For this edition of In the News, we’re sharing some of our favorite reports on creepy bugs, bats and creatures that GLOW… in other words, things that go bump! in the night.
Let’s start with SMALL spooky science stuff:
The American Museum of Natural History has a wonderful web page devoted to the creepiest, crawliest species—for example, the Goblin Spider and the Zombie Ant. Read on if you dare!
Mutant Turtle Alert!
Did someone say biofluorescent turtle? We promise, this is NOT a new Godzilla movie. In July 2015, biology professor David Gruber discovered a biofluorescent turtle – the first one ever seen!
As the National Geographic explains, “Biofluorescence is the ability for an organism to reflect blue light and re-emit it as a different color, not to be confused with bioluminescence, where organisms produce their own light.”
A meat-eating plant with tentacles that ooze out a glue that’s impossible to escape? Surely THAT’s a horror movie premise!
But it really does exist. The plant—called the sundew—catches its prey due to its remarkable adhesive, which is so powerful that it’s capable of stretching a million times its size.
By studying this adhesive, scientists are working to develop a glue that could help attach a replacement hip or artificial knee without fear a body will reject it. (Imagine an internal Band-Aid that would dissolve over time.)
This article from the National Science Foundation explains more about this unique—and creepy—botanical marvel.
We’re Nuts about Bats
What would Halloween be without bats? A better question—posed by the Nature Conservancy—is what would our world be like without bats? These fast-flying mammals can eat 1,200 insects in an hour, protecting us from the West Nile Virus and other deadly diseases. Share this link with your students to begin a discussion on the environment, conservation, food webs, predators vs. prey, natural habitats and much more.
And last but not least…
Things that glow are cool all year long, and especially during Halloween. (We have a whole line of glow-in-the-dark products, in case you didn’t know!)
The mystery of why scorpions glow in the dark continues to baffle scientists… but we have our own theory: maybe they’ve been dipped in our Glow-Bright Concentrate?