It's been quiet for a while. Not because any lack of cool things to write about; just because a general gloomy period with lots of work and a home computer not willing to cooperate.
But now I'm back. At least for a post. Better one post in the blog than ten in the head, we might say. Well, you perhaps have noticed that I like insects. And you perhaps know that I like a touch of the weird and morbid. So of couse I just had to write something about this: apids exploding themselves for safety of the community in a manner that would make 2nd-WW-kamikaze-soldiers and al quaida green with envy.
These aphids life in so called galls, a ball-like plant tissue that has been induced by the aphids. Then they prefer to live a cosy, non-disturbed life in there, which of course is not always the case. A lot of things could threat their existance, so therefore it's been necessary to evolve an efficient defence system using community members with an explicit role - the soldiers.
So when the gall is damaged, the soldiers aggregate around the area and explode (!), which results in the formation of a sealing goo that protects the gall.
Beats building a ugly wall and shooting at every moving object passing it.
I suppose you haven't missed out on the news about a gigantic snake snirling around this globe for a couple of million years ago?
This fella (baptized as Titanoboa cerrejonensis) was around 13 m long (larger than the snake trying to eat Jennifer Lopez in the lame movie Anaconda, according to the researcher), and it's assumed that there's been even larger ones crawling on the surface of the earth we now walk...now that is something I'd gladly live a life without ever coming across.
What's been seen as a combination of dreams and science fiction has been accomplished: an extinct (sub)species, The Pyrenean ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), has been brought back into the world of the living. I can't wait for the ressurection of the Dodo...or the mammut!