3,500-pound great white shark dubbed “Queen of the Ocean” spotted off North America’s coast

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A 3,500 pound great white shark dubbed Nukumi — meaning “Queen of the Ocean” — has been spotted off the coast of Nova Scotia. The massive 50-year-old shark was tagged and released by Ocearch, a research and exploring team that hopes its latest trip out to sea provides new clues to unravel the mysteries of great whites.

“When you see these big females like that that have scars from decades over their lives and multiple mating cycles, you can really kinda see the story of their life unfolding across all the blotches and healed wounds on their body,” team leader Chris Fischer told CBS News’ Jeff Glor. “It really hits you differently thank you would think.”   

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A 50-year-old, 3,500-pound shark nicknamed Nukumi, meaning “Queen of the Ocean.”

CBS News/Ocearch


Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip off the North American coast that had them running from storms for 21 days in the middle of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season. 

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Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip.

CBS News / Ocearch


At the end, Ocearch was successfully able to sample and release a total of eight great white sharks, including the so-called “Queen of the Ocean.” 

Fischer explained that tracking Nukumi comes with a “great opportunity” to show the researchers “where the Atlantic Canada white shark gives birth” — something that has never been witnessed before. 

Along with gathering more information on their birth, Ocearch’s goal is to learn more about the apex predators that keep the ocean in balance

“If they thrive, the system thrives,” Fischer explained. “The white shark is the balance keeper, and the path to abundance goes through them.”

Without white

Astronomers just spotted a planet floating freely in space without a star

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  • Scientists have used gravitational lensing to detect a so-called ‘rogue planet’ that doesn’t orbit a star and floats freely in space.
  • The planet is relatively small, but researchers can’t tell for certain how far away it is from Earth.
  • It’s possible that the Milky Way is home to trillions of these free planets.

We think of our solar system as typical, or even “normal,” but in the universe, there’s really no such thing as normal. So many circumstances exist with regard to planets, stars, moons, and other objects that there’s no clear arrangement that the cosmos favors over any other, and there are even free-floating “rogue planets” that have escaped the systems they developed in and are just sort of doing their own thing.



fireworks in the night sky: rogue planet


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rogue planet


A new discovery of one such rogue planet was just described in a lengthy research paper. The planet was spotted by two teams, one working with OGLE, the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, and KMTN, the Korean Microlensing Telescope Network. The only problem? Nobody really knows how far away the mysterious planet is.

As you may have gleaned from the name of the two projects that yielded the discovery, the planet was found with the help of a technique called gravitational lensing. Gravity acts on everything, including light, and scientists have been able to use this to their advantage by using a distant light source and some object in between it and Earth as a sort of invisible magnifying glass.

Gravity can bend light around a planet, allowing us to see that light even though something in between is blocking our direct line-of-sight. In this case, the mysterious rogue planet acted as the lens, revealing light “behind” it and cluing scientists into its presence. Because the planet in this particular case

Worsening rifts and fractures spotted at two of Antarctica’s most important glaciers

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Worsening rifts and fractures spotted at two of Antarctica’s most important glaciers
Satellite imagery has revealed that two of the fastest-changing glaciers in Antarctica are fracturing and weakening faster than ever – the first step towards the glaciers disintegrating and causing sea levels to rise dramatically. Credit: Pixabay/zhrenming

Satellite imagery has revealed that two of the fastest-changing glaciers in Antarctica are fracturing and weakening faster than ever—the first step towards the glaciers disintegrating and causing sea levels to rise dramatically.


Using observations from ESA, NASA and USGS satellites, the researchers explored the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment: two of the most dynamic glaciers on the Antarctic continent, and those responsible for a substantial 5% of global sea level rise.

Together, the two glaciers form an area of flowing ice the size of Norway, and hold enough water to raise global sea levels by over a meter. Both have distinctly changed in morphology in recent decades along with changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, with the warming oceans causing ice shelves to melt, thin, and retreat.

Predicting how these vital glaciers will evolve in coming years is critical to understand the future of our seas and our warming planet—but such predictions have remained uncertain, with computer models unable to fully account for the glaciers’ processes and properties in their projections.

“To reveal what’s really going on at Pine Island and Thwaites, we dug into imaging data from a number of different satellites,” says Stef Lhermitte of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and lead author of the new study.

The evolution of damage to the Pine Island (boxes P1 and P2) and Thwaites (T1) Glaciers from October 2014 to July 2020, as seen by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. The ice sheets of both glaciers can be seen fracturing and tearing apart. Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2014-20),

Asian Snakes Spotted Disemboweling Toads Instead Of Swallowing Them Whole

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KEY POINTS

  • 3 Asian snakes were documented eviscerating preys instead of swallowing them whole
  • It is the first time such feeding behavior was observed in the species
  • It’s possible that what they were eating has something to do with the behavior

For the first time, researchers observed snakes on three different occasions eviscerating toads instead of swallowing them whole. What could be behind these particularly gruesome attacks?

Snake is popularly known to eat its prey by swallowing it whole but for the first time, a team of researchers documented snakes that disemboweled prey instead of swallowing them whole.

In the study published in the journal Herpetozoa, the researchers describe three separate incidents during their observations in Thailand wherein they documented small-banded Kukri Snakes (Oligodon fasciolatus) using their enlarged posterior maxillary teeth to cut open their live preys.

“The snakes inserted their heads into the abdomen of the toads, pulled out some of the organs and swallowed them,” the researchers wrote, noting that the struggle between predator and prey lasted for hours.

Why did these snakes consume the toads this way? It could have something to do with what the snakes were eating. In all three cases, the snakes were eating Asian Black-spotted toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), a large toad species known to secrete a potent toxin from their neck and back. As the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology notes, it’s possible that this is why the species does not have many predators.

As such, it could be possible that the snakes were avoiding being poisoned by the toads’ toxins.

But, the researchers also note of a fourth observation wherein the snake just swallowed a toad of the same species whole, the only difference is that the toad was a smaller semi-adult.

“These are the first known cases of serpents inserting