Today in Research: Scary Shrimp; Climate Change Conference

Discovered: sharp-eyed shrimp, when yawning is less contagious, checking in on the climate conference, and a way to figure out if you've got math skills.

  • Meet a very strange prehistoric predator. This shrimp looks scary -- but only in a Star Wars prequel creature kinda way. It's called the Anomalocaris, which aptly translates from scientific lingo to the appropriate name: "strange shrimp." While scientists have previously found that this prehistoric shrimp's teeth-things may not have been that sharp, it does, apparently, have excellent vision. Specifically, it's "a gigantic primordial shrimp with pin-sharp vision," New Scientist informs, which complement its "formidable grasping claws, which allowed it to grab its prey and pull it into its mouth." Pretty scary indeed for, as one science press release writer wrote, a glorified "shrimp from hell." [New Scientist, University of Adelaide]
  • So, how's the latest climate change conference going over in Durban, South Africa? We're ever optimistic about climate conferences, even though they have the seeming tendency to dissolve without much being accomplished. And, today, The New York Times gives a check-up on the huddle between scientists, diplomats, and probably the same old policy-makers hashing out the long-term sustainability of humanity on Earth. No biggie. Here's the first thing we learn from The Times: the "all-encompassing" treaty that everyone's hoped for for forever, "appears as elusive as ever." And China and the U.S. are still arguing about the same things -- like China balking that proposed rules will hinder its industrial progress. "[A]t the end of the two-week session the parties usually pull back from the brink and announce an incremental, face-saving deal. This year's talks appear headed for the same sort of conclusion." [The New York Times]

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