Ep. 45 Yucatan Cave, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Brumation | Twig Science Reporter

Ep. 45 Yucatan Cave, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Brumation | Twig Science Reporter


On this week’s news update– a discovery
on the planet Mars, the world’s longest
underwater cave and how alligators
survive a cold snap! First up– this is the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA spacecraft that explores
the surface of the planet Mars, and it recently made
an exciting discovery! Using a special telescope
called HiRISE, it found thick layers of ice
just below the surface of Mars. We can see the layers of ice
highlighted in blue in this image, created from information
gathered by HiRISE. Scientists say this discovery
could help them learn more about how the planet’s climate
may have changed over millions of years. They also say that the buried ice
could even be used as a source of water
or future expeditions to Mars. Next up– these divers are swimming
through a huge cave, in an area of Mexico
called the Yucatan Peninsula After months of exploration, divers from the Great
Maya Aquifer Project found a connecting tunnel
between two different cave systems, making it nearly
350 kilometers long– thought to be the longest
underwater cave in the world! It’s also of special interest because
it contains many ancient objects, left by people who lived there
thousands of years ago, before the cave
became filled with water. And finally, it’s Animal Watch. The East Coast of the USA
has been hit by some extreme
winter weather lately. As well as causing
disruption for people, some animals
have been affected too, like these alligators
in the state of North Carolina. When the swamp
they live in froze over, the reptiles displayed
an amazing survival trick. After sticking their snouts
out of the ice so they could breathe, the alligators went into brumation,
which is a bit like hibernation. Mammals hibernate, while reptiles brumate. During brumation,
reptiles slow down their heart rates
and go into a sleep-like state, which helps them save energy
during very cold weather. A few days later, the ice melted,
letting the alligators warm back up
and get moving again! That’s all for this week,
we’ll see you next time!

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