<p></p><p>Science brought us the discovery of Vampire graves, tail-slapping sharks and the birth of a giant iceberg.</p><p>Click on to see more.</p>
Giant magnet passes 1st tests
<p> A powerful new magnet to replace existing ones in the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, just passed its first test with flying colors.</p>
<p> The magnet, which allows the massive particle collider to study two to three times more proton collisions, could help unveil the mysterious properties of the newly discovered Higgs boson, an elementary particle that is thought to explain how all other particles get their mass.</p>
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38129-large-hadron-collider-magnet-passes-tests.html target="_blank">New Atom-Smashing Magnet Passes First Tests</a>]</p>
'Vampire' graves uncovered
<p></p><p> Archaeologists in Poland believe they've made a startling discovery: a group of vampire graves.</p>
<p> The graves were discovered during the construction of a roadway near the Polish town of Gliwice, where archaeologists are more accustomed to finding the remains of World War II soldiers, according to The Telegraph.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38148-vampire-grave-uncovered-vampire-burial.html target="_blank">'Vampire' Graves Uncovered in Poland</a>]</p>
Icebergs make sounds
<p></p><p> What does a splintering iceberg sound like underwater? Imagine the cracks and pops of an ice cube melting in a glass of lemonade multiplied on a colossal scale, say researchers from Oregon State University, who recorded a thawing berg near Antarctica.</p>
<p> "It turns out there's an unbelievable amount of ice noise," said Robert Dziak, a marine geologist at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center. "There are indications that the ice noise we're detecting can be heard as far north as the equator."
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38121-underwater-sound-iceberg-breakup.html target="_blank">Underwater Sounds of Shattering Icebergs Revealed</a>]</p>
Shark stuns prey with tail slaps
<p></p><p> Thresher sharks have evolved an unusual but highly efficient hunting tactic: tail smacking.</p><p> The long, elegant thresher shark tail — which spans nearly half the length of the animal's body — has mystified biologists for decades. Researchers have speculated that the sharks use their tails for hunting, and have observed some tail-smacking behavior in controlled environments. But, until now, nobody has been able to spot the sharks tail slapping in the wild.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38086-sharks-stun-prey-with-tail-slaps.html target="_blank">Shocking! Thresher Shark Stuns Prey With Tail Slap</a>]</p>
Mammals can 'choose' offspring sex
<p></p><p> Mammals can skew the male-female ratio of their offspring in order to maximize their reproductive success, new research finds.</p><p> The study, published today (July 10) in the journal PLOS ONE, confirms a long-held theory that animals can influence the sex of their young in response to environmental conditions and other factors. The results come from about 90 years' worth of records for 40,000 mammals, ranging from primates to rhinoceroses, at the San Diego Zoo.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38086-sharks-stun-prey-with-tail-slaps.html target="_blank">Baby Boy or Girl? Mammals Can 'Choose'</a>]</p>
Canals discovered under Antarctic ice
<p></p><p> A sprawling network of low-lying canals, similar to a swamp, hides under Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, a new study finds.</p>
<p> The fast-flowing Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest ice streams in West Antarctica. Scientists think Thwaites could significantly retreat in the next 20 years, adding to global sea level rise. Knowing the extent of the waterways underneath Thwaites will help researchers model the glacier's ebb and flow, because the water lubricates the ice.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38092-antarctica-thwaites-swamp-waterways.html target="_blank">Swamplike Waterways Found Under Antarctic Glacier</a>]</p>
King Richard grave reconstructed in 3D
<p></p><p> The grave of King Richard III has been preserved for posterity — digitally at least. Scientists say they created a 3D reconstruction of the monarch's burial place discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, last year.</p><p> The researchers combined laser scanning with digital photogrammetric techniques to map the terrain of the grave as it was after the battle-scarred skeleton of Richard III was removed.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38091-richard-iii-grave-reconstructed-3d.html target="_blank">Richard III Grave Reconstructed in 3D</a>]</p>
Earth's core affects day length
<p></p><p> Periodic wobbles in Earth's core change the length of a day every 5.9 years, according to a study published today (July 10) in the journal Nature.</p><p> Teasing out this subtle cycle, which subtracts and adds mere milliseconds to each day, also revealed a match between abrupt changes in the length of day and Earth's magnetic field. During these short-lived lurches in the magnetic field intensity, events called geomagnetic jerks, Earth's day also shifts by 0.1 millisecond, the researchers report. Since 1969, scientists have detected 10 geomagnetic jerks lasting less than a year.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38083-earth-core-day-length-pattern.html target="_blank">Earth's 6-Year Twitch Changes Day Length
Giant iceberg breaks loose
<p></p><p> A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago, broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday (July 8), and is now floating freely in the Amundsen Sea, according to a team of German scientists.</p><p> The newborn iceberg measures about 278 square miles (720 square kilometers), and was seen by TerraSAR-X, an earth-observing satellite operated by the German Space Agency (DLR). Scientists with NASA's Operation IceBridgefirst discovered a giant crack in the Pine Island Glacier in October 2011, as they were flying over and surveying the sprawling ice sheet.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38078-pine-island-glacier-iceberg.html target="_blank">Giant Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctic Glacier</a>]</p>
Cat poop parasite is widespread
<p></p><p> Be careful next time you change the kitty litter — cat poop can carry a nefarious parasite that may be much more widespread than thought, researchers say.</p><p> Cats in the United States release about 2.6 billion pounds (1.2 million metric tons) of feces into the environment every year. Cat dung carries the parasite <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i>, a single-celled organism that creates infectious agents called oocysts. These oocysts can infect pregnant women, causing congenital problems in the baby such as deafness, seizures, eye damage and mental retardation. The parasite also infects people with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS.
[Full Story: <a href=http://www.livescience.com/38044-cat-poop-carries-dangerous-parasite.html target="_blank">Cat Poop Parasite Is Dangerously Widespread</a>]</p>