An ancient whale species long mislabeled has been renamed Norrisanima mioceana to correct the record and honor paleontologist Dick Norris and his father, the late Ken Norris, one of the most revered figures in the history of marine mammal research. The change was made by Swarthmore College biologist Matthew Leslie, who studied under Dick Norris while earning his doctorate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Leslie later did postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which had misidentified the extinct whale species a century ago. It called it Megaptera miocaena, believing that it was a relative of humpback whales. Leslie took a closer look and came up with a different conclusion. He said the ancient whale “seems to be one of the very earliest groups of whales that were getting gigantic in size. It could have been 15 to 20 feet long.”

Eight arms, 40 winks, but how many dreams?

Heidi the octopus is sleeping. Her body is still, eight arms tucked away. But her skin is restless. She turns from ghostly white to yellow, flashes deep red, then goes mottled green and bumpy like plant life.

From the outside, the cephalopod looks like a person twitching and muttering during a dream or like a napping dog chasing dream squirrels. But an octopus is almost nothing like a person. So how much can anyone say with accuracy about what Heidi was doing? It is only conjecture to say the octopus is dreaming without more data, said University of Cambridge psychologist Nicola Clayton. She pointed out that a human sleeper might flush red because she is overheated.

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