Image of the Day: Helpful Birds

the-scientist.com – Parrots aid each other in getting food from a researcher.

Source: Désirée Brucks, Auguste M.P. von Bayern. Parrots Voluntarily Help Each Other to Obtain Food Rewards. Current Biology, 2020.

Scientists Find 7-Billion-Year-Old Stardust in Murchison Meteorite

sci-news.com – A team of researchers from the United States, Switzerland and Australia has found 4.6 to 7-billion-year-old presolar grains of silicon carbide (SiC) in the Murchison meteorite, a large C2 chondrite that fell in Australia in 1969.

Source: Philipp R. Heck, et al. Lifetimes of interstellar dust from cosmic ray exposure ages of presolar silicon carbide. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Neighboring Star Proxima Centauri May Host Second Planet

geek.com – Scientists detected a possible second planet orbiting red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to our galaxy. New observations suggest the presence of what is described as a “low-mass candidate planet,” approximately …

Source: Mario Damasso, et al. A low-mass planet candidate orbiting Proxima Centauri at a distance of 1.5 AU. Science Advances, 2020.

Surprising Experiment Proves Wolf Cubs Can Play Fetch

geek.com – Toss a ball across the room, and most domesticated dogs will naturally fetch it. Turns out wolf pups* will, too. Researchers were shocked to find that the ability to interpret human cues that …

Source: Christina Hansen Wheat, Hans Temrin. Intrinsic Ball Retrieving in Wolf Puppies Suggests Standing Ancestral Variation for Human-Directed Play Behavior. iScience, 2020.

What This PigeonBot Tells Us About the Future of Flight

popularmechanics.com – It's the most advanced bird-like robot to date.

Source: Eric Chang, Laura Y. Matloff, Amanda K. Stowers, David Lentink. Soft biohybrid morphing wings with feathers underactuated by wrist and finger motion. Science Robotics, 2020.

Scientists create a robot made entirely of living cells

cbc.ca – Robots made of frog skin and heart cells can crawl, move stuff and heal themselves.

Source: Sam Kriegman, Douglas Blackiston, Michael Levin, Josh Bongard. A scalable pipeline for designing reconfigurable organisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Setting fires to avoid fires: Study outlines approaches to enable more prescribed burns

scienceblog.com – Australians desperate for solutions to raging wildfires might find them 8,000 miles away, where a new Stanford-led study proposes ways of overcoming

Source: Rebecca K. Miller, Christopher B. Field, Katharine J. Mach. Barriers and enablers for prescribed burns for wildfire management in California. Nature Sustainability, 2020.

Fossil Friday: oldest-known scorpion was a pioneer of life on dry land

zmescience.com – A set of fossils collected 35 years ago belonged to the oldest-known scorpion species to date, a new study reports. The fossil (left), its respiratory and

Source: Andrew J. Wendruff, Loren E. Babcock, Christian S. Wirkner, Joanne Kluessendorf, Donald G. Mikulic. A Silurian ancestral scorpion with fossilised internal anatomy illustrating a pathway to arachnid terrestrialisation. Scientific Reports, 2020.

Dinosaur extinction: 'Asteroid strike was real culprit'

bbc.com – A team of scientists discounts the idea that large-scale volcanism drove the demise of the dinosaurs.

Source: Pincelli M. Hull, et al. On impact and volcanism across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Science, 2020.

Astronomers discover bizarre stretchy objects unlike anything else in our galaxy

digitaltrends.com – Astronomers have discovered a mysterious new class of objects at the heart of the Milky Way which are unlike anything else found in our galaxy. They start off small and compact but are elongated when they approach the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy.

Source: Anna Ciurlo, et al. A population of dust-enshrouded objects orbiting the Galactic black hole. Nature, 2020.