SciNews Thursday, March 3, 2016

Learning from the dead; elk taken down by wolf pack on overpass; tattoos; porch lights and bugs; what you buy affects the environment; biggest fireball since 2013 – just a few of the themes in today’s eclectic collection of SciNews.  Share these stories with your students and get them excited about science.

SciNews is published twice weekly. Stay tuned for more.

7308778_s from 123rfBiology

Roadkill : Learning from the dead. Science News for Students

The smell pouring out of the shoebox-sized container makes my body involuntarily jerk back with disgust. The odor is part dry, dusty cheese, part rotting meat. Its vileness is matched by what is is stuffed in the clear, plastic box. It’s a large salamander — or what’s left of one. In the nooks and crannies of its body and box, busy gray insects wriggle. These are the larvae of dermestid beetles. Slowly but incessantly, they are chewing away at the salamander. Eventually, all that munching will reduce the body to a dry, perfectly posed skeleton.  Read more…

Banff wolf pack takes down elk on railway overpass and photographer captures it all. CBC

Professional photographer Christopher Martin spends a lot of his time watching wildlife, so when he spotted an elk erratically walking back and forth on a rail bridge in Banff National Park it caught his eye.

“It was unusual behaviour because it was going one way a few steps and then it would double back, and it did that a few times,” said Martin, who was driving toward Lake Minnewanka on Sunday morning.  Read more…


13698187_s from 123rf

Open for Discussion: Tattoos.  ChemMatters

Once popularized by cartoon characters, tattoos are everywhere now. Just look at the reality show “Miami Ink,” magazine advertisements for Calvin Klein, or celebrities such as David Beckham, Johnny Depp, and Katy Perry. Have you also noticed inked torsos during basketball and football seasons? The Pew Research Center reports that 38% of young adults ages 18 to 29 have tattoos.  Read more…


18685938_s from 123rf

Picking a better porch light. Science News for Students

Lights tend to lure large numbers of outdoor insects at night. There’s even an old saying that describes this irresistible attraction: like a moth to a flame. But when it comes to attracting bugs, not all lights are equal. Which ones are most alluring can be traced to the wavelengths — colors of light — that they give off. A new study has just quantified how different types of white lights, which vary greatly in the wavelengths they emit, compare in attracting bugs.  Read more…

Consumers have huge environmental impact. Science Daily

We like to blame the government or industries for the Earth’s problems, but what we buy makes a big difference. You won’t make big cuts in your environmental impact by taking shorter showers or turning out the lights. The real environmental problem, a new analysis has shown, is embodied in the things you buy.  Read more…

Earth and Space Science12693495_s from 123rf

Biggest fireball since Chelyabinsk streaks over Atlantic Ocean. CBC

The largest fireball to streak through the Earth’s atmosphere since the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013 was detected over the Southern Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 6, NASA reports.

The recent meteor was detected about 31 kilometres over the South Atlantic, more than 1,000 kilometres off the coast of southern Brazil, NASA reported on its Fireball and Bolide Reports website.  Read more…

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