The 10 times science broke records this 2020

Every year, various species of animals, plants, weather phenomena or archaeological discoveries impress us with unusual new details that sometimes break established records.

The planet land hides, among its latitudes, beings and characteristics that are still unfamiliar to humanity. Here we offer you the most relevant information that appeared in scientific magazines como Science Advances, Communications Biology, Proceedings of the royal society B o Nature Communicatione en el transcurso de este 2020.

The bird that broke the record for non-stop flight

The sneak tail, according to the British news website The Guardian, has been tracked with a satellite tag while flying no more and no less than 12,000 km from Alaska to New Zealand, for 11 days and without any stopover.

The bar-tailed bird took off from Auckland and reached a speed of 55 mph | Photo: Juan Carlos Martinez Salvadores / Alamy

These birds they can make your flight lighter when the organs shrink. “They have many things going for them. They are designed like a jet fighter. Long, pointed wings and a really elegant design that gives them great aerodynamic potential ”, said Dr. Jesse Conklin, from the Global Flyway Network consortium of specialists.

The National Audubon Society, an American non-profit organization charged with protecting the birds In the American continent, it is said that Limosa lapponica —scientific name for the animal— feeds on crustaceans, insects and mollusks, although in summer it prefers seeds and berries.

A 31,000-year-old burial covered identical twins

On November 6, the magazine Communications Biology published a study in which researchers found the skeletal remains of two identical twin babies, verified by DNA samples at the Upper Paleolithic site of Krems-Wachtberg, Lower Austria.

The bodies of the twins in the grave of the grave | Photo: OREA, Austrian Academy of Sciences / R. Thomas

As stated in the cited material, “the results show that the twins were full-term newborns and that, while individual 2 died at birth, individual 1 survived about 50 days.”

The 2018 Halloween lightning bolt in Brazil

Livescience assured that the detected beam would cover an area of ​​440 miles (700 kilometers) or, in other words, from Toronto to Chicago. The World Meteorological Organization (OMM) called this light event a ‘megaflash’ in a press release published on June 26, 2020.

The extension of the lightning was seen in southern Brazil, on October 31, 2018, right in celebrations for Halloween. “This is equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington DC in the United States of America or between London and the Swiss border near Basel”, was calculated in the aforementioned document.

Brazil’s electrical mega discharge map has a margin of error of only 8km | Photo: WMO

Also, the OMM highlighted a lightning bolt in the north of Argentina whose duration reached 16.73 seconds, on March 4, 2019.

For Professor Randall Cerveny, head of Climate and Extreme Climate, there could be greater phenomena, only that the observations will be carried out when the technology improves.

The Extra Long Creature Ever Discovered

In April 2020, the BBC noted, the Schmidt Ocean Institute found a giant siphonophore, a 45-meter-long colony floating off the west coast of Australia.

The tweet is translated like this: “Look at this beautiful giant Apolemia siphonophore registered in the #NingalooCanyons expedition. It seems likely that this specimen is the largest ever recorded, and located in a strange UFO-like feeding posture. “

This species produces its own light, is cloned thousands of times and reaches a thickness comparable to a broomstick. On the other hand, the length of the animal It was measured by a robot, in a preliminary way, as explained by biologists Nerida Wilson and Lisa Kirkendale to the Science Alert portal.

The largest turtle shell

The Stupendemys geografus, a kind of tortuga who lived in northern South America, had a 2.4 meter long shell, the largest known to science, after being unearthed in Urumaco, Venezuela. Furthermore, the creature was 8 million years old and weighs 1,145 kg.

Artist’s rendering of the giant tortoise Stupendemys Geographicus | Photo: Jorge González / Indiana University Press

The open access journal Science Advances published the scope of this record on February 12, 2020. Regarding the existence of the turtle, it has been known since 1976.

The males had horn-shaped weapons that protruded from their shells. Probably, those parts of their bodies were used to face against other turtles, as suggested by certain scars of the Stupendemys geografus.

The Sun’s Journey Across the Sky

A Photography showed the path of the king star since 2012 through almost 3,000 arcs of light that are traced when the star leaves the horizon and is hidden. This would be the image with the widest exposure (amount of illumination a photosensitive material receives) ever seen before.

“I had tried this technique a couple of times before at the Observatory, but the photographs were often ruined by humidity and the photographic paper wrinkled,” confessed Regina Valkenborgh, author of this science record.

The photo of the trip of the Sun was possible thanks to a can of beer, a camera without a lens and a photographic paper | Photo: Regina Valkenborgh / University of Hertfordshire

The speed of sound in a hydrogen atom

On October 9, through the magazine Science Advances, a research team from Queen Mary University of London found the upper limits of the speed of sound.

In a solid hydrogen atom and applying quantum mechanics, they discovered that sound could travel at almost 127,460 km / h, a theoretical brake. Its speed always depends on the material where it moves.

Physicist Kostya Trachenko of Queen Mary University of London and his colleagues used quantum mechanics to calculate what happens to sound if it passes through a hydrogen atom | Photo: Fotolia

100 million year old sperm

A giant sperm inside a piece of solidified amber is the oldest known. It comes from ostracods, a type of crustacean called ‘seed shrimp’.

Four eggs and one sperm from the Cretaceous period, 100 million years ago, were found in one of the adult females of the Myanmarcypris hui subspecies.

Allusive image of the male and female crustacean called ostracod during mating | Photo: Dinghua Yang

He Wang, a paleontologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, using a computerized method, concluded together with his colleagues that each sperm The study of cocoons from Antarctica measured 200 micrometers (one is equivalent to one thousandth of a millimeter), according to information from the magazine Proceedings of the Royal Academy B, on September 16.

Stardust: the oldest material found on planet Earth

Half a century ago, a rock from space contained dust from stars —Presolar grains, that is to say, existing since before the emergence of the Sun — with an age of 7,000 million years.

The Murchison meteorite, named after the town in Australia where it fell on September 28, 1969, is a survivor of the thousands of stellar objects that are attracted by the gravity of the land, but whose materials are melted in the tectonic plates and volcanic activities.

Presolar grains are stellar material from various sources | Photo: NASA and various partners

On average, 60% of these grains date back — at least — 4.9 billion years. “(…) Interstellar dust is a key ingredient in stars and habitable planetary systems, which makes better knowledge about their composition and life cycle desirable ”, is explained in an article published on January 13 in the magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The oldest innards found in a primordial creature

Talking about cloudinomorphs itself incites controversy. James Schiffbauer, a paleobiologist at the University of Missouri (United States), discussed three probabilities: they were bag-shaped animals, they were not animals, or they were complex eukaryotes (organisms with cells and nuclei).

According to the proposals, the guts could belong to a tube worm. Southern Nevada fossils date back about 550 million years. Regarding their morphology, it is believed that they had seashells similar to the animals from the actuality.

White tissues of a cloudinomorph. The digestive tract is highlighted in red | Photocapture: Stacy Turpin Cheavens / Nature

For Tara Selly, co-author of the study hosted in the journal Nature Communications since January 10, computed tomography helped too much in evaluating the internal characteristics of the species without damaging it.


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