Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
Grassland fires that are deadly and devastating events for many kinds of wildlife are a boon to certain types of birds known as fire foragers. These opportunists prey on animals fleeing from a blaze, or scavenge the remains of creatures that succumbed to the flames and the smoke. [Read more about the trick.]
A Strange Rock
A tiny chunk of stone that looks like nothing else ever seen in the solar system might be even weirder than scientists thought.
If so — and that is a big “if” — the stone might reveal that the dust cloud that eventually congealed into our solar system was not as uniform as previously believed. [Read more about the rock.]
A Big, Really Big, Number
There’s a new biggest known prime number in the universe. [Read more about the number.]
More than 200 bats have lost their lives to southern Australia’s ongoing heat wave.
The colony of flying foxes in Campbelltown belong to the species Pteropus poliocephalus, better known as the gray-headed flying fox. [Read more about the heat wave.]
Dangers for the Endangered
If asked, spotted owls would likely vote against marijuana legalization.
It’s the contamination of the owls’ primary food source — mice and rats, which, like humans, are attracted to the aromatic crop — that has been the animals’ undoing. [Read more about the deaths.]
Extraterrestrial Radio Waves
New work probes the extraterrestrial source of incredibly powerful explosions of radio waves, investigating why that spot is the only known location to repeatedly burst with these blasts.
To learn more about this FRB, scientists used the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to analyze data on 16 bursts from object. [Read more about the star.]
Failed Secret Mission Launch?
Something weird is going on with a classified SpaceX payload launched Sunday night (Jan. 7), codenamed Zuma. Either the mission failed, and a U.S. spy satellite was lost in space, per Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal reports that were posted Monday (Jan. 9), or it succeeded, per SpaceX. [Read more about the secretive mission.]
James Hemings was one of the most masterful chefs in the young United Sates. He trained in aristocratic kitchens in France and introduced crème brûlée, meringues and macaroni and cheese into American cooking. He was also enslaved by Thomas Jefferson. [Read more about discovery.]
A man in Spain who was declared dead by three doctors was actually still alive, which doctors discovered only when he began snoring on the autopsy table, according to news reports.
He has now regained consciousness and is in the intensive care unit at the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA) in Oviedo, Spain. But how, exactly, does something like this happen? [Read more about the frightening event.]
Effects of Hot Sand
The climate is changing, and so are the turtles.
Due to climate change, Raine Island — the site of the key breeding ground in this study — has warmed significantly since the 1990s, the researchers wrote, likely accounting for the hard female skew. [Read more about the turtles.]
More Realistic Hydration Guidelines
You are what you eat — but if you want to get literal about it, you are mostly what you drink. So, how much of that should be water?
You may have heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce (237 milliliters) glasses of water a day (totaling 64 ounces, or about 1.9 liters). That’s the wrong answer. [Read more about necessary water.]