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Chinese scientists first discover spider species breastfeeding, nursing

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 3 December 2018 10:30 AM

 

Spider babies eating milk on bellies of spider mothers | REUTERS

Chinese scientists discovered a spider species that feeds their babies with milk as mammals, marking the first time humans discovering invertebrates breastfeeding and nursing theirs offspring, said Chinese Academy of Sciences Friday.

Breastfeeding is a unique animal behavior to mammals, including humans. This type of spider, commonly known as big ant spider, discovered with “breastfeeding behavior”, belongs to Myrmarachne of Salticidae, which is a spider species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of East and Southeast Asia.

“Spider babies which just hatched out clime up on spider moms’ bellies, to eat a kind of liquid (secreted by spider moms), which was tested to be milk containing four times the protein of cow’s milk. We call it spider milk,” said Chen Zhanqi, a post doctor from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Researchers found after long-term observation that the newly hatched spider babies feed themselves entirely with the milk in the first 20 days after birth, during which they grow as big as half of their mothers. From 20 to 40 days, spider babies go out looking for food by themselves, while also eating milk from their mothers. This period is a transition for weaning.

The study also found that spider babies don’t leave their mothers after weaning, and continue to stay with them in nests, even after they grow up. This kind of spider will take care of its grown-up offspring, which is seen as a long parental behavioral mode. This mode was once thought to only exist in the social vertebrates with long lifespan.

Experts believe that this breakthrough discovery has extremely important significance for the research on revolution of breastfeeding behavior for contemporary animals. — Reuters

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Chinese bamboo weaving master makes bamboo QR code

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 09:29 AM


Bamboo weaving master Xie Shiyang weaving QR code in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, east China | Reuters

For most Chinese, QR codes are symbol of modern technology achievement, but in the eye of a bamboo weaving master, it is just another item that can be made with bamboo strips.

In east China’s Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, 65-year-old bamboo weaving mater Xie Shiyang managed to blend the centuries-long traditional skill with modern technology. In his hands, a QR code is not generated by a software, but by his bamboo strips.

“Our county’s ancient village preservation and development office first brought up the idea of bamboo QR code. They wanted to develop creative cultural products with bamboos for a rural revitalization forum. They asked if we can make bamboo QR code. So we began to try in October 2018,” said Zhang Qingming, director of a localart craft factory.

The experiment was not smooth at first, though. QR codes usually have complicated patterns so it requires different sizes of bamboo strips to be weaved together to depict the lines, dots and cubes. After half a month’s effort, Xie made the first bamboo QR code.

Now Xie needs three hours on average to complete a bamboo QR code and had received orders from many companies.

“Although bamboo QR codes may not have high economic interests, it can let more people know about our traditional bamboo weaving skills and value our skills. Now many schools and kindergartens in our county have expressed their willingness to know more about bamboo weaving,” said Zhang. — Reuters

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Girl rescued after falling into panda enclosure in southwest China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 11 February 2019 11:27 AM

Pandas approaching girl as security guard trying to pull her out of Panda enclosure in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China on February 9, 2019 | CCTV via Reuters

A young girl was rescued after falling into a panda enclosure in southwest China, state media reported on Sunday (February 10).

State broadcaster CCTV showed video of a security guard first trying to rescue the girl in red with a stick, then leaning through a gap to hold the girl’s hand and pull her out as pandas were approaching with no apparent attempt to attack human.

The incident took place at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Saturday (February 9), CCTV said.

The girl was not injured and the cause of the incident was still under investigation, it added. — Reuters

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Chinese ancient towns revive ancient way of celebrating Spring Festival

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 11:24 AM

Aerial shot of dragon dance in Bozhou City, Anhui Province, east China on January 28, 2019 | Reuters

Ancient towns in east China are immersed in a festive atmosphere as the Chinese Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is only a week to go.

In the centuries-old city of Bozhou in east China’s Anhui Province, 18 streets of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1912) have completed their makeover to relive their former glory, with not only festive delicacies but also all kinds of non-tangible cultural heritage objects on display, such as paper-cuts and traditional Chinese food.

The five-animal exercises or Wuqinxi in Chinese, invented by Hua Tuo, one of the greatest doctors more than 1,800 years ago, is now popular among people in the city, just like square dances.

In the Ancient Town of Anchang in Zhejiang Province, which has a history dated back the Spring and Autumn period (771-476 BC), people are busy preparing preserved meat for the coming new year. All kinds of preserved meat and fish are now hung along the streets, creating a unique landscape.

The Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 5 this year. — Reuters

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