biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow sunglasses birds

Internal Sunglasses

Some birds appear to have sunglasses

Although I myself did not have to wear glasses (except perhaps sunglasses) until I turned 55, millions of people on Earth may view this simple ‘tool’ to improve the resolving power of their eyes as one of the greatest inventions ever made. Photographers, microscopists, and opticians can tell you that the aperture of an optical system not only controls the amount of light admitted (and thus the brightness of the image you see) but also the resolving power of the system. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow biophotons lights

Biophotons do exist, but then so what?

That certain chemical reactions can result in the emission of light we learned at school and that fireflies and other light-producing organisms make use of such reactions we see in Nature. Lights like these are visible and intense. But what if organisms exist that produce light, which is so weak that we cannot perceive it? Are there any such organisms and if so, would such weak lights be of any use to them at all? These are questions Drs. Popp in Germany, Van Wijk in the Netherlands, Bajpai in India, Inaba in Japan, and Quickenden in Australia, amongst others, have been grappling with for years. —>—>

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Hot and Scalding

Some organisms manage to harness extreme heat

We all know that dragons and other mythical beasts are frequently given the power of fire-blowing or fire-spitting, but I also know that fire and life don’t mix well and can therefore categorically rule out the existence of fire-producing creatures (with the exception of fire-blowing circus and stage acts). What I am less certain about, however, is what I am supposed to make of stories I heard in rural France, spending 7 months in Moulis, namely that gas production by cows in crowded and badly ventilated stables is said to have been responsible for the occasional explosion. OK, cows produce methane, but who would ignite it? Stranded and decomposing whales on a tropical beach build up gases inside their body due to bacterial activity and can, indeed, explode, but generating fire? No. —>