGHT (LEGS): How spiders catch their food

Our planet is home to around 35,000-50,000 species of spider (the estimates vary), the vast majority of which spin webs made out of silk generated inside the spider’s body. As any arachnid expert will tell you, spiders weave their silky masterpieces primarily as a means of obtaining food. With strands stronger than the equivalent thickness of steel, spider webs are covered with sticky substances that ensnare their prey, trapping flies and even birds and snakes, ready for the web’s resident to deliver its venomous coup de grâce. When an insect flying about and minding its own business collides with a … Continue reading A MEAL FOR EIGHT (LEGS): How spiders catch their food

QUETZALCOATLUS: The flying dinosaur taller than a giraffe

One of the largest pterosaurs, or flying reptiles, ever to flutter above the prehistoric skies was the Quetzalcoatlus. When resting, this giant of the clouds was taller than a modern-day giraffe, and considerably stronger. Tearing through the air at 130 kilometres per hour, Quetzalcoatlus was said to be fond of snacking on juvenile dinosaurs that strayed too far from their parents, while its smaller flying cousins, the pterodactyls, settled for fish. Its height met it could very easily look a giraffe in the eye, which may well be an unpleasant experience for the giraffe. With a wing-span of around fifteen metres, half the length … Continue reading QUETZALCOATLUS: The flying dinosaur taller than a giraffe

OIL RIG SEA MONSTER: Experts solve two year old natural mystery

Biology experts have finally solved the mystery of an unknown giant sea ‘monster’ that was caught on video 5,000 ft (1.5 km) below a nearby oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to British tabloid paper Metro. In the six-and-a-half minute long video, which began as an inspection of the oil rig’s moorings, a strange gelatinous object is seen falling from the top of the cameraman’s view and then floats to the right of the screen. At first appearances it appears to resemble a large lump of seaweed or a plastic carrier bag, both of course unlikely due to … Continue reading OIL RIG SEA MONSTER: Experts solve two year old natural mystery