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Posted on Tuesday, October 03 - 2006

Arctic whales whose long, spiraled tusks created the myth of the unicorn seem to call out with individual voices, according to a new study. Researchers think the vocalizations help narwhals to recognize each other or reunite with distant pods, just as our relatives can identify us over the phone, for instance. Scientists have known that marine mammals rely on acoustic signaling for underwater communication. Whales speak in dialects, a recent study found. But few studies have looked at individual animal voices. The scientists eavesdropped on three narwhals in Admiralty Bay on Baffin Island, Canada, using digital-recording devices thatthey suction-cupped to the whales' bodies.

"For the first time, we could really 'ride' with the animals as they were vocalizing and as they were moving," said Ari Shapiro of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. While one recorder was not retrieved, the spy tags from two of the narwhals revealed two individually-distinctive vocalizations, including whistle and pulsed sounds. Shapiro suggested both the whistles, which have been shown to identify individual dolphins, and pulsed signals did not relate to foraging for food but rather to social communication. Previous studies have revealed bottlenose dolphins produce signature whistle vocalizations, the first evidence for this kind of communication amongtoothed whales. Although relatively little is known about narwhal communication, scientists have suspected that like other whales, these beasts also have excellent hearing. Found only in Arctic waters, the narwhal has a lone tusk that can be 6 feet long. They can migrate thousands of miles in large numbers, with subgroups moving in a coordinated fashion. So the distinct sounds could help individual members get in contact with other members of their group.To view this rest of this article please visit the source


Views : 3652

Posted on Thursday, June 16 - 2011

Genetic analysis of a shrunken head verifies anecdotal accounts of violent head-hunting in South America.They"ve appeard in movies such as Beetlejuice and Harry Potter and thousands of them were manufactured in the late 19th and early20th centuries to turn a profit, but one shrunken head recently discovered proved to be the real deal.

A remarkably well-preserved shrunken head has just been authenticated by DNA analysis, which provides strong evidence that anecdotal accounts of violent head-hunting in South America were true. The study, published in the latest issue of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, marks the firstsuccessful effort to unveil the genetic make-up of a shrunken head.  

View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News  

Views : 672

Posted on Friday, May 13 - 2011

To most it"s any ordinary day but to some Friday 13th is a time when fear and anxiety go in to overdrive.Superstitions have lead to Friday 13th being regarded by some as a day when an unusually large amount of bad luck can be expected, it is estimated that up to $900 million is lost in business due to people avoiding the things they"d normally do. Some people have it even worse and suffer froma complete and irrational fear of the day, a condition known as friggatriskaidekaphobia.

Most Canadians will brave ice pellets hailing from the skies, rush-hour traffic and roads covered in black ice to get to work. But some won"t be able to face the thought of leaving their homes on Friday the 13th. The good news for friggatriskaidekaphobiacs, people with Friday-the-13th phobia, is that there isonly one this year. The bad news: it"s today.  

View: Full article |  Source: Vancouver Sun  

Views : 803

Posted on Monday, December 13 - 2010

Art detectives have discovered tiny letters and numbers placed in the eyes of the Mona Lisa.Like something out of Dan Brown"s Da Vinci Code the tiny letters have been identified for the first time under magnification, in the right eye the letters spell out Da Vinci"s own initials LV suggesting that heplaced them there deliberately.

Intrigue is usually focused on her enigmatic smile. But the Mona Lisa was at the centre of a new mystery yesterday after art detectives took a fresh look at the masterpiece and noticed something in her eyes.  

View: Full article |  Source: Daily Mail  

Views : 3263

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