Friday, August 29, 2014

Frozen Alive

There are a couple creatures that can survive being frozen alive. One of them, the tardigrades, I will discuss next time.  But another one is the North American Wood Frog.

These little buggers are fascinating. When they feel a deep freeze approaching their body kicks into preservation mode by producing cryoprotectants.  It replaces all its glycogen with glucose and pumps urea through its body.  This limits the amount of water in its body that can actually freeze and form crystals which is what causes damage in cells.

The frog can be frozen to a solid state with no heartbeat, no breathing, and no brain activity. It can be left out to thaw, and then the heart will kick in on its own and start pumping again. 

Watch It Thaw

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Trunk By Any Other Name....

So I was watching a show about elephants and they mentioned that the trunk of an elephant has over 40,000 distinct muscles.  I thought that is fascinating and figured I would post about that.

Then I started to read up on elephant trunks and realized they are even more fascinating than that.

The elephant is 4 times more sensitive to smell than a bloodhound. And a bloodhound has 230,000,000 scent receptors in its nose (a human only has 6,000,000). So you do the math there. It's been said that an elephant can smell water from several miles away.

An elephant can also lift up to 770 pounds with its trunk as well as snorkel while staying submerged under water.