Extinct fish consumed plankton via huge mouth (PALAEONTOLOGY)
Twenty-seven students from the respected American Massachusetts Institute of Technlogy (MIT) are responsible for the best design of the super train of the future. Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, arranged the contest to find the most realistic aerodynamic transport capsule, which glides above the track by means of super magnets at a speed of 1,200 km+/h. The MIT students focused on the challenges of limiting the air drag (shortening the trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco to just 35 minutes), gaining full control of the capsule’s motion, and introducing efficient emergency brakes. The students designed a 3D model of the capsule, and will now use these designs to build a 250 kg prototype. The design includes a shell made of carbon fibre and polycarbonate. These ultralight materials solve the challenge of air drag. Transverse magnets are to stabilise the capsule, and mechanical brakes are activated, should the automatic functions fail. The model is only one step on the way to a real capsule. Students from a total of 115 universities in 20 countries have designed, prepared plans, and made calculations in their efforts to introduce a Hyperloop capsule concept.
'Spider' waits 99 million years for love (PALAEONTOLOGY)
Perhaps the oldest erection ever has been discovered, frozen in a piece of amber in Burma. The extended penis belongs to an unknown harvestman species that roamed the Earth 99 million years ago. The different species are hard to distinguish, as the shapes of their bodies and legs are very similar. But the shape of the creatures’ penises may vary. The reproductive organ is located under the body, and scientists rarely have the chance to study it, so, palaeontologists are thrilled about their impassioned discovery. Based on its shape, scientists determine that the creature is a species that has not been registered before. Arachnids have lived on Earth for 400 million years, and the find provides us with a unique chance to study their evolution.