👣 Sharks, Saturn, Ancient Footprints: Last Week in Science #5
Sharks can hold their breath, and Saturn has set a new record for the number of satellites — here's a look at last week's science news.
Sharks can hold their breath
Scalloped hammerhead sharks have evolved a unique method to avoid losing body heat when they hunt in deep cold waters: they close their gills. The sharks keep their core temperature stable by not opening their gills or mouth during the dive for prey, effectively ‘holding their breath’. So far, scalloped hammerheads are the first fish found to do this, but other sharks and fish might have the same adaptation.
German archaeologists have discovered footprints of Homo heidelbergensis, who lived about 300,000 years ago. Scientists believe that one adult and two children left the prints. According to researchers, herds of elephants and other species of herbivores congregated alongside ancient humans on the muddy shores of a paleolake.
The number of satellites of Saturn has reached 145, making it the first planet to have over 100 discovered moons. All new moons are considered irregular satellites, meaning their host planet initially captured them. Irregular moons are characterised by their large, elliptical, inclined orbits compared to regular moons.
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Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney.