In the Pacific Ocean, west and south of Hawaii, is what was until recently one of the largest marine sanctuaries on earth. Now, however, it has been expanded — to nearly six times its original size. And scientists are thrilled.
"I can't believe that's a living thing!" declares one of the scientists watching this stunning underwater footage of a siphonophore. The creature is not just one organism, but several that collectively serve various functions such as locomotion and even preying for food.
Everything about hummingbirds is rapid. An iridescent blur to the human eye, their movements can be captured with clarity only by high-speed video. Slowed down on replay, their wings thrum like helicopter blades as they hover near food.
Contagious yawning is a behaviour shared by chimpanzees, baboons, dogs and humans, and researchers said recently that wolves can do it too, suggesting that empathy among animals is a common trait.
Perhaps empathy is present in more species than previously thought, said lead author Teresa Romero, a researcher from the University of Tokyo. “In wolves, as well as in primates and dogs, yawning is contagious between individuals, especially those that are close associates,” Romero said.
“These results suggest that contagious yawning is a common ancestral trait shared by other mammals and that such ability reveals an emotional connection between individuals.”