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Scientists hatch a baby dumbo octopus for the first time, and it’s melting everyone’s hearts

dumbo octopus

Earth's oceans are filled with creatures that range from deadly and dangerous to cute and curious. Some are familiar, while others are downright bizarre. The dumbo octopus, a strange, pod-like cephalopod that glides through the water with a pair of fluttery wings, is a rare treat for researchers because it makes its home far deeper than any diver could venture. The creatures prefer depths of 10,000 feet or more, and have even been found over 20,000 feet below sea level. Now, over a decade after its hatching, researchers are revealing what a baby dumbo octopus looks like moments after it enters the world and it's downright adorable.

The video, which was shot in 2005 on board a research vessel, was just released as part of a newly-published study which focuses on how the species lives. It shows a newly-hatched dumbo octopus wriggling in a shallow dish where it hatched just moments earlier, much to the surprise and delight of the scientists who gathered it.

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Scientists hatch a baby dumbo octopus for the first time, and it’s melting everyone’s hearts originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 20 Feb 2018 at 13:27:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

New dinosaurs are being discovered in record numbers, and it’s changing everything we thought we knew

dinosaur discovery

Every kid grows up loving dinosaurs. As we grow older we listen to science teachers explain how dinosaurs lived and died, we watch documentaries about the age when reptiles ruled the land, and by the time we reach adulthood most of us like to think we have a pretty good handle on what things were like millions and millions of years ago. A new study focusing on the frequency of fresh dinosaur discoveries suggests we might have it all wrong, and that our understanding of the hundreds of millions of years that preceded humanity's takeover of the planet could change dramatically over the next decade or two.

All we know about the history of the dinosaurs is what we're able to piece together from the remains they left behind. We have bones and tracks and that's about it. Working with that sparse evidence has always been a challenge for paleontologists, but the frequency with which new dinosaurs are being discovered has spiked dramatically in just the past twenty years or so. Those new discoveries are constantly changing what we thought we knew about prehistoric life, and it won't be long before we look back on previous assumptions and find how misguided those guesses were.

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New dinosaurs are being discovered in record numbers, and it’s changing everything we thought we knew originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 20 Feb 2018 at 10:58:29 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Supplements are a $30 billion racket—here’s what experts actually recommend

Enlarge / Choose wisely. (credit: Getty | Mario Tama)

There are more than 90,000 vitamin and dietary supplement products sold in the US. They come in pills, powders, drinks, and bars. And they all anticipate some better versions of ourselves—selves with sturdier bones, slimmer waist lines, heftier muscles, happier intestines, better sex lives, and more potent noggins. They foretell of diseases dodged and aging outrun.

On the whole, we believe them. Supplements are a $30 billion industry in the US. Recent surveys suggest that 52 percent of Americans take at least one supplement—and 10 percent take four or more. But should we? Are we healthier, smarter, stronger, or in any way better off because of these daily doses?

The answer is likely no. Most supplements have little to no data to suggest that they’re effective, let alone safe. They’re often backed by tenuous studies in rodents and petri dishes or tiny batches of people. And the industry is rife with hype and wishful thinking—even the evidence for multivitamins isn’t solid. There are also outright deadly scams. What’s more, the industry operates with virtually no oversight.

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NASA spends $1 billion for a launch tower that leans, may only be used once

Enlarge / The space agency's mobile launch tower is leaning slightly to the north. (credit: NASA)

On Tuesday and Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to tour facilities there and participate in the second meeting of the National Space Council. It is not clear how much of the launch facilities he will see during his visit to Florida, where NASA is spending billions of dollars to build ground systems for the launch of the Space Launch System rocket.

There is one component of the revamped facilities that NASA may be reluctant to show Pence, who in effect oversees all national spaceflight activities as the head of the space council. This is the "mobile launcher" structure, which supports the testing and servicing of the massive SLS rocket, as well moving it to the launch pad and providing a platform from which it will launch.

According to a new report in NASASpaceflight.com, the expensive tower is "leaning" and "bending." For now, NASA says, the lean is not sufficient enough to require corrective action, but it is developing contingency plans in case the lean angle becomes steeper.

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Ancient DNA sheds light on what happened to the Taino, the native Caribbeans

Enlarge / Reconstruction of a Taino village in Cuba. (credit: Michal Zalewski)

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, although scientists don’t agree on when the first settlers arrived or where they came from. Some argue that people probably arrived from the Amazon Basin, where today’s Arawakan languages developed, while others suggest that the first people to settle the islands came from even farther west, in the Colombian Andes.

“The differences in opinion illustrate the difficulty of tracing population movements based on a patchy archaeological record,” wrote archaeologist Hannes Schroeder of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and his colleagues. Schroeder’s research team has a new study on the genetics of the long-lost Taino people, which gives some clear indications of their origin and where they went after European colonization.

Complex social networks linked the islands

The Bahamas weren’t settled until 1,500 years ago. The people who settled there are known as the Lucayan Taino, and they and the other Taino communities of the Caribbean were the natives who met the first Spanish colonists in 1492. At the time, the Taino were thriving; Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas estimated that about 600,000 people each lived on Jamaica and Puerto Rico, with as many as a million on Hispaniola. That didn’t last long; by the mid-16th century, smallpox and slavery had driven the Taino to the brink of extinction.

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