The barbs on porcupine quills help them pierce the skin. If the bumpy needles work so well for the big rodents, couldn't they they also help doctors and nurses giving injections? Designers of medical devices are looking to try the porcupine approach.
Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long. The story starts 130 years ago, in a time known as the "Bone Wars."
Reporting in the journal Biology Letters, Jeremy Goldbogen and colleagues say blue whales perform underwater acrobatics when they're eating: they rotate 360 degrees while they gulp krill. Reaching 90 feet in length, blue whales are the largest animals on the planet. Goldbogen is studying their dining habits to understand what fuels their growth.
Stray cats prowl freely among many of the city's ancient monuments. At the Torre Argentina ruins, a cat shelter has been caring for felines for two decades. But archaeological officials now say the shelter, built in the foundations of an ancient temple, must be closed.
Gotcha! An underwater camera caught large Maine lobsters gobbling up their younger brethren along the coastline. Biologists think this turn to cannibalism may be due to a recent spike in the Maine's lobster population, combined with a decrease in the numbers of their natural predators.
An elementary school pet is typically an animal that can be kept in a terrarium or small cage. For a short time, some Russian village kids cared for a far wilder creature. They found a lion cub after it escaped from the trunk of a car. Waiting for police to come and take it to a local zoo, the kids played with it in the gym.
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