Oahu, Hawai’i, 1877. Queen Lili’uokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands, prepared her party to leave for Honolulu after spending time at the country ranch of Col. James Harbottle Boyd. As she mounted her horse and looked back to ensure everyone was ready, she saw Boyd pull one of her friends into a tender embrace. Surrounded by the verdant flora of the island, the lovers passionately kissed farewell, then with longing separated.
Prey animals are capable of defending themselves in an amazing of ways, but when it comes to mounting a sophisticated biological counter-attack, sea urchins have taken it to another level. When attacked by predatory fish, these humble echinoderms release a hostile cloud of tiny jaws that act independently of the urchin itself, attacking the fish and releasing the venom contained within them.
Bees are dying fast and that’s not good for people who like plants and food. Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that members of seven yellow-faced bees from the Hylaeus species require federal protection. If you’re in Hawaii where this brand of bee resides, you might want to think twice before swatting.
To the delight of “Star Wars” fans, a team of astronomers has spotted yet another “Tatooine.”