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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: Giant Salamanders Are Supersuckers
5 March 2013 7:01 pm
The giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) isn't just the world's largest amphibian. A new study shows the animal, which can reach 50 kilograms and 1.6 meters, has an outsized talent: It's a supersucker. Researchers found that the mammoth creature, which lives in rivers in China, can vacuum up a whole fish in 0.05 seconds, engulfing the tidbit and more than a liter of water in its gaping maw, as seen in the time-lapse video above. So powerful is its suck that prey enters its mouth at accelerations comparable to those of rocket-powered cars. The team's computer simulations show that the salamander creates suction by whipping open its broad, flat jaws with the help of huge muscles—an unprecedented technique. Writing in today's Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the researchers note that the giant salamander resembles the Earth's earliest four-legged creatures. So those first tetrapods—which paved the way from sea to land—may have opened wide to slurp up their prey as well.
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