Science Illustrated

Science Illustrated

Issue 84

Science Illustrated delivers natural science, break through discoveries and an understanding of the world for the entire family. Packed with stunning photography and in-depth editorial it’s a visually spectacular gateway to the world looking into the beginning of life to distant objects in the universe.

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1 min.
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SAVE UP TO $40.84! Only $65 for 1 year! That’s 8 issues of SCIENCE ILLUSTRATED for just $8.12 a copy (normally $9.99)! Every issue of Australian Science Illustrated includes news and features on: • New science discoveries • Astronomy, cosmology and the univers • Plant and animal biology • Archaeology and palaeontology • History and culture • Green technology and renewable energy And much more! Subscribing to Australian Science Illustrated gives you these benefits! ✓ Up to 25% OFF the retail price! ✓ Never miss an issue! ✓ Get the latest issue delivered direct to your door! ✓ A subscription to Science Illustrated is the perfect gift! ORDERING YOUR SUBSCRIPTION IS EASY mymagazines.com.au Call 1300 361 146 or 02 9901 6111 Mail Science Illustrated Locked Bag 3355 St Leonards NSW, 1590…

1 min.
the southern titan: our largest dinosaur

Meet Australotitan cooperensis – now Australia’s largest known dinosaur. The new species of giant sauropod is estimated to have reached a length of 25-30 metres and a height of up to 6.5 metres to the hip, and it lived in the Cretaceous Period, around 92-96 million years ago. Scientifically described and named by Queensland Museum and Eromanga Natural History Museum palaeontologists, its discovery came after Sandy, son of Stuart and Robyn McKenzie, discovered a memorable ‘rock’ on the McKenzie’s property in Eromanga, south-west Queensland. That rock eventually led to the couple founding the Eromanga Natural History Museum, and working with Queensland Museum to excavate the largest skeletal remains of a dinosaur ever to be discovered in Australia. “It’s amazing to think from the first bones discovered by our son, the first digs…

1 min.
even hydras like a nap – but why sleep when you have no brain?

EVOLUTION Sleep is one of the few things that almost all animals have in common – from worms and insects to elephants and whales. So sleep must be vital for all these organisms, even though the reasons for sleep have not been firmly established. Most sleep researchers consider the brain to be the key organ requiring sleep, either to clear sensory impressions that would otherwise accumulate or to store them in long-term memory. But new studies show that sleep must have originally had other purposes. Scientists from the Kyushu University in Japan have discovered that even primitive hydras sleep. They video-monitored the 10mmlong creatures and found that they changed between a four-hour active state and a four-hour inactive sleeplike state. In the sleep state, the scientists could ‘wake up’ the hydras…

2 min.
what if our solar system had two suns?

ASTRONOMY If our solar system included an extra star in addition to the Sun, Earth might be almost the same as it is now. However, depending on the specifics, it could instead have perished before life had a chance to evolve. Astronomers now know about more than 150 binary star systems which include planets. In some binary star systems, two stars orbit each other more closely than the distance from Earth to the Sun, which is approximately 150 million kilometres. Such a partnership might allow a planet such as Earth to orbit both stars. Or, if the distance between the two stars was far greater, a planet such as Earth would probably orbit only one star. In that case, the other star would be an extra light source in the sky,…

1 min.
are ‘western’ toilets superior to squatting?

ANATOMY No they are not. The position adopted on a typical ‘Western’ toilet squeezes the rectum and bends it, so you need to apply more pressure to poop. This increases the risk of haemorrhoids and constipation. Squatting is better for the body. In an Israeli study, test subjects spent around 50 seconds moving their bowels when they were squatting, but no less than 130 seconds when they were in the typical Western position. When the legs are pulled towards the chest, the rectum is stretched, allowing faeces to pass more easily. NEW DATA REVEALS CORRECT BOWEL ESTIMATES Length: All of the bowels, from the small intestine to colon and rectrum measure about 5 metres – not 8 metres, as scientists used to think. Surface: The multitude of bowel folds produce a total surface…

2 min.
5 problems stand in the way of green transition

PROBLEM 1: UNEMPLOYMENT Green energy generates jobs As President of the USA, Donald Trump promised to make “coal black again” and rebuild the industry – both because the US has huge reserves (and hence export potential) and to appeal to Americans who had lost their jobs or risked losing them as fossil fuels are phased out. In spite of the promises, more than 1000 coal mining jobs disappeared in the US between 2016 and the COVID-19 epidemic. Job losses during a green transition are a global issue. It triggered demonstrations from 20,000 miners in Germany in October 2018, demanding job security. In Australia a non-partisan leadership forum delivered the Coalition government an eight-point action plan in 2016 to transition ‘justly’ to clean energy, but it was not adopted. A major study of green transition…