Long-legged ‘stilt mice’ wade into streams to hunt aquatic insects using their whiskers — ScienceDaily

0 Comments

Ninety-three years ago, a scientist trapped a mouse in a stream in Ethiopia. Of all the mice, rats, and gerbils in Africa, it stood out as the one most adapted for living in water, with water-resistant fur and long, broad feet. That specimen, housed at Chicago’s Field Museum, is the only one of its genus ever collected, and scientists think it may now be extinct. But in a new study in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, researchers have verified this semi-aquatic mouse’s closest cousins, including two species new to science.

“These two groups of mice have been confused with one another for a century,” says Julian Kerbis Peterhans, one of the paper’s authors and a researcher at the Field Museum who’s studied these rodents for over 30 years. “They’ve been so elusive for so long, they’re some of the rarest animals in the world, so it’s exciting to finally figure out their family tree.”

“It’s underappreciated how little is known about the biodiversity of small mammals, especially in tropical parts of the world. We’re not discovering a whole lot of new lions, tigers, and bears, but there’s an incredible potential for discovery of new species of small mammals because they’re tough to find,” says Tom Giarla, the paper’s lead author and an assistant professor of biology at Siena College in New York. “And they’re sort of underappreciated animals — they’re really cool when you start to learn about their ecology. These are semi-aquatic mice, so they’re not just your average, everyday rodents.”

There are two main kinds of mice that the researchers focused on: Nilopegamys and Colomys. Nilopegamys (meaning “mouse from the source of the Nile”) is the genus that’s only known from one specimen collected in 1927; the genus Colomys is a little easier to

Mac with T2 Security Chip required to play 4K Netflix streams in macOS Big Sur

0 Comments

Those looking forward to streaming Netflix content in 4K HDR with the upcoming macOS Big Sur operating system will need a Mac with Apple’s T2 Security Chip, limiting the feature to recently released hardware.

Netflix recently updated a Help Center webpage with new guidance on viewing 4K HDR content in Safari on macOS Big Sur, noting both operating system and hardware requirements, reports Apple Terminal.

According to the support document only “[s]elect 2018 or later Mac computer[s] with an Apple T2 Security chip” are compatible with Ultra HD streaming. Further, all external monitors must feature 60Hz 4K capabilities and an HDCP 2.2 compliant connection.

Netflix fails to explain why Macs need a T2 chip to play back 4K HDR streams when comparable Windows machines do not. The chip does integrate a number of critical controllers like the system’s image signal processor and audio controller, which have been proven to lend a moderate boost to video encoding. It is possible that Netflix simply added the T2 requirement to ensure subscribers are using modern Macs with current graphics components.

Apple in a Support Document notes HDR video playback is limited to 2018 or later MacBook Pro models, 2018 or later MacBook Air models, the 2020 iMac, iMac Pro, 2018 Mac mini and Mac Pro, with 4K restricted to iMac and iMac Pro variants. T2 chip requirements are not mentioned.

Safari in Big Sur’s forthcoming compatibility with Netflix Ultra HD content was first spotted in June, early in the beta testing period. At the time, testers discovered the web browser enables 4K video streams encoded using the HEVC codec.

Apple is expected to debut macOS Big Sur in the coming weeks.

Source Article