Tired swimmer rescued in Finland
During the first weekend of November, a Finnish man was kayaking on a lake in a thick fog. He saw something floating in the water, and when he got closer he saw that it was a Northern Hawk-Owl. It was clearly exhausted and the man lifted it out of the freezing water onto the tip of his kayak. The owl then crawled to his lap for warmth and burrowed under his lifejacket.
Since his original destination was too far away, the man decided to head for a nearby art museum on the lake shore. Once there he was eagerly assisted by both visitors and a museum guide, who took the bird in to rest and dry up next to a warm stove. At the end of the day the owl had recovered and was released back into the wild.
How the owl ended up in the lake in the first place remains a mystery. It may have got lost in the fog, or have been driven out to the lake by Hooded Crows (if a flock spots a predatory bird they tend to chase it away quite aggressively).
(This is my summarized translation of the article which is only available in Finnish. No copyright infringement is intended, only sharing this to celebrate the brave little owl and all the people who helped him.)
I feel like I might have posted this before? Anyways, if i did that’s ok because it’s a cute story. I love situations like this one where animal and humans collide in the ‘storybook happy ending’ way. I always wonder what the animal tells his friends and family the following day. “HOOT! You will never believe what happened to me yesterday…”
Interested in travel opportunities with field work in Scientific Art? This looks like A LOT of fun, and rather short term. Might be a nice way to come up with a few portfolio pieces.
Hey, this looks cool for those of you studying scientific illustration ;)
Moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) gather in huge swarms to feed on the late-summer plankton bloom.
though sea urchins don’t have eyes, they are covered in photoreceptors which collectively act as a retina, effectively making their entire bodies one big compound eye. sea urchins, one of the few marine organisms to have their genome sequenced, have about 23,000 genes (like a human), several of which are associated with sight, including those that govern the development of animal eyes.
"comparing all the genes of the sea urchin, it’s actually quite similar to humans," said george weinstock, who led the sequencing project. they are one of the few invertebrates on the human branch of the evolutionary tree. yet interestingly, they seem to be the only example of a deuterostome to have the rhabdomeric light sensors associated with protostomes, suggesting that rhabdomeric light detectors have been the norm for eyes throughout much of the animal kingdom’s history.
"we think of animals that have a head with centralized nervous systems and all their sense organs on top as being the ones capable of sophisticated behavior, but we’re finding more and more some animals can do pretty complex behaviors using a completely different style," notes sönke johnsen, a marine biologist at duke university who conducted the study on sea urchin vision.
the way that urchins apparently carry out eyesight - with a diffuse nerve net, where no region looks like a central processing unit - reflects how scientists are now often designing robots. “they’re finding it might be a lot better with a distributed system with many little processors and simpler sensors and simple rules, which end up creating fairly complicated behaviors as emergent properties.” [see: starlings post]”
photos of sea urchin tests up close by paul richman. when alive, tube feet would be seen coming from the holes, which the sea urchin uses primarily for sight, with the smaller dents seen in the tests, also containing photoreceptors, used for shading and blocking light. text sources.
Ducks in a Row, 42” x 36”, acrylic on maple panel, 2014
In order top to bottom: Wood duck, Spectacled Eider, Mandarin duck, Buffle head, Mandarin again and finally a Harlequin duck. If you want to see more paintings like this visit www.tiffanybozic.com.