Ever wanted a fox as a pet? Well, it might not be as far-fetched as you think.
50 years of experiments in the Soviet Union and Russia have resulted in the domesticated silver fox, the result of selective breeding.
The experiment was started in 1959 by scientists who in domesticating animals, much the same way that wolves became domesticated dogs.
Scientists believed that the main factor in the domestication of dogs was behavior and the ability to be tamed. They tested this theory in foxes, placing a population together under strong selection pressure. The foxes were then assigned classes, depending on their behavior and receptiveness towards the experimenters.
By the sixth generation of breeding, a higher-scoring category had to be used to determine the most suitable animals for domestication.
By the 20th generation of breeding, 35% of the foxes were considered elite class, a very high level of domestication. These foxes are now fundamentally different from their wild ancestors, displaying completely different behavior.
Physiological changes were also observed in the animals, which scientists have attributed to the low adrenalin levels in the animals which after a few generations, produces genetic combinations not seen in the original species.
While owning a fox as a pet does sound quite nifty, imagine what other animals could potentially be domesticated in the future. Pet hyena, anyone?
Bears are extraordinary creatures, but did you know that they are also their own gynecologists?
Black bears display many incredible traits, physical and biological. Huge, powerful creatures, black bears are excellent climbers with teeth adapted for feeding on plants and animals.
As impressive as the Black Bear looks outwardly, it has a rather incredible trait when it comes to reproduction.
The reproduction success of bears is related to the abundance of fall foods and a high quality summer, with bears mating in June and July.
Female Black Bears usually reproduce at 4.5 years old, breeding every other year and producing between two and four cubs every litter. Cubs weigh less than a pound at birth and develop while suckling from the mother.
An incredible adaptation that these bears display is termed “delayed implantation.” An adult will carry a fertilized egg for months, waiting to develop onto a fetus when given some special, unknown signal. Practically, this means that the bears can actually time the birth of their own cubs.
This also means that if food is scarce and the mother hasn’t accumulated enough fat by the time she settles in to hibernate, then the egg will simply abort itself.
Some scientists view this as a natural answer to population control but it can also be seen as plain common sense and protection of an unborn cub. Using the information provided, the bear can cancel the pregnancy process before the fetus is even formed, thus saving it from a difficult birth and lack of nourishment.
A bouncer, a chemical technician and the Pope walk into a bar…
You might think that a nightclub bouncer, a chemical technician and the Pope couldn’t possibly have anything in common. Most of the time, you would be correct, except that the current Pope, Pope Francis, has held all of these positions at some point in his life.
Pope Francis was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1969, but before he began his seminary studies he worked some interesting jobs, namely as a bouncer at a nightclub and as a chemical technician.
Pope Francis is noted for his less formal approach to the papacy and it seems his rather adventurous life before priesthood only adds to that informal type of demeanor.
Being from Argentina, Pope Francis is the first non-European Pope for 1,272 years. His concern for the poor and his humility have been standout the characteristics of his papacy thus far. His choosing to reside in the guesthouse rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace and his choice to adorn simpler vestments only serve to support these characteristics.
Perhaps his secular occupations have helped Pope Francis have a more open mind to the world we live in. He is noted for encouraging dialogue as a means of building bridges between people of different backgrounds and faiths.
There Are Living Things That Survived The Hiroshima Blast And Were Less Than A Mile Away!
You must be thinking, “how could something survive the nuclear blast, so close while everything else died?” Well it’s true! The Ginkgo Biloba tree stood less than 2 1-2 miles from the Hiroshima blast and they still stand there today.
After they were hit with the nuclear blast, while charred, they soon recovered and have been healthy since shortly after the attack. Contrary to popular belief, these trees show no signs of deformations whatsoever and never have after being examined by scientists.
Less than a mile from the origin of the blast, there is a plaque in a memorial garden that states, “After the dropping of the bomb almost all giant trees in the garden were burnt. This Ginkgo is one of the trees that survived. Girth 4 m, 17 m, age about 200 years. The tree toppled because of the blast and the tree was pruned to prevent it from falling over."
A temple was also built around one of the surviving trees that has a plaque stating, “No More Hiroshima” on it. It has also been noted that it is an area for prayer and an international symbol.
A fan theory states that there are over 280 TV shows that exist in the same Universe! Learn about it
Due to crossovers and spinoffs, some believe that 280+ TV shows all take place in the same universe, which exists inside the head of an autistic child – it's called the Tommy Whestphall Universe Hypothesis! Artist Nicholas W Skyles has designed a "poster" and a new way to read Tommy's mind. The Tommy Westphall Multiverse, also known as The Hypothesis, a name given to it by someone who wanted to tear down this silly internet meme, was born in the depths of usenet-at alt.tv.homicide, specifically. In particular, Tom Fontana, an Executive Producer on Homicide Life on the Street, who actually liked putting these links in.
To his huge nerd credit, apart from crossing over characters from Elsewhere, Law & Order, before it had a franchise of its own, and Chicago Hope, he also threw in references to companies that tied his little worlds together. For example, the hospital management company that ran St Eligius in Elsewhere was called Ecumena. That was taken over by the Weigert Corporation, which later turned up in Oz to take over the prison hospital. That’s why we didn’t strictly abide by character crossovers alone; plus if we knew the producers meant the reference to be there, we kept stringing shows into the grid.
None of it was ever meant to be taken too seriously, but it was amazing the number of crossovers that have invaded television. Even discounting the tenuous links there are masses of character crossovers in the Multiverse – easily the bulk of the links in the original spreadsheet and now Nick Skyles’ new design.
Earth Launched Something Into Space 56 Years Ago… and It’s Still In Orbit!
An artificial satellite by the name of Vanguard 1 launched into orbit on March 17th, 1958.
Originally, it’s crafter promised that it would be stable in space for centuries, and so far it’s going well!
Above Earth’s atmosphere, you can find Vanguard 1 either 400 miles above or 2,400 miles above us orbiting. According to NBC news, it orbits once every 133 minutes. It has only dropped 60 miles down in the half century it has been orbiting. Pretty reliable, huh?
Because of its ability to orbit for so long and remain steady, you may be wondering what it’s made out of. It’s an aluminum sphere that is about 6.5 inches in diameter and a lightweight 3.2 pounds. It’s last mission ended in 1964.
Less than a year later, another specimen of its kind was released into space called the Vanguard 2. In April of 2012, it was still in orbit. Instead of an aluminum sphere, it was designed as a magnesium sphere and was 20 inches in diameter and internally gold plated.
Pretty nifty, huh? They sure know how to build them!
Think The Schrodinger’s Cat Experiment Is Ridiculous? So Did Erwin Schrodinger.
Erwin Schrodinger created the cat experiment to illustrate how crazy he believed the idea to be.
It also illustrated the problems he saw within Copenhagen’s interpretation of quantum physics that applies to objects used in every households.
The proposal describes how the cat is in the box and the state of being alive depends on the subatomic particle condition.
While Copenhagen’s idea was that the cat could both be alive or dead, Schrodinger didn’t want both to be a possibility.
The experiment is thought to be a cat in a box with a broken flask of poison. Copenhagen believes that the cat is both alive and dead even if you look inside and see the cat alive OR dead.
Schrodinger’s theory wanted to go against that thought and impractical applications to other objects.
Are you allergic to avocados? Well you and your pet may have more in common than you think!
While the avocado may seem scary to you or your pet, their second common name may make you giggle.
The Alligator Pear is in the Lauraceae family and is toxic to horses, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and more. This includes avocado leaves, bark, seeds and more.
The avocado substance has something called persin inside. Different types of avocado products have different ranges of toxicity to animals. Ones found in Guatemala have been more problematic than any kind.
Typically, these toxins will make your pet have an upset stomach and doesn’t show anything too serious, but it can lead to an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract if not properly taken care of in time.
If you see avocado oil in your pet food ingredients, do not fear, some levels have a nutritional factor to them and should not cause any allergic reaction of sorts.
The Eiffel Tower is six inches taller in summer than winter!
This is largely due to the fact that steel contracts when it’s cold and expands when it’s hot. Because of the fact that the Eiffel Tower was built using steel means the engineers had to account for the shift that would take place in size.
Although it is a small difference, six inches is noticeable to those willing to take the time to measure. It also means that climbing it on foot would be just a little bit harder in the summer.
Saturn’s Moons Orbit So Close They’ve Learned To Switch Orbits So They Don’t Collide!
The moons of Saturn have a co-orbital ability to switch orbit every four years despite how close they are to each other.
The moons go by the name of Epimetheus and Janus and are less than 32 miles apart from each other.
Because they are so close to each other, they have learned to bounce each other back once they have caught up to one another.
When the inner moon is about to catch up to the outer moon, the gravitational factor boosts the momentum and then the distance of one is decreased while the other is increased. This is the process that happens every four years.
This orbit pattern was observed and confirmed by the launch of Voyager 1 that was launched in 1977 but the moon Epimetheus didn’t receive it’s name until 1983 as well as the name Janus, which had the be approved by the International Astronomical Union.