'Tis the season for cooling off when possible -- for humans and animals alike. Even gray wolves like to cool off in the summer with juicy watermelons, as long as those melons are stuffed with pig ears, cheese and dog biscuits. The Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana raises the canids in captivity for research and educational purposes. Every July, the wolves get a watermelon filled with goodies.
A new species of hero shrew has been found in Africa, and while the little critter might weigh less than 2 ounces, it can still lift objects such as heavy logs. This makes it one of the strongest mammals in the animal kingdom.
This intact stone coffin, found in the ruins of Grey Friars, the monastery where Richard III was buried, was set to be opened by researchers. Some theorize it contains a medieval knight; others suspect it might contain a high-ranking friar.
Moving from coffins to more festive things, this brooch dating to A.D. 500-700 was discovered at a Viking-age farm site in Denmark.
Meanwhile, far, FAR from Viking farm sites, we see the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA, of course, has lots of ways to keep itself busy. Here Saturn's moons Mimas and Pandora are seen by the NASA Cassini Solstice mission.
Raytheon has just finished testing a pair of radar-equipped helium blimps tethered to the ground that will give personnel the ability to see farther away than with ground-based radar. One blimp "sees" the target on radar; the other blimp uses a guided missile to destroy the target. They'll first be deployed next year in Washington, D.C.
Researchers at the Virginia Military Institute have the number of another type of enemy: ticks. They’ve built a small rover that mimics a live host and draws the little beasties from their hiding places, killing them on contact.
This is a section of the Himalayas, as seen in three different infrared bands. The image was made available by NASA’s Earth Observatory. There are glaciers and rocks, and rocks and dust on glaciers and a variety of elevations — all of which affects the infrared images and reveals otherwise invisible facets of the scenery.
A group of researchers is suggesting that the Lusi mud eruption of 2006 in Indonesia was triggered by a nearby earthquake and not by drilling at a gas exploration well. This image, taken in 2011, shows part of the mud deposit and houses behind the engineered berm containing the mud.
Deadly twin earthquakes in northwest China struck on July 22. The quakes killed 73 people and injured nearly 600. Here rescuers evacuate local villagers after the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Hetuo village, Minxian county, Dingxi city, northwest Chinas Gansu province.
Biologists from the University of Toronto have confirmed a long-held theory that male guppies that fail to successfully woo females with looks and charm will turn to force. They use a claw (arrow in picture) at the tip of their genitalia to help secure female mates.