You may have been told as a child that an earthworm will regenerate into two new worms if it's cut in half crosswise. But if you've ever experimented with the tube-like animals, you've probably been disappointed.Though it may not seem like it, earthworms have a distinctive head and tail. The head of a worm is always located on the end closest to the swollen band, called the clitellum, that encircles the animal.If an earthworm is split in two, it will not become two new worms. The head of the worm may survive and regenerate its tail if the animal is cut behind the clitellum. But the original tail of the worm will not be able to grow a new head (or the rest of its vital organs), and will instead die.However, there is a type of "worm" that puts the earthworm's regenerative ability to shame: the planarian flatworm. This tiny invertebrate, which belongs to a separate phylum from earthworms, is able to reform its entire body from slivers just 1/300th of the animal's original body size.And … [Read more...] about Will Two Worms Grow from a Worm Cut in Half?
It's easy to tell when it's tree frog mating time — just listen for the chorus of croaks. But aside from making noise, what else is involved in the mating behaviors of tree frogs? For the most part, tree frogs are solitary animals devoid of social behaviors, and usually only come together when it's time to mate. But just when breeding occurs differs between species, said Carl Gerhardt, a tree frog expert at the University of Missouri. Some tree frogs mate when the weather is cold, others when the weather is warm. Some tree frogs choose to mate one or two nights after it rains. "They have all kinds of mating patterns," Gerhardt told Live Science.Tree frogs also have different breeding systems, the most common of which is called a lek. In this system, males vie for a female's attention at night, and females are largely in control of mate choice.To begin, males will produce an advertisement call to females within their area — this call … [Read more...] about Animal Sex: How Tree Frogs Do it
It may come as a surprise, but silicon and silicone are two very different things.In short, silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element, whereas silicone is a synthetic substance.Silicon is the 14th element on the periodic table. It's a metalloid, meaning it has properties of both metals and nonmetals, and is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, after oxygen.Silicon readily bonds with oxygen and is rarely found in nature in its pure form. You've likely seen silicon as silicon dioxide or silica, better known as quartz, which is the most common component of sand.Silica also comes in other mineral forms, such as flint, jasper and opal. When silicon and oxygen mix with reactive metals, the result is a class of minerals called silicates, which includes granite, feldspar and mica.Silicon has many industrial uses: As silica, silicon is a key ingredient in bricks, concrete and glass. In its silicate form, the element is used to make enamels, pottery and … [Read more...] about Silicon or Silicone: What’s the Difference?