Ep. 78 Giant Pangolins, Dinosaur Footprints, and Space Junk | Twig Science Reporter

Ep. 78 Giant Pangolins, Dinosaur Footprints, and Space Junk | Twig Science Reporter


On this week’s news update– Rare pangolins are caught on camera– A special set of dinosaur
footprints is uncovered– And space junk is speared
in a clean-up test. First up–
it’s Animal Watch. Last year,
scientists set up cameras in the forests and grasslands
of Uganda, in Africa. They were hoping to spot
a very unusual animal– and now,
they’ve succeeded. This is a giant pangolin! Pangolins are the only
mammals in the world that are covered in scales. The scales can be sold illegally
for lots of money– which makes pangolins
a target for hunters. However, very little is known about
how many giant pangolins there are, and how they behave,
which makes it difficult to know how to protect them. These new videos will help scientists
identify individual pangolins and learn more about their lives, so they can figure out the best way
to keep them safe. Next up– By examining footprints
we can gather clues about the animals that left them– even if they’re
95 million years old– like these fossilized
dinosaur footprints! They were discovered
in Queensland, Australia, and they belong to
three groups of dinosaurs– Tiny theropods, medium-sized ornithopods, and huge sauropods,
whose footprints are 3 feet wide! It’s rare to find footprints
from all three groups in one place– it suggests the dinosaurs
lived around the same time. After being uncovered,
the fossils were at risk of being destroyed by rain. So they’ve now been covered
in protective plaster and moved to a museum. And finally–
it’s Space Track. We all know about the problems
caused by litter here on Earth. But did you know that space
needs to be cleaned up, too?! So-called space junk
includes broken satellites and equipment dropped by astronauts, and it can cause serious damage
if it hits spacecraft or satellites. Now, a project called RemoveDEBRIS
has successfully tested a new method of litter-picking– spearing space junk with a harpoon! The harpoon was
shot from a satellite into a piece of junk
set up for the test, then reeled back in. One day, a method like this could help
clean up the mess we’ve made in space. That’s all for this week. We’ll see you next time!

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