A tan mineral called jarosite – rare on Earth but abundant on Mars – has been identified deep in an Antarctic ice core. This discovery suggests that the brittle substance is formed from dust that collects and reacts in massive ice deposits.
Scientists have registered groups of more than 100 electric eels working together to orbit schools of small prey fish and propel them into shallow water in a lake in northern Brazil. Once the fish were caught, up to 10 eels moved in and triggered a synchronized shock.
A computer algorithm that processes satellite images of the Addo Elephant National Park has proven to be as accurate as the human eye when it comes to counting animals against complex backgrounds. Currently, conservationists spend hours in low-flying planes counting the creatures.
A fossilized trail of 10 footprints in the Alps indicates a crocodile-like animal that was at least four meters long and lived shortly after the Permian mass extinction. The survival of the event some 250 million years ago suggests that more ecosystems exist than previously thought.
A painting of pigs in dark red mineral pigment found in a cave on the island of Sulawesi dates back at least 45,000 years and sets the record for the earliest known figurative art. Additional examples could move the date even earlier.
A materials scientist’s new recycling process turns plastic waste and sand into bricks that are five to seven times stronger than concrete. Your factory can accommodate a wide variety of types of plastic.
This article was originally published in Scientific American 324, 4, 15 (April 2021), entitled “Quick Hits”.
doi: 10.1038 / Scientificamerican0421-15