Agriculture Ministry: Weather Conditions Opposes the Entry of Locusts into Syrian Territory

Damascus - The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to take appropriate measures and equip the means of control to deal with any potential for the arrival of desert locusts to the country, stressing that the weather conditions are contrary to the entry into Syrian territory.

"The ministry has set up a special operations room to monitor the movement of locust swarms in the region and is coordinating with the Desert Locust Commission in the Central Region of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)," the ministry's director of plant protection Fahr al-Mishref said in a statement.

Almost 200,000 unknown viruses are discovered hiding in the depths of the world's oceans

There are nearly 200,000 different viruses lurking in the depths of oceans all over the world, a study has claimed.

This staggering amount of viral life was found in five oceanic regions, dubbed distinct ecological zones, located in the entire Arctic and Antarctic oceans as well as certain depths of warmer oceans, according to Daily Mail. 

Scientists said that most of the viruses have never been seen before and that this study found 12 times as many viruses than were previously known. 

The findings of the 195,728 viruses could also reveal how pathogens affect ocean ecosystems.

Meet Callichimaera perplexa, the platypus of crabs

The crab family just got a bunch of new cousins -- including a 95-million-year-old chimera species that will force scientists to rethink the definition of a crab, according to Science Daily.

An international team of researchers led by Yale paleontologist Javier Luque announced the discovery of hundreds of exceptionally well-preserved specimens that date back to the mid-Cretaceous period of 90-95 million years ago. The cache includes hundreds of tiny comma shrimp fossils, several true shrimp, and an entirely new branch of the evolutionary tree for crabs.

The most intriguing discovery, according to the researchers, is Callichimaera perplexa, the earliest example of a swimming arthropod with paddle-like legs since the extinction of sea scorpions more than 250 million years ago.

Infamous 'death roll' almost universal among crocodile species

The iconic "death roll" of alligators and crocodiles may be more common among species than previously believed, according to a new study and coauthored by a researcher at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Contrary to popular belief, crocodiles can't chew, so they use a powerful bite coupled with a full-bodied twisting motion -- a death roll -- to disable, kill, and dismember prey into smaller pieces. The lethal movement is characteristic of both alligators and crocodiles and has been featured in numerous movies and nature documentaries, according to Science Daily.

Don't let the cat out if you want to stay disease-free, as researchers warn that outdoor roaming pet cats are three times more likely to carry infections

If you think letting your cat out to play is good for its health think again as the chances are it's also picking up contagious diseases, according to Daily Mail.

Domestic cats that roam freely outdoors are three times more likely to pick up an infection that develops into disease than indoor-only cats, a study has found.

Such infections include the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, which can spread to cat owners and has been linked to depression and schizophrenia in humans.

Outdoor cats can also pick up roundworms, which may be passed on to children, causing fever, stomach pain and, in rare cases, seizures.