Tag Archives: nature

Swallowed Whole By A Shark

What happens if you are still conscious when a shark swallows you whole:

“Sharks are anything but a cavern on the inside, you’re just familiar with seeing into their mouths. Just past the gills, you encounter the bulk of the body and the body cavity is rather full of liver, muscle, and other organs.

So lets say you ended up inside a shark somehow, and that somehow it’s stomach was large enough to fit you whole. You’d die either of suffocation or drowning but lets say somehow you don’t.

At first you’re hanging out in the shark’s stomach thinking, “oh this isn’t so bad”, and then you start to feel your skin burning because the shark’s stomach is flooding with digestive acid and digestive enzymes that start to break down your body. Then the shark’s stomach starts undulating and contracting to break whats left of your now fragile, half digested body apart.

After you’ve been properly turned to chyme, the stomach begins to vacate and you’re pushed into the intestine where the bits of you that are useful are absorbed and turned into shark. The bits that aren’t needed right away get stored away as fatty tissue in the liver which helps the shark not sink too fast and the rest of you continues along to be pooped out of the shark’s cloaca.
Most of this shark poop is still carbon and nutrient rich relative to the open ocean, so what’s left of you gets taken up pretty rapidly by the microbial communities in the ocean. Any particles too large to be taken up and consumed will rain down to the bottom of the benthos as marine snow where it will be eventually broken down by chemotrophic bacteria in the sediment or buried until the tectonic plate it’s on subducts at a convergent plate boundary and it is forced into the Earth’s mantle.

If you make it to the Earth’s mantle, you could be there for a while but eventually you will return to the surface in some form, either in some inorganic mineral, or if you’re really lucky, you could be outgassed in a volcanic eruption and return to the atmosphere.

From the atmosphere it’s a 50/50 shot if you’re going to be taken up by terrestrial trees and plants or become algae in the ocean. Perhaps you re-enter by being fixed by a CO2 loving green algae, so now a little bit of you is algae. Which sucks because you’re about to get eaten again. and again. and again.

Until you travel up to the top of the marine food web and become a shark. Look at you apex predator! Except then you get fished out of the ocean and have your fins cut off to make someone’s soup. So now you’re a person again… until you go swimming and get swallowed by another shark with an enormously large stomach.”

Full thread justastupidkid comments on What would happen if you were eaten whole by a shark?

Tobacco Virus Jumps 1.6 Billion Years of Evolution to Honeybee

More research on colony collapse disorder:

“When HIV jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early 1900s, it crossed a gulf spanning several million years of evolution. But tobacco ringspot virus, scientists announced last week, has made a jump that defies credulity. It has crossed a yawning chasm ~1.6 billion years wide. And this is likely bad news for its new host, the honeybee, matchmaker of crops and bringer of honey.  …

As scientists were studying the possible role of pollen in spreading known bee viruses, a team of scientists from the United States and China began screening bees and pollen for viruses of all sorts. To their surprise, as they reported Jan. 21 in the journal mBio, they discovered a common plant virus — tobacco ringspot virus — had seemingly infested honeybees. Was it merely a transient visitor? Or had it made itself at home in a place inconceivably different from its usual digs?”

Full article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/2014/01/31/suspicious-virus-makes-rare-cross-kingdom-leap-from-plants-to-honeybees/

Image from Wikipedia

Just One Gene Determines the Queen Bee

From science blogs:

“A research team led by Wayne State University, in collaboration with Michigan State University, has identified a single gene in honeybees that separates the queens from the workers. The scientists unraveled the gene’s inner workings and published the results in the current issue of Biology Letters. The gene, which is responsible for leg and wing development, plays a crucial role in the evolution of bees’ ability to carry pollen. “The gene – Ultrabithorax, or Ubx – is responsible for making hind legs different from fore legs so they can carry pollen” said Aleksandar Popadic, associate professor of biological sciences in Wayne State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Science and principal investigator of the study. “In some groups, like crickets, Ubx is responsible for creating a ‘jumping’ hind leg. In others, such as bees, it makes a pollen basket – a ‘naked,’ bristle-free leg region that creates a space for packing pollen.””

Full post http://www.mdconnects.com/articles/305/20140131/research-led-wayne-state-discovers-single-gene-bees-separating-queens.htm