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Apr 29 7 tweets 3 min read
DNA analysis has finally solved the mystery of the human skeletons found in Punjab 8 years ago!

Initially thought to be martyrs from the partition, the bones actually belonged to freedom fighters killed by Britishers in 1857.



Thread.👇 In 2014, several skeletons were excavated from a well in Ajnala, Punjab.

While they were initially thought to be people who may have been killed during the Partition of India-Pakistan, DNA sequences matched with people from UP, Bihar & West Bengal.

📸: Via Times of India
Apr 27 8 tweets 5 min read
#Hobbit-like human ancestors thought to have gone extinct 12,000 years ago might still be hiding away in #Indonesia, an anthropologist has claimed.


📸: Stuart Hay, ANU

Thread. 👇 Image In 2004, late anthropologist Mire Morwood discovered #fossils of a tiny species of hominin on Flores, an #Indonesian island.

Named Homo floresiensis & dating back to the late #Pleistocene, this was a contemporary of early modern humans in Southeast Asia.

📸: Peter Brown Image
Feb 20 7 tweets 4 min read
On #WorldWhaleDay, here are some fun facts about #WHALES that are sure to blow your mind away!

Fun facts:…


Thread👇 The earliest whales were land-dwelling!

Whales first marked their presence on Earth around 50 million years ago. In fact, last year, palaeontologists unearthed a 43-million-year-old fossil of a four-legged whale that walked on land and swam in oceans.

📸: Robert B
Feb 19 7 tweets 5 min read
Rekambo chimps in #Gabon’s forests are applying insects to each other’s wounds! 🐵🪰

Whether it's merely a gesture of goodwill or a medication practice, we don't know for sure yet.


📸: Pixabay (Via Canva)

Thread. 👇 Image Back in 2019, @alessandra_masc, a volunteer at the Loango Chimpanzee Project in #Gabon, recorded a female chimpanzee named Suzee and her son, Sia.

In the video, Suzee plucked an #insect from the underside of a leaf, squeezed it b/w her lips, & applied it to Sia's gash.
Nov 30, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
Here's a story of how an Australian man's tryst with a golden meteorite helped unearth a scientific treasure that was older than the earth!


📸: Melbourne Museum

Thread👇 Six years ago, an Australian man named David Hole set out on a journey of finding gold.

Armed with a metal detector, he scoured to the Maryborough Regional Park in Melbourne—a famous Australian gold rush site of the 19th Century.
Nov 29, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
While #Omicron has sparked global fears due to the possibility of higher transmissibility & resistance to certain vaccines, here's a quick look at the situation & actions that countries are taking to control the number of cases:…

📸: R Sharma / BCCL Patna During the routine sequencing by Network for Genomics Surveillance, seventy-seven samples within #SouthAfrica's #Gauteng contained the variant.

The variant has a deletion within the S gene that helps in rapid identification.
Nov 25, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
Indian astronomers are on a winning streak! In two separate discoveries, researchers have found an exoplanet 1.4x the size of Jupiter and a rare class of radio stars hotter than the Sun!


📸: ESO/M Kornmesser

Thread 👇 The first discovery of new exoplanet TOI 1789b was made by Prof A Chakraborty and team using the PARAS optical fibre-fed spectrograph—the first of its kind in India—on the 1.2-metre Telescope of PRL at its Mt Abu Observatory.
Nov 24, 2021 8 tweets 4 min read
Before Neil Armstrong set his foot on the Moon in 1969, NASA's Apollo 10 module named Snoopy was sent to snoop around the landing site.

Now, Peanuts’ iconic character Snoopy will again travel to the Moon—only this time, for real!…

📸: Kenny Space Center Peanuts comic’s iconic character Snoopy has been nominated to be the NASA mascot for mission Artemis I, which is up for launch in early 2022.

Like Apollo 10, Artemis I would serve as a test mission—the first one in a series of increasingly complex Artemis missions.

Nov 24, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
Every winter, #DelhiPollution spikes drastically, partly due to the stubble burning activities in neighbouring states.

Now, @NASA has captured satellite images depicting stubble plumes gushing towards #Delhi.


📸: Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Obsv. #StubbleBurning is the process whereby farmers get rid of crop residues by torching them up, so as to create space for a fresh batch of crops. This annual activity leads to the exacerbation of recurring seasonal pollution.

📸: Piyal Bhattacharjee/TOI, BCCL, Delhi
Nov 23, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
Increasing pollution, #ClimateChange & dam construction on River Ganga have modified its flow, causing frequent landslides & floods.

A study by @iiscbangalore & @IITKanpur predicts extreme flooding episodes in the coming years.


📸: P Sharma/BCCL Image The researchers focused on two major tributaries of Ganga: Bhagirathi & Alaknanda.

The study observed an increase in flooding events in these river basins after 1995, particularly in the water flow in the Alaknanda river, which increased between 1971 & 2010.

📸: Swarnkar et al. Image
Nov 23, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
Nature inFocus #Photography Contest 2021—a competition that honours shutterbugs that document unique natural history & critical conservation issues—has announced its winners!…

(📸: Kallol Mukherjee-Special Mention in Creative Nature category)

Thread! 👇 Image Animal Portraits category winner: City Lights

The photographer spent months documenting the behaviour of Arabian Red Fox families in Kuwait. Although scared at first, the foxes became more comfortable around his presence after frequent visits.

📸: Mohammad Murad Image
Oct 27, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
As if small scorpions weren’t scary enough, scientists have discovered an ancient fossil of a sea scorpion that was 16 times larger than the present-day scorpion—almost as big as a dog!


📸: Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology/Y Dinghua Named Terropterus xiushanensis, this arachnid was a relative of the present-day horseshoe crab and whip spider.

It had similar spiny attacking forelimbs & belonged to mixopterids—a group of eurypterids (sea scorpions)—also recognised for their specialised arms for catching prey.
Oct 26, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
Despite being highly vulnerable to #ClimateChange and featuring among the top five emitters of greenhouse gases, India is unlikely to commit to net-zero emissions at the upcoming #COP26.

Here's why:…

📸: Pixabay/IANS

Thread👇 Being a developing country, India is highly dependent on fossil fuels to run a substantial portion of its economy. The havoc created by the recent shortages in coal stands testimony to this.

Achieving net-zero would mean significant cuts in the use of fossil fuels.
Oct 26, 2021 12 tweets 4 min read
This tiny crab, which was trapped in amber about 100 million years ago, has completely changed our understand of #crab evolution!


📸: Lida Xing

Thread! 👇 Sometime during the Cretaceous Era, roughly 100 million years ago, a tiny crab marched out of its home in the sea, climbed a tree, and got itself trapped in a dollop of tree trunk goop.

But little did this young crustacean know that the amber would immortalise it!
Sep 29, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
A mega #comet — one so humongous, it was previously misidentified as a dwarf planet! — is approaching our solar system!


📸: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva (Spaceengine)

Thread! 👇 In 2014, astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein discovered a celestial object and classified it as a dwarf planet.

However, the body was later reclassified as a comet, after it showed signs of activity.
Sep 27, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
Leather jackets that are a style statement today (unfortunately!) may have been a trend from the Pleistocene era! Here’s how researchers from @MPIWG found evidence of early humans who wore leather clothes around 100,000 years ago!


📸: E Y Hallett Image The researchers unearthed 62 bones from layers dating from the Pleistocene era that appeared to have been used as tools. Early humans made these specialised bone tools to skin animals and then processed these skins for fur and leather.
Sep 16, 2021 8 tweets 4 min read
Female octopuses throw objects at males who harass them, a new study has found!


By @kun5k

(📸: NOAA) Opening jars, playing with toys, sneakily escaping from confinements, jetting water to soak people—#octopuses are notorious for such intelligent antics!

Their large brains make them capable of high-order cognitive behaviours, including problem-solving and tool usage.
Sep 15, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
The teeth of a new species of the hybodont #shark, which belonged to the #Jurassic era, have been discovered for the first time in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. #Paleontology #Fossil


(📸: IANS) The fossils were discovered from the Jurassic rocks in the #Jaisalmer region of #Rajasthan. The rocks are between 160 and 168 million years old.

The crushing teeth represent a new species, named by the research team as 'Strophodusjaisalmerensis'.
Aug 25, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
The #OortCloud—a shell of debris in the farthest reaches of our #SolarSystem—may consist of more #interstellar objects as compared to local bodies from our own system, as per new research.


(📸: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle) It was only two years ago that humans discovered Borisov: the first and only interstellar comet to enter our solar system from a completely foreign star system.

But now, the new study suggests such phenomena might not be too rare!
Aug 24, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
Astronomers have discovered an #asteroid that revolves around our Sun faster than all other #spacerocks! Named 2021 PH2, it is approximately 1 km wide.

📸: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva This newly discovered asteroid completes one orbit around the Sun in just 113 Earth days. This is the shortest orbital period of any #cosmicobject in our solar system except #Mercury, which takes only 88 days!

In Pic: Mercury’s solar transit
📸: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Aug 23, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
#ClimateChange impacts all species through extreme weather events, #habitatchange & #resourcescarcity, and the #Walrus is no different. Declining ice has particularly challenged the survival of female and young walruses.…

(📸: @UMCES/Lee Cooper) Image #GlobalWarming has led to a decline in the #SeaIce that walruses use to rest and access clam beds. Therefore, these mammals are being forced to crowd offshore, where clams are scarce, and the risk of stampedes is high!

(📸: Capt. Budd Christman, NOAA Corps) Image