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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/science

Scientists unlock secrets about mysterious giant squid

Not much is known about the mysterious giant squid, a creature that was first captured on film in 2005. Now, researchers have decoded the giant cephalopod’s genome, hoping to unlock more secrets about the legendary squid.

The research, published in Giga Science, notes the giant squid has an enormous genome, with an estimated 2.7 billion DNA base pairs. By comparison, humans have 3 billion DNA base pairs. Caroline Albertin, one of the study’s co-authors, found that the Hox and Wnt developmental genes seen in almost all animals are also present in the giant squid genome, meaning its massive size was not caused by whole-genome duplication.

“In terms of their genes, we found the giant squid looks a lot like other animals,” Albertin said in a statement. “This means we can study these truly bizarre animals to learn more about ourselves.”

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In a rare event, a live giant squid (Architeuthis dux) is hauled to the surface on a baited hook in Japan. The giant squid can be 40 feet long tip-to-tail and weigh nearly a ton. (Credit: Tsunemi Kubodera)

CREEPY PHOTOS SHOWS GIANT SQUID ‘WATCHING’ DEEP SEA MISSION

The researcher also discovered more than 100 genes in the protocadherin family “typically not found in abundance in invertebrates” that were seen in the giant squid genome.

“Protocadherins are thought to be important in wiring up a complicated brain correctly,” she added. “They were thought to be a vertebrate innovation, so we were really surprised when we found more than 100 of them in the octopus genome (in 2015). That seemed like a smoking gun to how you make a complicated brain. And we have found a similar expansion of protocadherins in the giant squid, as well.”

In 2015, Albertin led a team that sequenced the first genome of a cephalopod.

As such, there’s still more work to be done to understand just how the giant squid became so massive, Albertin added.

“A genome is a first step for answering a lot of questions about the biology of these very weird animals,” Albertin pointed out, including features such as the largest brain among the invertebrates, their behaviors and the ability to instantly camouflage themselves.

Westlake Legal Group giant-squid-2 Scientists unlock secrets about mysterious giant squid fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/natural-science/genetics fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc fd6c1457-c439-52c1-a1fc-bd8da6bb2214 Chris Ciaccia article

The giant squid has long been a subject of horror lore. In this original illustration from Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” a giant squid grasps a helpless sailor. (Credit: Alphonse de Neuville)

Albertin also said that cephalopods are believed to have evolved independently of vertebrates, despite having a lot of complex and elaborate features. “By comparing their genomes we can ask, ‘Are cephalopods and vertebrates built the same way or are they built differently?'”

“Having this giant squid genome is an important node in helping us understand what makes a cephalopod a cephalopod,” she concluded. “And it also can help us understand how new and novel genes arise in evolution and development.”

The largest giant squid ever recorded was nearly 43 feet long and likely weighed almost 2,000 pounds, according to the Smithsonian.

In June 2019, NOAA spotted a giant squid in U.S. waters for the first time as part of rare footage that biologists have described as “the most amazing video you’ve ever seen.” The giant cephalopod was spotted around 100 miles southeast of New OrleansLa.

HUMAN-SIZE BLOB DRIFTS BY DIVERS. AND IT’S PACKED WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BABY SQUID.

Fairly elusive, the giant squid has been linked to myth since ancient times. The Charlotte Observer, citing data from The National Museum of Natural History, noted ancient sailors mistakenly believed giant squids were mermaids and other mythical creatures.

“For a long time, people saw mysterious movements in the water or found dead giant squid and didn’t know what they were — and even confused a giant squid carcass with a merman or mermaid,” the museum wrote on its website.

In August 2018, a 14-foot squid washed up on the shores of Wellington, New Zealand, prompting images of the colossal cephalopod to go viral.

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Westlake Legal Group giant-squid-1 Scientists unlock secrets about mysterious giant squid fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/natural-science/genetics fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc fd6c1457-c439-52c1-a1fc-bd8da6bb2214 Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group giant-squid-1 Scientists unlock secrets about mysterious giant squid fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/natural-science/genetics fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc fd6c1457-c439-52c1-a1fc-bd8da6bb2214 Chris Ciaccia article

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Rare ‘Martian’ mineral mounds appear in Utah’s Great Salt Lake

Mounds of a rare crystalline mineral emerged above the surface of Utah’s Great Salt Lake.

The four white mounds, which are up to 3 feet high and dozens of feet across, were first seen in October, according to a blog post by Utah State Parks officials.

After they tested the mounds, state geologists discovered that they are layered formations of a mineral known as mirabilite, a crystalline sodium sulfate.

However, the unique-looking mounds won’t be around forever.

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Westlake Legal Group mineral-mounds Rare 'Martian' mineral mounds appear in Utah's Great Salt Lake fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 99452105-5002-5dbd-be2d-086fb206fbc4

Mirabilite deposits have been found beneath the waters of the Great Salt Lake before, but this is the first time the mineral has formed exposed mounds above the surface. (Utah Geological Survey) (Utah Geological Survey)

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“When temperatures rise above freezing, the impressive clear mirabilite crystals that form the mounds at the Great Salt Lake will dehydrate to form a white powdery mineral called thenardite (Na2SO4),” parks officials said. “As such, these mirabilite mounds will disappear with changing temperatures and the rising lake levels.”

Although mirabilite has not actually been found on Mars, scientists think ancient mound-like deposits of similar sulfate minerals could still contain some fossilized traces of ancient Martian microbes — hence the nickname “Martian” mounds.

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Westlake Legal Group mineral-mounds Rare 'Martian' mineral mounds appear in Utah's Great Salt Lake fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 99452105-5002-5dbd-be2d-086fb206fbc4   Westlake Legal Group mineral-mounds Rare 'Martian' mineral mounds appear in Utah's Great Salt Lake fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 99452105-5002-5dbd-be2d-086fb206fbc4

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Queen Victoria’s dress, boots, stockings and underwear discovered in cabinet

A treasure trove of garments belonging to Queen Victoria has been discovered in a cabinet in England for 100 years and could sell for a pretty penny at auction later this month.

Included in the items are a pair of her underwear, boots, skirts and other clothes, British news agency South West News Service (SWNS) reports. They were given to royal photographer Alexander Lamont Henderson after she died in 1901 and eventually passed down through generations until Hendersons’ great-great-grandson, Roderick Williams, inherited the collection.

“Queen Victoria’s clothing and boots are family heirlooms which were originally given to my great-great grandfather, Alexander Lamont Henderson,” Williams, 63, said in comments obtained by SWNS. “He worked as a royal photographer for Queen Victoria up to her death in 1901 and we think the clothes were probably given to him by servants in the royal household, perhaps in return for taking photographs of them.”

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Queen Victoria on enamel hand-colored by AL Henderson. Jan. 16, 2020. Queen Victoria’s skirt and bodice, bloomers, stockings and leather boots – almost a complete royal outfit – have been unearthed from a wardrobe after more than 100 years. (Credit: SWNS)

Westlake Legal Group queen-victoria-bloomer-1 Queen Victoria's dress, boots, stockings and underwear discovered in cabinet fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 255c7912-2b6c-557a-a5aa-c9f80ea4de62

Emma Carberry of Hansons with the royal outfit and boots. (Credit: SWNS)

150-YEAR-OLD CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM CHARLES DICKENS DISCOVERED

“When my great-great grandfather died in 1907, the clothing was passed down through the generations,” he added. “It’s been kept in a wardrobe. I’m selling it now as I need to make some space.”

Also included in the lot are cream and red stockings, a chemise, black shirt and two pairs of handmade leather ankle boots made by J Sparks-Hall of London; the shoemaker is credited with creating the Chelsea boot.

Westlake Legal Group queen-victoria-bloomer-5 Queen Victoria's dress, boots, stockings and underwear discovered in cabinet fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 255c7912-2b6c-557a-a5aa-c9f80ea4de62

Queen Victoria clothing that is coming up for auction – ankle boots. The items include cream and red stockings, a chemise, black skirt, bodice, bloomers and two pairs of handmade leather ankle boots by J Sparks-Hall of London – a shoemaker credited with the design of the Chelsea boot. (Credit: SWNS)

“Famously, after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861, she wore black for the rest of her life and the bodice and skirt we’re selling are black,” said Hansons Auctioneers’ auctioneer Charles Hanson, who is handling the sale. “Her leather ankle boots show how dainty and narrow her feet were.

“Though she was only 4 ft. 11 inches and petite when she became queen at 18, she liked her food and her waist expanded to 50 inches over the decades – a fact demonstrated by the ample size of the bloomers,” Hanson told SWNS.

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Emma Carberry of Hansons in the bloomers. (Credit: SWNS)

The lot is expected to sell for nearly $20,000 when it goes up for auction on Jan. 21.

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Westlake Legal Group queen-victoria-bloomer-3 Queen Victoria's dress, boots, stockings and underwear discovered in cabinet fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 255c7912-2b6c-557a-a5aa-c9f80ea4de62   Westlake Legal Group queen-victoria-bloomer-3 Queen Victoria's dress, boots, stockings and underwear discovered in cabinet fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 255c7912-2b6c-557a-a5aa-c9f80ea4de62

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Mile-long asteroid could be dangerous to life on Earth in millions of years if it breaks up: scientists

Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Mile-long asteroid could be dangerous to life on Earth in millions of years if it breaks up: scientists fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc d3671f19-b26e-5b1f-8983-5ca662303176 Brie Stimson article

A massive mile-long double asteroid linked to a one-inch meteor that streaked a fireball over Japan three years ago could threaten humanity in millions of years if it eventually breaks up, scientists wrote in a report published Monday.

“The potential breakup of the rock could be dangerous to life on Earth,” Toshihiro Kasuga, a visiting scientist at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Kyoto Sangyo University, said in a release Wednesday, according to CNET. “Those resulting asteroids could hit the Earth in the next 10 million years or so.”

The findings were first reported in The Astronomical Journal Monday.

The fireball that passed over Kyoto, Japan, late at night on April 28, 2017, was a one-inch meteor that broke off the asteroid measuring more than a mile wide, scientists later determined, according to Live Science.

COMETS MAY HAVE DELIVERED ‘ESSENTIAL ELEMENT’ FOR LIFE ON EARTH, RESEARCHERS SAY

“We uncovered the fireball’s true identity,” Kasuga said, according to CNET. “The 2017 fireball and its parent asteroid gave us a behind-the-scenes look at meteors.”

The asteroid, known as 2003 YT1, is made up of two parts: the larger rock measures 1.2 miles and is orbited by a 690-foot piece.

“The parent body 2003 YT1 could break up and those resulting asteroids could hit the Earth in the next 10 million years or so, especially because 2003 YT1 has a dust production mechanism,” he added, the Daily Express reported.

The asteroid was first discovered in 2003, hence its name.

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It has a history of cracking and releasing dust particles into space, The Express reported.

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Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Mile-long asteroid could be dangerous to life on Earth in millions of years if it breaks up: scientists fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc d3671f19-b26e-5b1f-8983-5ca662303176 Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group asteroid-iStock Mile-long asteroid could be dangerous to life on Earth in millions of years if it breaks up: scientists fox-news/world/world-regions/japan fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc d3671f19-b26e-5b1f-8983-5ca662303176 Brie Stimson article

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Significant Mount Everest ice loss revealed in spy satellite images

The glaciers around Mount Everest have lost a significant amount of ice — about 8 inches per year, according to declassified spy satellite photographs.

Researchers were able to produce digital surface-elevation models of the glaciers using decades-old images — along with newly collected data — to create a comprehensive record of ice melt.

The glaciers along Mount Everest’s flanks had shrunk significantly from the top down from 1962 to 2018, according to research presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Live Science reported.

“When we now look at the entire area, we see a clear increase in mass loss while it was in the period of 1962 to 1969, around 20 centimeters [8 inches] per year,” Tobias Bolch, a lecturer for remote sensing with the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the U.K.’s University of St. Andrews, told the publication.

NASA’S JUNO CAPTURES STUNNING JUPITER IMAGE OF ‘WHITE OVAL’ STORM

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Summits of Mt. Everest and Mt. Makalu, seen from summit of Gokyo Ri, before sunrise in September 2019. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

TOP-SECRET UFO FILES COULD ‘GRAVELY DAMAGE’ AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY, US NAVY SAYS

The researchers discovered that Rongbuk and Khumbu glaciers, where Everest base camps for climbers and hikers are located, had thinned by more than 260 feet over 60 years, while Imja Glacier lost more than 300 feet of ice during the same timespan.

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In the 1950s, American intelligence services wanted to spy on the Soviet Union, and a secret satellite surveillance mission launched in 1960, according to the CIA. Locations across Eastern Europe and Asia were photographed by the effort, which was led by the CIA and the U.S. Air Force.

The program reportedly produced more than 800,000 images, including views of the Himalayas.

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NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured a gorgeous image of Jupiter’s dynamic surface.

A group of swirling clouds can be seen in Jupiter’s North-North Temperate Belt, along with several bright-white “pop-up” clouds, as NASA describes it.

The color-enhanced image was taken when Juno was about 4,400 miles from the planet’s cloud tops.

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NASA’s Juno captured the above image of Jupiter. (Enhanced image by Gerald Eichstädt and Sean Doran (CC BY-NC-SA) based on images provided courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

NUCLEAR WINTER WOULD TRIGGER A GLOBAL FAMINE, BUT THIS DOOMSDAY DIET COULD SAVE US

According to the space agency, two citizen scientists created the photograph using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

An anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval, can also be seen in the image.

Juno launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2011, and it was a mission to examine Jupiter’s gravity field, composition and polar magnetosphere. The craft will also seek clues on the planet’s formation and its winds — which can reach speeds of up to 384 miles per hour.

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Westlake Legal Group nasa-juno-jupiter NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm fox-news/science/jupiter fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08a52bf7-7699-546f-a167-1319b5398ea0   Westlake Legal Group nasa-juno-jupiter NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm fox-news/science/jupiter fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08a52bf7-7699-546f-a167-1319b5398ea0

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NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured a gorgeous image of Jupiter’s dynamic surface.

A group of swirling clouds can be seen in Jupiter’s North-North Temperate Belt, along with several bright-white “pop-up” clouds, as NASA describes it.

The color-enhanced image was taken when Juno was about 4,400 miles from the planet’s cloud tops.

TOP-SECRET UFO FILES COULD ‘GRAVELY DAMAGE’ AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY, NAVY SAYS

Westlake Legal Group nasa-juno-jupiter NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm fox-news/science/jupiter fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08a52bf7-7699-546f-a167-1319b5398ea0

NASA’s Juno captured the above image of Jupiter. (Enhanced image by Gerald Eichstädt and Sean Doran (CC BY-NC-SA) based on images provided courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

NUCLEAR WINTER WOULD TRIGGER A GLOBAL FAMINE, BUT THIS DOOMSDAY DIET COULD SAVE US

According to the space agency, two citizen scientists created the photograph using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

An anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval, can also be seen in the image.

Juno launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2011, and it was a mission to examine Jupiter’s gravity field, composition and polar magnetosphere. The craft will also seek clues on the planet’s formation and its winds — which can reach speeds of up to 384 miles per hour.

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Westlake Legal Group nasa-juno-jupiter NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm fox-news/science/jupiter fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08a52bf7-7699-546f-a167-1319b5398ea0   Westlake Legal Group nasa-juno-jupiter NASA’s Juno captures stunning Jupiter image showing ‘white oval’ storm fox-news/science/jupiter fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08a52bf7-7699-546f-a167-1319b5398ea0

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Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide

Newly-discovered photos are shedding new light on Canada’s largest known landslide.

The Hope Slide, as it became known, tore through the Nicolum Valley in the Cascade Mountain Range, British Columbia, on Jan. 9, 1965. Four motorists lost their lives in the disaster.

“We recently discovered a series of images documenting the incident itself, as well as search-and-rescue and reconstruction efforts following the slide,” said British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, on its website. “As far as we know, only one or two of these images have ever been shown to the public before now.”

DECADES-OLD CAMERA REVEALS FORGOTTEN IMAGES OF MOUNT ST. HELENS ERUPTION

Officials explain that, on the day of the landslide, a snow avalanche had blocked the Hope-Princeton Highway in the Nicolum Valley, just outside the town of Hope. A queue of motorists had formed on the Princeton side of the avalanche, according to British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation.

Westlake Legal Group LandslideCanada Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

This image shows the vast Hope Slide debris field. A line of cars parked along BC Highway 3 can be seen on the western side of the slide site. (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

“At approximately 7 am, a devastating rock slide occurred at the same location, when half of Johnson Peak collapsed and descended into the valley below,” the Ministry said. “The slide filled the valley bottom with more than 47 million cubic meters of rock, mud, and debris – up to 500 ft deep in some locations.”

Such was the extent of the landslide that a lake at the foot of the slide was completely displaced. “The slide buried a car that had become stuck in the first slide, an oil tanker truck, and a loaded hay truck which had stopped behind the tanker,” officials added.

PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES INCREDIBLE IMAGES OF ISOLATED AMAZON TRIBE

Westlake Legal Group LandslideCanada2 Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

An aerial view of the landslide looking westward. (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

The slide destroyed almost two miles of BC Highway 3 and the road’s alignment was changed in the years following the landslide. In the decades since the disaster, the Hope Slide has also become covered in trees, hiding the “scar” caused by the landslide.

Westlake Legal Group LandslideCanada3 Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

Helicopter pilots delivered supplies and materials to the debris field. (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Never-before-seen photos of other devastating events have surfaced in recent years. In 2017, a camera at a Portland, Ore., Goodwill was found to contain film with haunting images of the deadly 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Westlake Legal Group CanadaLandslide4 Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

This photo was taken from the Princeton side of the Hope Slide, Canada’s largest known landslide. (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Westlake Legal Group CanadaLandslide5 Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

Workers, police, volunteers and Highways Department staff attempted to recover victims of the Hope Slide. (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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The deadly volcanic eruption at Mount St. Helens occurred on May 18, 1980, blasting more than 1,300 feet off the top of the volcano and raining volcanic ash for miles around. Some 57 people lost their lives in the aftermath of the eruption.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group LandslideCanada Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article   Westlake Legal Group LandslideCanada Never-before-seen images offer chilling glimpse of devastating 1965 landslide James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc c59a2d67-b264-596a-8d14-a7db01f70db7 article

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Heart-warming pictures show lion cub nuzzling its mother

A tender moment for the king of the jungle.

A lioness at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland was captured on film nuzzling its five-month-old cub, British news agency SWNS reports.

The lioness, known as Roberta, gave birth to five cubs in August 2019, but only three survived. They have been named Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu.

Westlake Legal Group lion-eskimo-kiss-1 Heart-warming pictures show lion cub nuzzling its mother fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature/endangered fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 18f75b1f-6377-5028-8472-012dd4b860f0

This is the adorable moment an Asiatic lion cub nuzzles its mother Roberta at the Edinburgh Zoo. (Credit: SWNS)

HILARIOUS VIDEO SHOWS LION CUB SPOOKING HER MOM

Roberta, an Asiatic lion, came to the zoo in 2014 after having lived at the Magdeburg Zoo in Germany. She eventually mated with Jayendra, who came from the Bristol Zoo in 2012. Both Roberta and Jayendra are part of the European endangered species program, SWNS added, pointing out that every additional birth could aid in the possibility they are released into the wild.

Westlake Legal Group lion-eskimo-kiss-2 Heart-warming pictures show lion cub nuzzling its mother fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature/endangered fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 18f75b1f-6377-5028-8472-012dd4b860f0

Roberta was snapped touching noses with a five-month-old cub at Edinburgh Zoo. The mum gave birth in August 2019 to five cubs – but only three survived. The three Asiatic lion cubs were named Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu. (Credit: SWNS)

According to the World Wildlife Fund, Asiatic lions are endangered, slightly smaller in stature than their African cousins and have an estimated population at just over 500.

INCREDIBLE PICTURE SHOWS LION CUB LETTING OUT ITS FIRST ROAR

“Asiatic lions were once distributed up to the state of West Bengal in east and Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, in central India,” the WWF wrote on its website, adding that “Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary [in western India] is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.”

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Westlake Legal Group lion-eskimo-kiss-1 Heart-warming pictures show lion cub nuzzling its mother fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature/endangered fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 18f75b1f-6377-5028-8472-012dd4b860f0   Westlake Legal Group lion-eskimo-kiss-1 Heart-warming pictures show lion cub nuzzling its mother fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature/endangered fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 18f75b1f-6377-5028-8472-012dd4b860f0

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Comets may have delivered ‘essential element’ for life on Earth, researchers say

A new study suggests that comets had a huge hand in helping life form on Earth, bringing integral elements such as phosphorus, “an essential element for life,” to the planet.

The research utilized the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescopes in Chile, as well as the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, to look at the AFGL 1542 star-forming region. They found molecules such as phosphorus monoxide.

“Life appeared on Earth about 4 billion years ago, but we still do not know the processes that made it possible,” says Víctor Rivilla, the lead author of the study, in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group phosphorus-comet Comets may have delivered 'essential element' for life on Earth, researchers say fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c0676d8d-0004-53b3-aa81-c7a6da83464f article

This infographic shows the key results from a study that has revealed the interstellar thread of phosphorus, one of life’s building blocks. Thanks to ALMA, astronomers could pinpoint where phosphorus-bearing molecules form in star-forming regions like AFGL 5142. (ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Rivilla et al.; ESO/L. Calçada; ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM; Mario Weigand, SkyTrip.de)

METEORITE STRIKES MADE LIFE ON EARTH POSSIBLE, STUDY SAYS

The research has been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and a version of it can be read here.

In AFGL 1542, stars are created from enormous clouds comprised of gas and dust, as well as the building blocks of life, notably phosphorus. Phosphorus molecules are created as these stars are born and they release radiation, with the molecules traveling through space.

After observing AFGL 1542, researchers looked at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using the Rosetta spacecraft in the Solar System to see if the phosphorus molecules were present — and they were.

Kathrin Altwegg, an author on the study, said she was clued into finding the phosphorus molecules after she was approached by another astronomer who looked at star-forming regions with ALMA. “She said that phosphorus monoxide would be a very likely candidate, so I went back to our data and there it was!”

“Since comets may have delivered a significant amount of prebiotic material to the early Earth, this finding suggests that [phosphorus] could contribute significantly to the phosphorus reservoir during the dawn of our planet,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “There is evidence that [phosphorus] was already in the cometary ices prior to the birth of the Sun, so the chemical budget of the comet might be inherited from the natal environment of the Solar System, which is thought to be a stellar cluster including also massive stars.”

Researchers had previously detected phosphorus in a haze around the comet but were not certain how it got there.

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As not all of the phosphorus molecules are used to make stars, the leftovers can become asteroids and comets and bring life, an idea known as panspermia.

Panspermia is the hypothesis that life on Earth originated from microorganisms in outer space that were carried here unintentionally by objects such as space dust, meteoroids and asteroids, according to an article on NASA’s website.

“Phosphorus is essential for life as we know it,” Altwegg added. “As comets most probably delivered large amounts of organic compounds to the Earth, the phosphorus monoxide found in  67P may strengthen the link between comets and life on Earth.”

A separate study published last year identified isotopes of selenium in rocks in the Earth’s mantle and found identical isotope signatures inside certain meteorites, notably those from the outer Solar System.

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Westlake Legal Group phosphorus-comet Comets may have delivered 'essential element' for life on Earth, researchers say fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c0676d8d-0004-53b3-aa81-c7a6da83464f article   Westlake Legal Group phosphorus-comet Comets may have delivered 'essential element' for life on Earth, researchers say fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c0676d8d-0004-53b3-aa81-c7a6da83464f article

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