A Little Secret about Ducks

April 13th, 2017


Ducks have evolved a skill to stay away from predators that is pretty cool. Everything needs sleep, and if your not a rat or a bird that can easily isolate itself from predators, then your a duck or just a normal land animal that needs a way to not get eaten at night. And ways have obviously evolved for these animals to stay safe over time.

For a duck, that safety comes from sleeping in a group of ducks. When the ducks fall asleep the fall asleep in a group, or a line. Where the middle ducks get a normal nights rest. But for the ducks on the outside, they do something different. The ducks use something called “Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep”. This is where the duck allows half of its brain to sleep, and the other half to stay fully asleep.


The half of the brain that is awake has the full activity of an awake bird, which allows it to sleep with one eye open. Researchers tested this by having four ducks in a tank. And as they rotated the outside ducks with the inside ducks of the line they were able to switch roles. Where the birds on the outside were able to fall fully asleep, and the bird that was on the inside but now on the outside was about to turn half of its brain on to be aware of any approaching predators. When the researches threw a test predator at them, the birds were able to react with in a fifth of a second.

I would like to look more into how animals have evolved to be able to get their sleep and be safe at the same time. Its not a topic that is really noticed, but it really is a really cool thing to look into, thinking about the thousands of years that skill took to develop and evolve, its really quit amazing. I will definitely try to get another blog on a cool sleep technique, and with that I would like to leave of with a #STAYCURIOUS



The Deep Ocean

April 11th, 2017


Humans used to think any living thing couldn’t live without light. But little did we  were far wrong. The ocean contains 99 percent of the living space on our planet. And in that 99 percent, 95 percent of it remains unexplored. The reason why the ocean remains so unexplored is because of the water pressure. The record for the furthest a scuba diver has made it is 332 meters. To put in perspective the height of the Empire State Building is 443 meters. Around 535 meters, the water pressure is starting to become pretty intense. It would have the equivalent pressure of a polar bear standing on a quarter.

Around 1000 meters you reach the twilight zone. After this point light ceases to exist and it becomes pitch black. The water pressure here would be about the same as standing on the surface of the planet Venus. Around 1,828 meters we would reach the deepest point of the grand canyon.

When you reach 2,000 meters is when you would start to see lifeforms that are very different from what we are used to. And also life that is living with no light. This fish is only visible if light is shined onto it, as it reflects from its surrounding, and since it is pitch black, all you can see is its eyes.


As we reach the Abyssal zone at 4,000 meters, water pressure reaches to 11,000 pounds per square inch. These depths are home to alien like creatures, like the more famous fish, the angler fish.


Around 4,267 Meters is the average depth of the ocean where you would expect to hit the floor, but parts of the ocean goes way deeper than this. At 6,000 meters you reach the Hadal Zone. Water preacher is here is 1,100 times what we experience on land. It would be like carrying 50 Boeing 747 jumbo jets. You would be crushed in a second.  When you reach 8,848 meters you would reach the height of mount everest if it was upside down and under water.

The furthest a human has reached in the ocean was by Don Walsh in his submarine in 1960, at a depth of 10,916 meters. A window eventually cracked which forced them to resurface, which would take about 5 hours. At 10,972 we reach the average heigh of an airplane flight. So if you ever looked out the window of a flight you can get a good perspective for how deep that is.


Finally at 10,994 meters we have hit the deepest known ocean. But we are almost certain that the ocean goes even deeper than this, but has yet to be discovered. We estimate that only 5% of the ocean floor is accurately mapped. So you can’t imagine the crazy wildlife there is down there. The deep ocean is such a mysterious thing, where we find such mysterious creatures with such amazing ways of living life. Animals come up with unique ways to attract prey, or stay away from predators.

More than ever scientists are challenging these harsh conditions by coming up with technology allow us to explore. But it will take a very long time until we begin to even understand the ocean and the billions of creatures that live in it. I am willing to bet we could find dozens of living dinosaurs in the deep depths of the deep ocean.


harry_scarlet_macaw20130205-22903-1cs5f77-0_960xParrots are a bird that everyone has heard about. But a bird that I think is overlooked for its amazing ability to repeat back the sound waves it hears. It has a talent that is not to be matched by any other living organism we know about. And the science behind how this bird, with a brain much smaller than ours, can pull off this amazing feature.

We can thank evolution for this being possible. Scientists acknowledge that the parrot is one of the most understudied field. We are still trying to  find out new things about the parrot and how it brains allows it to perform its purpose in nature .

The evolution of the parrot can date all the way back to 29 million years ago. Obviously 29 million years ago there wasn’t a bird that looked or acted like the bird we see today. But we can see the shell of its skull has evolved and has been around for quite some time. And what is inside the brain is what makes this bird special.


Evolution a big overlook of thousands of years of natural selection. Where the one that is rightly fit to survive in its environment will survive. Which is what makes these species unique. We see tons of animals in the same animal family that are different due to natural selection. And this bird and how its brain evolved is the best example to show this method. Scientists say the reason their brain survived and grew under revolution is because it allows the birds to communicate in the wild with each other by repeating each other for mating reasons, to mark territory, and pass along alarms between each other.

The most recent explanation from scientists on how these birds did this through evolution is by the split of its brain into duplicates of itself. Their “song nuclei “in their brain is the name for the part of the brain in the mimic bird. The parts in this brain has neurons that are inter dependent that allows them to learn quickly, process, and then mimic the sound that it hears. But the exact area in the brain that this process happens is still remained a mystery under scientific research. We see differences in the brain but it is still not confirmed how it works. But what scientists have noticed that there is a gene that is found often in songbirds that is found in the splitting of the brain.


Parrots have a similar brain and gene structure, called the “core”,to the hummingbird, but the “shell” of the parrot is unique. I hope through technology in the future we will be able to find more out about these birds, and how the flow of their special brain they contain. In a couple of months from now we will find out something significant things about how the brain works in this bird, as some scientific research is being more intensely studied to find out about a bird everyone assumes they know, but no one knows about it and how it performs.



February 26th, 2017


In my last post I made a statement that aliens will be real due to humans traveling and living on another planet. And in this post I’ll make an argument to why I think aliens totally are real already.

Space is the most fascinating thing ever. Something we as a race cannot rap our minds around. And we can prove this by the thousands of questions almost everyone has. How big is Space? Does it ever end? Are there other living things out there? If yes, what do they look like? These are questions I don’t know if we will ever find out. But I have a good argument to answer the question: Are there aliens?

starssThink about how big space is. I don’t think anyone can fully grasp this idea until you make a trip to Alaska or somewhere where you can see stars the clearest. But even if you just look up and see stars, you still can get a pretty good idea that it is huge. Space is where you can find another dimension, a place where it defies gravity, and allows you to go back in time. There are planets that if you were to visit it for 7 minutes, and come back to earth, 7 years would of passed. Because of gravity and the orbit it takes, it changes time.

If you were to look up at the sky right now and see a star, that does not mean that star is still in existence. Space is so big that light travels slowly through it, which is why we humans measure distance in space in lightyears. And that star you are looking at could have exploded millions and millions of years ago. Possibly even before dinosaurs were alive. But the light of the planet is just now reaching earth for our eyes to see. That just helps you put in perspective how big space is.


All of the stars we see are suns, and suns have planets orbiting around them. And if you were to see the stars in Alaska, you would be able to see millions of stars, or suns. Thinking about that, and how small earth is compared to everything else that exists, it is hard to say that you think earth is the only plannet with a living thing on it. I am even talking about bacteria, if you found bacteria on another planet, that is an alien, it is a living thing. So out of the billions of stars out there, there is bound to be aliens.

Scientists put the number of stars that we can physically observe with our level of technology right now at 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. And we humans love to play the odds game. And if you are saying that that Earth is the only planet with a living thing at the odds of 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, that is just a game of odds that I don’t think will go in your favor. Scientists just recently found 7 “Earthlike” planets only 39 lightyears away from earth. To us that is extremely far, but in the scale of the galaxy that makes this solar system our neighbor.

So I just want you to be open to that argument that aliens are existent, and allow your mind to stay open and stay curious, for Earth is just a grain of sand in the all of the beaches on earth combined and more!


Blue Dragon Sea Slug

February 12th, 2017



The Blue Dragon sea slug is an animal that I recently found, and I can honestly say it is the coolest looking animal I have seen. These slugs have the ability of camouflage and if you haven’t already guessed from its color, it has stinging cells. If you were to hold one of these you would receive a dangerous sting. How they get these stinging cells is through what they eat. They feed on the very dangerous venomous Portuguese man o’ war. The se slug stores the stinging cells from their meet in its tissues for a defense against predation.

These slugs have an ability to camouflage themselves. They float upside down by using the surface tension of the water to stay up and going. They are carried with the currents of the ocean, and through this they are able to stay steady and use their camouflage perk. The blue side of their body faces upwards which is blending with the rest of the blue water in the ocean. On the bottom of their body they have a silver side which blends in with the silvery surface of the sea.

These creatures can reach up to 3 centimeters in length. Their bodies are flat and have six appendages, kind of like arms but not really. These appendages store the venomous stinging cells they get from the Portuguese man o-war. There are four separate species that can be found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, they mainly are in warm temperate climates around tropical areas. These slugs are free roaming in the open ocean and commonly found washed up onto beaches. These sea slugs are really a beauty in nature that shows off the beautiful color blue very nicely.



In this video you see a fight for survival in nature, possibly one of the most thrilling videos I have ever seen. This video, taken on the Galapagos islands, shows a newly born marine iguana’s first and maybe only task is to make it to the safety of the sea. In this journey the iguanas are immediately put to the test with hundreds of racer snakes waiting around every corner to get a chance to get a tight grip on the newly born iguana.

The Racer snake is a highly venomous snake. Their length is usually up to 120cm. Their eyesight is not great, but they have evolved to quickly detect movement which causes them to act in fast and very aggressive movement. This time of year is the best feeding opportunity for these snakes, which makes it every snake for themselves. These snakes are sometimes forced to eat each other due to scarcity of food, which makes the attempt to get the prized meal of the iguana even more competitive and intense for these snakes.

The marine iguanas naturally have to prepare themselves to outrun these predators.  They do this by lying beneath the surface of the sand. This allows their bodies to heat up to strengthen their muscles. Their goal is to reach the safety onto of the rocks, a place where the snakes cannot reach. Can you imagine being in their situation? You are born only find yourself in the middle of an ambush of predators that want to swallow you alive, thats pretty scary.

This video has been the most viewed nature video in four years. Probably because normally one video of a snake attacking prey gets people’s fear of snakes up, but with hundreds of slithering snakes is bound to produce peoples reactions to make a video go viral.