Life Science and Physical Science Weekly Channel Highlights

In this post: the large versions of the Life Science and Physical Science channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.

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Life Science. From Flickr, by atomicjeep

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Physical Science. From Flickr, by blondyimp

Reader comments of the week:

On the Life Science channel, Laelaps delves into an 18th century quibble in Thomas Jefferson's All-American incognitum. The American incognitum, which can be seen in an 1816 Edouard de Montule painting included in the post, is now known as the American mastodon, Mammut americanum. Back in 1781, however, Thomas Jefferson used the beast's original name in his Notes on the State of Virginia. In Notes, Jefferson defended the impressive size of American fauna in response to a boast from French naturalist Buffon that "In general, all the animals there [in the Americas] are smaller than those of the old world." The mastodon, which clearly derailed Buffon's claim, surprised people at the time who believed elephants had never lived in North America. Charles Willson Peale, who mounted the tusks on the skeleton in the painting, was unsure which way they should be pointed and placed them upside down, only later to find out that he guessed incorrectly.

Reader Zach Miller was more impressed by the skeleton's size than the inverted tusks:

Screw the tusks—look at how freaking BIG that skeleton is! That's a sauro-mastodon!

In Diving To 100ft...Indoors, Craig McClean posts a promotional video for Nemo 33. The new pool, located in Uccle, Belgium is 108 feet deep and a comfortable 86° and offers the chance to view Davy Jones's Locker, as well as explore "caves" built into the pool. Unfortunately the pool does not feature any of the colorful fish or other marine life which makes scuba diving such a draw.

Reader Andrew won't be paying a visit anytime soon:

I don't know about you guys, but for me the point of diving is to see the algae, fishes & inverts!!!! Concrete I can see without getting wet.

Some other Life Science posts we thought were cool this week were:

The spider that crushes its prey with 140 metres of webbing

Slip Sliding Away: Faster Extinctions Predicted By Mathematical Model

Taxa: Stunning Losses

A growing fondness for baboons

The amazing Hook Island sea monster photos

And from the Physical Science channel:

the partitioning of my brain

Earth gets very far from sun, slows down

The coolest picture of the year, I predict

Occupational Arrows of Time

Tropical Storm Bertha Sets Record

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!

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Edouard de Montule's 1816 painting of the mastodon reconstructed in the Peale Museum. Note the down-turned tusks which were later turned the right way up.Thomas Jefferson had an axe to grind when he wrote his Notes on the State of Virginia in 1781. Twenty years earlier the French naturalist Buffon…
Sure you can do that deep scuba dive in 47 degree Fahrenheit water off the California coast. Sure you might get to see some kelp, marine life, and spectacular rock formations, but 47 is just 15 degrees from freezing. Why not dive indoors in a balmy 86 degrees? Ahh, but you wondering how you…
The American mastodon (Mammut americanum), illustrated in one of Cuvier's memoirs.I've had a bit of a rough weekend, but I did read something last night that brought a smile to my face. I was reading Paul Semonin's American Monster and I came across an unintentionally amusing quote from Thomas…
In this post: the large versions of the Life Science and Physical Science channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week. Life Science. From Flickr, by blondyimp Physical Science. Cooled lava on Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. From Flickr, by jakerome Reader comments of the…