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Latest Julian Finn Stories

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2010-05-20 06:20:00

Scientists said Wednesday they had solved the mystery surrounding the paper nautilus, a brittle and translucent shell that belongs to the rarely-seen species of octopi known as argonauts. For centuries, biologists have pondered about what evolutionary function the female's delicate off-white casing has served, only knowing it is too thin to offer any protection from predators. The most popular theory throughout time was that it had served as a brood chamber to house eggs. But a new study...

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2009-12-14 13:25:00

Scientists once thought of tool use as a defining feature of humans. That's until examples of tool use came in from other primates, along with birds and an array of other mammals. Now, a report in the December 14th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, adds an octopus to the growing list of tool users. The veined octopus under study manages a behavioral trick that the researchers call stilt walking. In it, the soft-bodied octopus spreads itself over stacked, upright coconut...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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