Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

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“Rudolph Zallinger’s painting of cynognathus for the Brooke Bond tea card album

Photos from Alan Friswell’s post in Vintage Dinosaur Pictures

This group gets some pretty cool art posted to it. The kind of superb stuff that graced the books of my youth, assuring a never ending love of ancient life.

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Well, it simply must be “done,” right?

This image appeared on my tumblr dashboard courtesy of a poster of interest called the weird wide web.

Naturally I would like it to be so, but it is just here cuz I like the picture!

I do seem to have a soft spot for unicorns, I will say that. I remember some teaser utoobian clip from Yurrop somewhere (Germany?) a few years ago that was also nicely done.

Enjoy…
Peace.

Yowiehunters.com_Yowie_Sightings

Published on Feb 10, 2014

A roadside Yowie Sighting along a notorious stretch of the Newell Highway through the Pilliga Scrub, North of Coonabarabran.

The Yowie picked up a fresh Kangaroo road kill and carried it back into the forest.

© Australian Yowie Research www.yowiehunters.com

I like yowies. Really. Don’t know why—they just trigger some level of  excitement.

And for some reason the place where this post’s featured encounter happened, the Pilliga Scrub, does the same! Odd, I know. It’s the only location I know of where fighting union workers called a truce and worked together to get the word out to help folks avoid dirt naps.

Perhaps growing up where and when I did is the reason that action and reaction hold so much power in my mind. Seriously. That says it all for me and I am old, crusty and jaded.

This report is long but paced so that it doesn’t matter. Choc-a-bloc with details, enthusiasm and great visuals from the story being told.

The video comes as well from a group I have so far found to be true and proper in their integrity and goals.

Anyway, enjoy and,

Peace.

A Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux

A Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux

A new smaller breed of the world’s best known dinosaur is thought to have once roamed the Arctic.

Dating back 70 million years, this new pygmy tyrannosaur is smaller but otherwise extremely similar to its larger sub-tropic counterpart. Palaeontologists had initially believed that a specimen unearthed in 2006 was simply a juvenile until further research later revealed that it was in fact a fully matured adult of a different species.

While the regular Tyrannosaurus rex can grow up to 40ft in length and weigh 4 tons, this new smaller species, known as Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, measures only 25ft and weighs 1,000lbs.

“The ‘pygmy tyrannosaur’ alone is really cool because it tells us something about what the environment was like in the ancient Arctic,” said study co-author Anthony Fiorillo.

“But what makes this discovery even more exciting is that Nanuqsaurus hoglundi also tells us about the biological richness of the ancient polar world during a time when the Earth was very warm compared to today.”

Source:

Pygmy Tyrannosaurus Rex Discovered

Their Source:

Unexplained Mysteries

And Their Source:

The Register

Ah, the stuff we don’t know… I like it.

Also digging the fact that this fella lived in the Arctic. Can you imagine how warm the Earth was back then? Gosh, think of the Equator! WhooHoo!

I often wonder what it’d be like to venture back to those days in a Tardis… I think I would love it… but at the same time there’s always the nagging fear of opening the door only to greet a 9-foot eurypterid or something… and being dinner is, um, not good!

Peace.

Yes sir, that’s eight million dog mummies! That is a heck of a lot of mummies.

Egyptian dog mummy, photo courtesy NG.Incredible. Imagine what you’d think if you were doing some boring excavatory work near a temple of Anubis and suddenly came upon such a find as this.

Adding to the wow factor is the fact that the dogs were not alone. Accompanying the woofers on their journey to heaven were mummified cats, bulls, cows, baboons, ibises, hawks and others.

My goodness gracious. The things these folks did…

Some weird occult tradition, maybe? I’d been aware, of course, of their high opinion of cats, but being not nearly as up on Egypt as I should be, did not know they dug dogs so much… The ancient Egyptians were very much into following weird traditions, but who knows, really. Perhaps they will chance upon some mention of what was really going on. Perhaps not.

Here is an excerpt from the full article, entitled Eight million dog mummies found in Saqqara at ahramonline:

During routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University have uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.

Studies on their bones revealed that those dogs are from different breeds but not accurately identified yet.

“We are recording the animal bones and the mummification techniques used to prepare the animals,” Ikram said.

Studies on the mummies, Ikram explains, revealed that some of them were old while the majority were buried hours after their birth. She said that the mummified animals were not limited to canines but there are cat and mongoose remains in the deposit.

“…the majority were buried hours after their birth.” Pretty creepy.

So very strange!

Peace.

The Tasmanian Tiger – Extinct, Episode 6

Published on May 14, 2012 by 

I Dont Own Any Material In This Clip Belongs To Respective Owners. Broadcast In 2001 By Channel 4 With Wall To Wall. This Final Episode Looks At The Tragic Extinction Of The Thylacine Or Tasmanian Tiger.

Is it? I don’t know. I would certainly like to think that it’s not and will readily admit to having a gut feeling that the critter’s still around in limited numbers. There is a lot of intriguing, yet fleeting, evidence of sorts that makes one think.

My opinions don’t mean anything in the real world, of course, but, it’s a good thought. I just like the little buggers.

Fortunately some serious folks are keeping an eye out for any new findings. Perhaps the fellows introducing themselves in the video shown below will make a breakthrough one day… let’s hope so.

Extinct or Extant? – Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger)

Published on May 25, 2012 by 

Zoologist Chris Coupland from the Thylacine Research Unit or T.R.U. talks about the possibility of the continued existence of the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger

Peace.

Miss Patty, stabilized.

Miss Patty, stabilized.

Well now… this is certainly interesting!

I found out somewhat inadvertently by checking my twitter feed, which is something I hardly ever do as, being an old hippy I simply can’t keep up with it

So I scrolled down a bit and there was a tweet from Craig Woolheater of Cryptomundo with the title shown below as the text with a link. There I found what appears below…

Wondering if this study is a part of the one that I meant to post about way back when when it was announced which I learned of through SLAYER69’s thread at ATS called Project to examine ‘Yeti’ DNA launched. I don’t think so as it was “A new collaboration between Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology will use the latest genetic techniques to investigate organic remains that some have claimed belong to the ‘Yeti’ and other ‘lost’ hominid species.” But, hey, you never know.

As for this Facebook press release, it’s a very exciting result. I must say and not at all what I expected.

Enjoy…

Sasquatch DNA Study Announcement
Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 23rd, 2012

Igor Burtsev made the following announcement on his facebook page today:

Urgent!

The DNA analysis of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch specimen conducted by Dr. Melba Ketchum the head of DNA Diagnostics, Timpson, TX, USA has been over!

Team of American scientists led by Dr. Melba Ketchum for five years has analyzed 109 purported samples of such creatures. The study has sequenced DNA of a novel North American hominin, commonly called Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

There were a large number of laboratories associated with this study including academic, private and government laboratories in which blind testing was utilized to avoid prejudice in testing. Great time and care was taken in the forensic laboratories to assure no contamination occurred with any of the samples utilized in this study.

After 5 years of this study the scientists can finally answer the question of what Bigfoot/Sasquatch really is. It is human like us only different, a hybrid of a human with unknown species. Early field research shows that the Bigfoot/Sasquatches are massively intelligent which has enabled them to avoid detection to a large extent. They are different than us, however human nonetheless.

The hybridization event could not have occurred more than 15,000 years ago according to the mitochondrial data in some samples. Origin of this Hominin was probably Middle Eastern/Eastern Europe and Europe originally though other geographic areas are not excluded. The manuscript associated with this study has been submitted to a scientific reviewed magazine.

For many years, people have refused to believe they exist. Now that we know that they are real, it is up to us to protect them from those that would hunt or try to capture them for research or for sport. They should be left alone to live as they live now. After all, they are our relatives.

At this time, analysis of the Sasquatch genomes is still ongoing. Further data will be presented in the future following this original study. Additionally, analysis of various hair samples purportedly from Siberian Wildman are being tested in an effort to determine if relatedness exists between the Sasquatch and Russian Wildman.

~ Dr. Igor Burtsev,
Head of International Center of Hominology,
Moscow, Russia +7(916)812-6253
inhomin@yandex.ru

My assistant in the USA, Megan Wheeler: sasquatchdna@gmail.com

Peace.

Edit to Add: Interesting discussion of this topic started 11/24 on ATS by Caver78: ‘BIGFOOT’ DNA SEQUENCED IN UPCOMING GENETICS STUDY. Pretty sure the mods will make the OP get rid of the all-caps. The title (in accordance with ATS rules, (except for the caps)) is from the article ‘Bigfoot’ DNA Sequenced In Upcoming Genetics Study on Yahoo! News.

At an admittedly odd pitch, but yes, they do mimic human speech. Very unlike the songs whales normally sing in their own language. I wonder about the possibilities for the future… and about how much they could teach us!

Published on Oct 22, 2012 by  A US Navy-trained beluga whale named NOC can imitate human speech. Wild belugas have long been informally called “sea canaries.”

And this…

Published on Oct 19, 2012 by  A new paper published by the National Marine Mammal Foundation in the scientific journal Current Biology sheds light on the ability of marine mammals to spontaneously mimic human speech. The study details the case of a white whale named NOC who began to mimic the human voice, presumably a result of vocal learning. “The whale’s vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance,” says Dr. Sam Ridgway, President of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. “These ‘conversations’ were heard several times before the whale was eventually identified as the source. In fact, we discovered it when a diver mistook the whale for a human voice giving him underwater directions.” As soon as the whale was identified as the source, NMMF scientists recorded his speech-like episodes both in air and underwater, studying the physiology behind his ability to mimic. It’s believed that the animals close association with humans played a role in how often he employed his ‘human’ voice, as well as in its quality. Researchers believe NOC’s sonic behavior is an example of vocal learning by a white whale. After about four years, NOC’s speech-like behavior subsided. “When NOC matured, we no longer heard speech-like sounds, but he did remain quite vocal,” Ridgway said. “While it’s been a number of years since we first encountered this spontaneous mimicry, it’s our hope that publishing our observations now will lead to further discoveries about marine mammal learning and vocalization. How this unique ‘mind’ interacts with other animals, humans and the ocean environment is a major challenge of our time.” Ridgway co-authored the paper published this week with Drs. Donald Carder, Michelle Jeffries and Mark Todd. Dr. Ridgway has 48 years of experience in marine mammal medicine and research. Colleagues often call him the “father of marine mammal medicine” because of his development of dolphin anesthesia, medical technology, and discoveries aiding marine mammal care. Dr. Ridgway has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Marine Mammal Commission, on four different committees of National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America for his studies on hearing of marine mammals and as a fellow of the American College of Zoological Medicine for his work on marine mammal medicine. How this unique “mind” interacts with other animals and the ocean environment is a major challenge of our time. The National Marine Mammal Foundation has a mission to improve and protect life for all marine mammals, humans, and our shared oceans through science, service, and education. The Foundation’s vision for the future is to revolutionize the way we think about marine mammals. By embracing the partnership created between human and marine mammal, we can create a sea change in our global approach to scientific exploration, ocean conservation, and public education. More about the National Marine Mammal Foundation can be found at www.NMMF.org

Yowza. Simply fascinating.

Sorry I have not been active, there is a life changing situation going on here and there is not a lot of time available. I will try to do more quickies like this one for you all. I appreciate you being there.

1920s, Doreen taking an alligator ride.

I thought this worthy of inclusion.

We certainly can get along just fine with ancient reptilian lifeforms.

And too much regulation spoils the fun.

Rock on, Doreen!

Peace.

Yep, it is true, my friends…

A Scrub Jay

I am not really all that surprised, actually.

The following is excerpted from an article on the BBC website…

Birds hold ‘funerals’ for dead

By Matt Walker

[…] The revelation comes from a study by Teresa Iglesias and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, US.

They conducted experiments, placing a series of objects into residential back yards and observing how western scrub jays in the area reacted.

The objects included different coloured pieces of wood, dead jays, as well as mounted, stuffed jays and great horned owls, simulating the presence of live jays and predators.

Alarming reaction

The jays reacted indifferently to the wooden objects.

But when they spied a dead bird, they started making alarm calls, warning others long distances away.

The jays then gathered around the dead body, forming large cacophonous aggregations. The calls they made, known as “zeeps”, “scolds” and “zeep-scolds”, encouraged new jays to attend to the dead.

The jays also stopped foraging for food, a change in behaviour that lasted for over a day.

[…]

(the article closes with these lines…)

Other animals are known to take notice of their dead.

Giraffes and elephants, for example, have been recorded loitering around the body of a recently deceased close relative, raising the idea that animals have a mental concept of death, and may even mourn those that have passed.

Birds have clearly shown themselves to be of very high intelligence. They use tools efectively and are able to solve complex conceptual problems with ease. I am of the opinion that all animals and plants are to one degree or another sentient and conscious and are possessed of emotion, also to one degree or another. Just like us. Anyone who has spent time with animals surely must be well aware of this.

What really struck me from the study was that the jays stopped eating for over a day. That is significant. I will repeat it, in bold, even – the jays stopped eating for over a day. Capiche? That is clearly mourning. Got to be.

A lot of people think of animals as just mindless eating machines that do little else. That assumption is just so very wrong. Have they no eyes, no senses, no thought processes or logic? Such a reality makes me have some rather sad feelings regarding my own species. It does! I do not understand it.

It does bother me that scientists are only now starting to ‘get with the program,’ as it were. Sigh. Well, at least they’re starting. A good thing, surely.

To nicely illustrate the point, I’ll present to you now a reply from the ATS thread on this matter, member phroziac posted this very poignant tale:

Ever had a conversation with a bird? Theyre extremely intelligent, and i have no doubt whatsoever they have emotions… and non speaking species are just as intelligent as speaking ones. Small birds are just physically incapable of speaking because of the size of their uhmn…voice box. Ive caught mocking birds attempting to speak though, lol…..

However, its a similar intelligence to a young child. Not an adult human. Do children understand death? not really.

I owned a male and female cockatiel. The female got sick and died with basically no warning at all….very common for birds…they hide that theyre sick. The male cuddled up with her before she died and stayed cuddled up with her for hours after she died.  he got really depressed and quiet and eventually we had to give him away to a friend that had cockatiels to try to help.

He would always whistle the andy griffith song when he was happy lmao….i never heard him do it again after his lady died……

So, birds do have an emotional response to other birds dying. But im not sure they understand death.

And there you go… Reality. Poor bird.

Also available should you desire it is the research paper that was used as BBC“s source, published at Science Direct and titled Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics. As with most science journals, you can read the abstract, but you have to buy the paper (for $31.50) to read the actual research. Here’s the start of the abstract:

All organisms must contend with the risk of injury or death; many animals reduce this danger by assessing environmental cues to avoid areas of elevated risk. However, little is known about how organisms respond to one of the most salient visual cues of risk: a dead conspecific. Here we show that the sight of a dead conspecific is sufficient to induce alarm calling and subsequent risk-reducing behavioural modification in western scrub-jays, Aphelocoma californica, and is similar to the response to a predator (a great horned owl,Bubo virginianus, model). Discovery of a dead conspecific elicits vocalizations that are effective at attracting conspecifics, which then also vocalize, thereby resulting in a cacophonous aggregation. Presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts elicited aggregations and hundreds of long-range communication vocalizations, while novel objects did not. In contrast to presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics, presentations of a jay skin mounted in an upright, life-like pose elicited aggressive responses, suggesting the mounted scrub-jay was perceived to be alive and the prostrate jay was not. There was a decrease of foraging in the area during presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts, which was still detectable 24 h later. Foraging returned to baseline levels 48 h after presentations. Novel objects and mounted jays did not affect foraging. Our results show that without witnessing the struggle and manner of death, the sight of a dead conspecific is used as public information and that this information is actively shared with conspecifics and used to reduce exposure to risk.

Peace.

Trogloraptor spider.

Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate. The creature more than lives up to its name—it is, in fact, an eight-legged showcase for scientific novelty. The spider somewhat resembles the brown recluse, famed for its flesh-necrotizing venom—but at four centimeters, Trogloraptor is about twice as large. In fact, this spider is an entirely new critter—just look at those legs, each ends in a curved, scythelike claw. Citizen scientists and arachnologists have uncovered these spiders in the caves of southwestern Oregon and old-growth redwood forests. As they report in ZooKeys, the discovery of Trogloraptor is a taxonomic wonder that establishes a new family, genus and species in the spider family tree.

Troglo’s story begins with citizen scientists in the Western Cave Conservancy who spotted the strange spider in Oregon’s caves. They sent specimens to researchers at the California Academy of Sciences where entomologist Tracy Audisio, a research fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, puzzled over the new find. After approaching every member of the arachnology lab, she and Charles Griswold, the academy’s curator of arachnology, took the finding to arachnologists around the country. They combed through comparative anatomy, fossil records and genetic analyses in their efforts to place the new spider, only to conclude that the cave dweller has a totally unique lineage. […]

Daisy Yuhas

learn more, read the rest of it!

Cool, no? Weird, too. Just doesn’t look right… It’s the stance, the way the body is jutting forward from where the legs attach… dunno… just looks quite odd. Then there are those teardrop antennae and of course… the feet, er, claws! Claws?! Yep, eight of ‘em. Yikes. Good thing it’s not all that big.

It is always a treat when creatures are discovered that necessitate the rewriting of established ‘facts.’ It shows that we know so very little about the totality of the world around us. There is so much to find, so much top see, so much to learn, on every level, in every field of study… everywhere.

Let the search continue.

Peace.

Sweet!

I was delighted to learn that this is not a new phenomenon and I am even more satisfied in the knowledge that the kids have learned how to do it. While the traps are not intended for them, gorillas do get maimed and killed by the infernal things, so it is mostly for self-preservation that they do it, but I wonder if their concern extends to other creatures.

Betting it does, as some primates are known to kidnap puppies to raise as pets to guard their families and groups.

Believing that animals are beneath us is simply ignorance at its finest.

The following text and picture is an excerpt from the source article at the GrindTV Blog…

Young gorillas disarming traps.Two days after a young mountain gorilla was killed in a poacher’s snare trap in Rwanda, two juvenile gorillas were observed deactivating two similar snares.

It is the first time since African gorilla field research began more than 50 years ago that juvenile gorillas have ever been witnessed destroying snare traps, which are indiscriminately injuring and killing mountain gorillas.

“We knew that gorillas do this, but all of the reported cases in the past were carried out by adult gorillas, mostly silverbacks,” Veronica Vecellio of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International wrote on the fund’s blog.

“Today, two juveniles and one blackback from Kuryama’s group worked together to deactivate two snares, and how they did it demonstrated an impressive cognitive skill.”

According to Vecellio, field data coordinator John Ndayambaje of the fund’s Karisoke Research Center spotted a snare in the path of some gorillas and moved to disarm it. But Silverback Yuba “pig-grunted” a warning to him, as if to say, “Stay away, we’ve got it covered.”

At the same time, juveniles Dukore and Rwema, along with blackback Tetero, “ran toward the snare and together pulled the branch used to hold the rope. They saw another snare nearby and as quickly as before, they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope out of the ground,” Vecellio wrote.

Unfortunately, the gorillas and trackers don’t find all the snares. In her blog, … [read more]

Peace.

Found out about this from Causes via someone today and it went right by the dozen or so drafts that are begging to be finished. Why? Because this is absolutely disgusting. Like the title says, it’s a disgrace. That it happens anywhere makes the skin crawl.

Who the hell are  these people. What goes through their minds. They are what are called ‘crackers’ in some circles. Sometimes they’re funny. Otjer times, like here,, they show their true inner colors and become sick, depraved sub human crap.

They’d probably get along really well with the sick, depraved sub human crap of China.

People get all bent out of shape about the seal-clubbers in several remote, isolated areas, notably in Canada. At least that has a purpose. These people are far, far worse than any seal clubber. The purpose given for Bear baiting is bullshit. These people are having fun. These people must have mental issues up the wazoo. Of this I have no doubt.

So creepy.

From Causes:

Bear baiting (also called bear baying) pits a declawed and defanged bear which is chained to a stake against hunting dogs that bark and bite at it while hundreds of people watch. Spectators consider this event entertainment and hunters consider this as a training regimen for their animals. As countries around the world ban events such as bullfighting and cockfighting, Pakistan and South Carolina (USA), are two remaining places that haven’t criminalized the practice. Sign the petition today to help put an end to this “sport.”

Uploaded by  on Aug 24, 2010

Bear baiting, also known as “bear baying” by some, is a cruel spectator event where participants release their dogs to attack a tethered, captive bear, who has had her claws and some of her teeth cut off, leaving her defenseless.

Outlaw Bear Baiting in South Carolina!

 http://www.causes.com/causes/40328-wspa-put-an-end-to-bear-baiting/actions/1668713

To: Nikki Haley, South Carolina Governor and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Defenseless bears have no rights and are attacked for the cruel pleasure of spectators. Bear baiting needs to be stopped. We demand that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley outlaw and criminalize bear baiting in the state to put an end to this practice.

Now, then, if you were a Mwanza Flat Headed Agama and wanted to dominate your little group of mates, what would you do? Why, you’d dress up as Spiderman, of course!

Well. wouldn’t you?

Mwanza Flat Headed Agama, the Spiderman lizard. Photo by Cassio Lopes.

And… our hero:

Marvel Comics superhero Spiderman.

Knows how to strike a pose, doesn’t he?

So, is this art imitating life, or life imitating art?

A remarkable coincidence. Not that I believe in coincidence, but we’ll leave that bit out.

This is not cryptozoology at all… as this fellow, spotted in the Masia Mara National park near the Rongai river by photographer Cassio Lopes is pretty well known it would seem.

Apparently you can even buy them in pet stores. I really need to get out more, I guess.

Yes, I know I’m slow out the gate and I’m quite sure you’ve all seen this on your Facebooks and such. I saw it a couple of days ago myself at this ATS post but my head’s just not torqued down properly these days, as you may recall from my last post.

Maybe someone will see our little buddy for the first time! Or not. Sigh.

You can get some more details at The Daily Fail, er, Mail. They have more details and a pic of the photographer, too. Here’s an excerpt.

What a MARVEL! The blue and red lizard with a striking resemblance to comic book superhero Spiderman

By KERRY MCQUEENEY

PUBLISHED: 14:00 EST, 1 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:56 EST, 1 July 2012

One has to wonder whether this lizard’s spider-senses are tingling. For the reptile bears more than a passing resemblance to the Marvel comic superhero Spiderman.

The lizard’s amazing red and blue markings are strikingly similar to the suit worn by the crime-fighting, web-weaving daredevil.

And – as the reptile was captured crawling around on his rock – he appeared to strike an identical pose to Spidey’s favoured crouching pose.

[…]

Ha! Will wonders never cease…

I just hope Marvel doesn’t try to sue the little creatures.

Peace.

I… Am Envious.

Posted: June 29th, 2012 in animals, Art, nature, philosophy
Tags: , ,

Of this kid’s childhood…

A Nice Childhood

Seriously, now… is this not just lovely?

Serene, even.

Can you imagine spending your formative years in a place like that, so in tune with Nature that you can sit with a wild cat and just take in your surroundings, together? Buddies?

Wow.

I don’t know who this is or where it is, I got it off of Facebook. That saddens me as it seems our society just doesn’t care about such things anymore. That, in my humble opinion is not a good thing.

I think the scene is so telling about how nice things could be in this world.

I don’t think it will happen anytime soon, though, except in remote places. Not without some unspecified global event of epic proportions, anyway.

Just thought I’d share it.

Also…

Apologies for the lack of posts, I must give, as there are so many of you who subscribe. I am grateful that you feel good being here. I’m just not feeling well in my head of late and can’t seem to write. It should fix itself soon (I hope)… it seems a cyclical thing.

Glimpse into primordial times: Genetic analyses of a micro-organism that lives in the sludge of a lake in Ås, 30 km south of Oslo i Norway, are providing researchers with an insight into what the first life on Earth looked like. (Credit: UiO/MERG)

Glimpse into primordial times: Genetic analyses of a micro-organism that lives in the sludge of a lake in Ås, 30 km south of Oslo i Norway, are providing researchers with an insight into what the first life on Earth looked like. (Caption Credit: ScienceDaily) (Image Credit: UiO/MERG)

Meet Collodictyon, our oldest known ancestor.

And by ‘our’ I don’t mean just our oldest known ancestor, I mean everything remotely like us’ oldest known ancestor.

Pretty cool, pretty darn cool… and to my eye – it is a cryptozoological masterpiece, even though cryptozoologists were not involved in this tale. None that I know of, at least. Surprising where kindred souls pop up.

An entirely new organism has been found in a Norwegian lake; and gol dang it, man, it is neither plant, animal, fungi, algae or protist! Wa Hey!

Source 1 (PopSci) : New Primordial Protozoan Species Is Not in Any Known Kingdom of Life

“We have found an unknown branch of the tree of life that lives in this lake. It is unique! So far we know of no other group of organisms that descend from closer to the roots of the tree of life than this species,” study researcher Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi, of the University of Oslo, in Norway, said in a statement.

A tiny microorganism found in Norwegian lake sludge may be related to the very oldest life forms on this planet, a possible modern cousin of our earliest common ancestor. It is not a fungus, alga, parasite, plant or animal, yet it has features associated with other kingdoms of life. It could be a founding member of the newest kingdom on the tree of life, scientists said.

Life on Earth is divided into two main groups, the prokaryotes and the eukaryotes. Prokaryotes are simple life forms, with no membranes or cell nuclei; this group includes bacteria and archaea. Eukaryotes, which include humans, animals, plants, fungi and algae, have cell membranes and nuclei. This new organism is a eukaryote.

Source for Source 1 (lots of details!): Science DailyRare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

This organism has several characteristics that set it apart from every other (currently) known kingdom:

Source 2 (MSNBC): Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life

“The microorganism is among the oldest currently living eukaryote organisms we know of. It evolved around one billion years ago, plus or minus a few hundred million years. It gives us a better understanding of what early life on Earth looked like,” Shalchian-Tabrizi said.

What it looked like was small. The organism the researchers found is about 30 to 50 micrometers (about the width of a human hair) long. It eats algae and doesn’t like to live in groups. It is also unique because instead of one or two flagella (cellular tails that help organisms move) it has four.

It would appear that this little guy shares attributes of critters that belong within two other kingdoms, but is nonetheless considered by scientists to be sufficiently different from either of them that they have felt compelled to give it it’s own classification:

Because it has features of two separate kingdoms of life, the researchers think that the ancestors of this group might be the organisms that gave rise to these other kingdoms, the amoeba and the protist, as well. If that’s true, they would be some of the oldest eukaryotes, giving rise to all other eukaryotes, including humans.

I find all this most fascinating…

Other related articles:

Enjoy.

Peace.

Dolphins talk!

I think we all had an inkling that things like this are very real. It also carries some deep implications.

The observant will note that most animals are sentient beings. Self aware beings. All it takes is having a cat or a dog and spending any amount of time with them. If you watch birds you will note the same. Even the oft-denigrated rat. It just seems so obvious to me.

Many people feel that dolphins are endowed with a spiritual nature. Of this I have no doubt. It is known, for example, that dolphins have empathy, even for other species… we have all read stories of dolphins rescuing humans who are in great peril.

Humans have been interacting with dolphins for a long time. The US Navy, since the early 60s has been training and using dolphins (and sea lions) to mark and recover mines and assist in other underwater operations through it’s U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP). In view of the above realizations from this new research finding and knowing of their empathic nature, I have a lot of reservations about their use (abuse?) by our military in having them participate in any way in humanity’s greed-induced bloodshed. I wonder if they would help us if they knew the real purpose of such activities, because, although marking mines seems legit, I can not imagine the military sends them out solely on benign missions.

All in all, this finding shows dolphins are not only fully self-aware and wholly sentient but able to tell others about it. And probably not just other dolphins, either. Think whales, sea lions, etc. As such, they are quite obviously on par with homo sapiens sapiens; and since they have had 50 million years of evolution under their belts, compared to our 250,000, they must be far in advance of our developmental level.

Noted are some recent rumblings related to giving dolphins the same rights as people. I agree! But governments are unlikely to adopt the measure as it would likely economically and legally affect fishing operations adversely. There’s that greed based culture we all suffer within for ya.

Thousands upon thousands of dolphins die in fishing nets. This is because they can’t see them. Dolphins use sonar and sound to see in a similay way to our use of light to see. The nets do not reflect their sound beams, as they are, well, nets. Hence they get caught unawares. It is tragic.

Perhaps a way around it could be if nets could be re-engineered and redesigned to allow enough reflectance so that the dolphins could see them… things would be alright for all concerned.

Anyway…

Some data on this research…

Via ATS member Nicolas Flamel in this thread:

It looks like dolphins have names for each other and when first meeting other dolphins will introduce themselves and ask them to come play.

When meeting strangers in the wild, dolphins whistle signature tunes that may be the animal equivalent of “Hello, my name is…” stickers.

These introductions include other information as well:

‘I’m so-and-so, and I’m interested in making contact in a friendly way, I’m not attacking,'” said study researcher Vincent Janik, an expert in animal communication at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Janik calls these names “signature whistles” and he claims only humans and dolphins have personal “names” used to identify each other.

Non-human social primates do have identification calls however, so that other primates know who is calling. Janik says this is not the same as having names:

Social primates know each other from the sounds of their voices, but they don’t create signature identification calls. Dolphins, on the other hand, start developing their own whistles at just a few months of age.

Regardless, this does raise the bar on the self-awareness and intelligence of dolphins.

Source: Dolphin’s Unique Whistles Say, ‘Hey! Come Play!’ at livescience.com.

Here’s some information about the author of the study:

Dr. Vincent Janik is a member of the Sea Mammal Research Unit and the Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution (SLACE) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Besides getting his PhD, he also did some work with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA (whose members included Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic). He’s also a Royal Society University Research Fellow (like Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking among others).

biology.st-andrews.ac.uk…

His work with dolphins is ongoing:

Janik and his colleagues are now studying how the dolphins develop their personalized whistles. They’re also investigating the hypothesis that the whistles act as a dolphin’s name by recording wild dolphins’ signature whistles and playing them back to the animals.

www.livescience.com…

some dolphins already work for the U.S. Navy to help detect sea mines for example. I wonder how much they get paid?

science.howstuffworks.com…

Bottlenose dolphins have their own undersea weapons. They use echolocation, which is like active sonar, to not only locate or identify fish but also stun them with a sonic boom.

Indeed.

Oh, as a matter of interest, in searching for a picture for this thread, I ran across this fascinating piece: Translation technology may let humans speak with dolphins at a site called Digital Trends. Heres a taste:

Researchers have begun to create a new technology that could soon allow humans and dolphins to talk to each other.

Dolphins have long been considered by scientists to be the most intelligent animals on the planet (aside from humans, of course). But soon, with the help of newly developed underwater translation software, our two species may actually be able to talk to each other.

Armed with a waterproof computer, divers may soon be able to decipher the chirps of dolphins, then create and project an appropriate response, all in real time, reports New Scientist.

Dubbed Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), the project is being undertaken by Denise Herzing, founder of the Wild Dolphin Project, and Thad Starner, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The end-goal of the CHAT program is to “co-create” a language that uses the natural sounds of wild dolphins, which can then be employed to talk with our finned brethren.

Humans have been able to communicate with dolphins since the 1960′s. Studies have shown that dolphins can learn up to about 100 human words, and be able to decipher the difference between similar commands, like “bring the surfboard to the man” and “bring the man to the surfboard.” […]

What astounding things will they clue us in on? All about USOs, maybe?WAAAH!

Personally, to reiterate what I said above, I am of the opinion that they are, oh, just a tad smarter than us…

Peace.

YouTube link

Uploaded by on Feb 13, 2012

Chris Packham examines some of the weirdest natural events on the planet. With the help of footage taken by eyewitnesses and news crews, he unravels the facts behind each story.

Episode 1 (3rd January 2012)

In the first programme, there is the mysterious case of the car cocooned by caterpillars in Holland, and the baffling case of the exploding toads in Germany. In Switzerland a lakeside town is entombed in ice and a once in a lifetime storm turns Sydney, Australia crimson overnight. There are some disturbing plagues of mice and locusts and a swarm of ladybirds. And finally there are extraordinary strandings of starfish, crabs and whales.

Chris tells the real story of the events behind the headlines and helps to explain what on earth happened.

YouTube link

Uploaded by on Feb 13, 2012

Episode 2 (4th January 2012)

The second programme features the incredible sea foam which turns part of the Australian coast into what looks like the world’s biggest bubble bath. Plus there is a look at the mysterious death of thousands of sea birds on America’s west coast, and the otherworldly phenomenon known as milky seas.

Other strange events include thousands of birds falling from the sky in America, causing panic and predictions of the apocalypse among the residents, and the fish that fell from the sky in south London.

And finally there is the story of the truly terrifying holes which open up in the earth’s crust and swallow not only buildings, but in the case of a nature reserve in Florida, an entire lake.

Pretty cool, pretty cool. Two hours of Fortean fun.

I must say that the causes found for a few of of these incidents are nearly as odd as the events themselves. That’s always nice. They do give the “standard ‘excuse’” for the fabulously Fortean fish falls, though, defaulting to waterspouts, which I suppose is to be expected, but I must note that it is in fact a plausible cause for at least some of them. For one such event that is mentioned, though, I think you’d agree that… it would be a stretch.

The most interesting segment to me is the examination of the behavior of crows in episode 1 within the exploding toad story. It is really amazing to learn just how intelligent these birds really are. I am seriously impressed and I assure you that you will be, too.

There’s a nice piece on glows  coming from the sea, or milky seas, and although it is simple bioluminescence, the scale is just astounding and you’ll find the end result of the work of a scientific team quite fascinating.

A few of the events are a little mundane looking at them now from afar, but they did cause a stir and a couple did the rounds on the internet, but if you were there they’d be mighty impressive. They’re all worth a watch. Mother Nature is always good for a shocker…

Peace.

Uploaded by on Apr 30, 2007

Pistol shrimp blowing a blast of water a speed of 100km/h with temp 4700C.

Now this is cool. Nature always delivers the most fascinating designs. A gun built into your arm, with an endless supply of bullets…

From this creature’s Wikipedia page:
(Sorry about using Wiki as they are
such a tool of the wrong people, but I’m lazy today and for this sort of thing they’re truthful…)

I find the first paragraph pretty darn interesting…

Pistol shrimp have also been noted for their ability to reverse claws. When the snapping claw is lost the missing limb will regenerate into a smaller claw and the original smaller appendage will grow into a new snapping claw. Laboratory research has shown that severing the nerve of the snapping claw induces the conversion of the smaller limb into a second snapping claw. This phenomenon of claw symmetry in snapping shrimp has only been documented once in nature.[10]

Snapping effect

The snapping shrimp competes with much larger animals like the Sperm Whale and Beluga Whale for the title of ‘loudest animal in the sea.’ The animal snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation bubble that generates acoustic pressures of up to 80 kPa at a distance of 4 cm from the claw. As it extends out from the claw, the bubble reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and releases a sound reaching 218 decibels.[11] The pressure is strong enough to kill small fish.[12] It corresponds to a zero to peak pressure level of 218 decibels relative to one micropascal (dB re 1 μPa), equivalent to a zero to peak source level of 190 dB re 1 μPa at the standard reference distance of 1 m. Au and Banks measured peak to peak source levels between 185 and 190 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m, depending on the size of the claw.[13] Similar values are reported by Ferguson and Cleary.[14] The duration of the click is less than 1 millisecond.

The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from the collapsing cavitation bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,700 °C).[15] In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800 K (5,500 °C). The light is of lower intensity than the light produced by typical sonoluminescence and is not visible to the naked eye. It is most likely a by-product of the shock wave with no biological significance. However, it was the first known instance of an animal producing light by this effect. It has subsequently been discovered that another group of crustaceans, the mantis shrimp, contains species whose club-like forelimbs can strike so quickly and with such force as to induce sonoluminescent cavitation bubbles upon impact.[16]

The snapping is used for hunting (hence the alternative name “pistol shrimp”), as well as for communication.

Jebus! What will Mother come up with next? Ha! Okay, how about this guy…?

Uploaded by on Dec 27, 2006

Animal Olympians: Featherweight boxing. A maritime creature that is 4 inches long and more powerful than a point 22 calibre pistol. Big things certainly do come in small packages!

Good gracious!

From this creature’s Wikipedia page:

Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. They are neither shrimp nor mantids, but receive their name purely from the physical resemblance to both the terrestrial praying mantis and the shrimp. They may reach 30 centimetres (12 in) in length, although exceptional cases of up to 38 cm (15 in) have been recorded.[2] The carapace of mantis shrimp covers only the rear part of the head and the first four segments of the thorax. Mantis shrimp appear in a variety of colours, from shades of browns to bright neon colours. Although they are common animals and among the most important predators in many shallow, tropical and sub-tropical marine habitats they are poorly understood as many species spend most of their life tucked away in burrows and holes.[3]

Called “sea locusts” by ancient Assyrians, “prawn killers” in Australia and now sometimes referred to as “thumb splitters” — because of the animal’s ability to inflict painful gashes if handled incautiously[4] — mantis shrimp sport powerful claws that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning or dismemberment. Although it happens rarely, some larger species of mantis shrimp are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike from this weapon.[5]

Did you catch that last sentence? Yikes!

I am impressed by this next video… burrow too confining? No worries, mate, I’ll fix it!

Uploaded by on Aug 27, 2010

at about 23 seconds, manty makes more room for him/herself
rip manty

The ocean fascinates me endlessly because it is just as exciting as space, maybe even more so, as it is nearly totally (98%) unexplored and it is right here! It is said we know more about the moon than our oceans. This is quite true.

Just think what would discover if the monies used for war were used to explore the wonderful planet we live on.

Peace.

Giant Weta.

Rather large, this cricket, eh? … Or, this weta, to be precise.

This thing weighs more than a sparrow, three times more than a mouse… and eats carrots, whole ones I bet.

While not exactly cryptozoology as wetas are already well known, it was not, it seems, known that they get this big.

This story has been all over the net and I am willing to bet that you have seen this story in the last few days. Sorry if you have, this is for those who have not clapped eyes on this ginormous bugger. I saw it a couple of days ago and naturally am just getting a round tuit here.

I do dig large critters of any stripe, (my good friend Willy will surely attest to my twisted fear of stepping out of my time machine (Oh, Jeez, I wasn’t supposed to mention that thing) only to come face to face with a 9-foot eurypterid… (they had those back then, you know)… frikken shivers, man…) crickets included, so here we go…

From the Daily Mail:

A nature-lover has revealed how he spent two days tracking down a giant insect on a remote New Zealand island – and got it to eat a carrot out of his hand.

Mark Moffett’s find is the world’s biggest insect in terms of weight, which at 71g is heavier than a sparrow and three times that of a mouse.

The 53-year-old former park ranger discovered the giant weta up a tree and his real life Bug’s Bunny has now been declared the largest ever found.

He came across the cricket-like creature, which has a wing span of seven inches, after two days of searching on a tiny island.

The creepy crawly is only found on Little Barrier Island, in New Zealand, although there are 70 other types of smaller weta found throughout the country.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2068547/Weta-insect-Heaviest-world-weighs-3-times-mouse.html#ixzz1fbl7A9ak

World's heaviest insect.

Just look at this thing! Fantastic!

You can learn even more about this fella by reading this discussion thread. I wonder if it is omnivorous… yeesh… nah, couldn’t be…

Peace.

Okay, I could not resist adding this… from the inimitable davespanners…

Snowmen everywhere are in big trouble.

This is bad news for snowmen everywhere

:)