Tag Archives: PLOS ONE

Environment: Plastics Pervade Planet’s Oceans


Plastics Pervade Planet’s Oceans

The world’s oceans are clogged with 269,000 tons of plastic objects, according to a new report by a group of marine researchers. The estimate is based on data from 24 expeditions over six years, during which they studied gyres—regions with extremely strong currents—in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. When a large plastic object is introduced into the ocean, it often gets sucked into the whirling currents of a gyre. These objects are then eroded into “microplastics.” According to the researchers, these particles account for more than 90 percent of the plastic in the ocean. More… Discuss

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Hopping Relatively Recent Development in Kangaroos


Hopping Relatively Recent Development in Kangaroos

Kangaroos are known for their characteristic hop, but they didn’t always get around like this. Analysis of the fossilized bones of extinct kangaroos called sthenurines finds that they were not anatomically cut out for hopping and likely got around instead by walking in much the same manner that humans do. Sthenurines lived in Australia from about 13 million years ago to about 30,000 years ago, going extinct around the same time that humans arrived on the continent, quite possibly as a result of human activities. More… Discuss

healthwise and such: Stop and Smell the Roses


Stop and Smell the Roses

One’s sense of smell, more specifically the loss of one’s sense of smell, could be an indicator of impending death. A study finds that older adults whose sense of smell has declined have a greater risk of dying within five years. Of participants with the most severe olfactory dysfunction, 39 percent passed away within five years. By comparison, just 19 percent of those with moderate dysfunction and 10 percent of those with a normal sense of smell died during that same period. This is not to say that the loss of sense of smell is directly causing deaths. Rather, researchers believe, it is a warning sign of declining health. More… Discuss

Octomom’s Incredible Display of Maternal Dedication


Octomom’s Incredible Display of Maternal Dedication

Researchers have observed an extraordinary display of maternal dedication thousands of feet beneath the ocean’s surface. For four years and five months, a mother octopus is believed to have clung to a rock, straddling her clutch of 150 eggs, protecting them, keeping away dirt, and flushing them with fresh water until they hatched. So all-consuming was her dedication to her offspring that she likely did not eat for the entire 53-month brooding period and probably died shortly after her eggs finally hatched. More… Discuss