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Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:09 pm

'Dracula' Dinosaur Had Bristles and Fangs
A bizarre dinosaur had vampire-like fangs, a parrot beak and porcupine bristles, researchers say.

The ancient creature, which was found 50 years ago in southern Africa but drew relatively little attention until now, may shed light on the evolution of the major group of dinosaurs that included famous giants such as Stegosaurus and Triceratops.

The 200-million-year-old dinosaur "was two-legged, probably fleet-footed, and had grasping hands," said researcher Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago.

Named Pegomastax africanus, or "thick jaw from Africa," it was less than 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and weighed less than a house cat at 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) at most, "and was mostly tail and neck," Sereno added.


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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:13 pm

huh
M&M-Loving Bees Make Colorful Honey

Hives of candy-crazy bees in France are reportedly producing honey colored blue and green.

But honey-lovers hoping for something strange to put on their English muffins are likely to be disappointed: The oddly colored honey is not for sale, according to France24.

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Newly Discovered Acorn Worm Named After Yoda

Discovered a new type of acorn worm, scientists have. Named it after Yoda, they did.

The reddish-purple worm was found about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and has large lips on either side of its head region that reminded researchers of the floppy-eared Stars Wars character. Its full scientific name is Yoda purpurata, or "purple Yoda."

Researchers found the worm during the ECOMAR research program, which uses a remotely operated submersible to search for new animals along the seafloor at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores.


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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:09 pm

Sounds more like a kazoo to me...

A whale with a distinctly human-like voice

For the first time, researchers have been able to show by acoustic analysis that whales—or at least one very special white whale—can imitate the voices of humans. That's a surprise, because whales typically produce sounds in a manner that is wholly different from humans, say researchers who report their findings in the October 23 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

"Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds," said Sam Ridgway of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. "Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact."

It all started in 1984 when Ridgway and others began to notice some unusual sounds in the vicinity of the whale and dolphin enclosure. As they describe it, it sounded as though two people were conversing in the distance, just out of range of their understanding.


Page with audio clip: http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/48866.php?from=224114

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:25 pm

crap

That's Hot! Beetles Dance on Poop Balls to Keep Cool

Now researchers find that dung beetles might also use excrement to keep themselves cool.

"Dung beetles are the first example of an insect using a mobile, thermal refuge to move across hot soil," researcher Jochen Smolka, a neuroethologist at Lund University in Sweden, told LiveScience. "Insects, once thought to be at the mercy of environmental temperatures, use sophisticated behavioral strategies to regulate their body temperature[s]."

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:06 am

More animals talking...

Elephant 'speaks' Korean
Koshik, a 22-year-old Asian elephant, has been using his trunk to create some unusual sounds... actual words in a human language.

The Associated Press reported that Koshik is able to tuck his trunk into his mouth and produce sounds that imitate the Korean words: "annyeong" (hello), "anja" (sit down), "aniya" (no), "nuwo" (lie down) and "joa" (good).



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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:53 pm

Xenoceratops: the 'alien horned-face' dinosaur discovered in Canada

A new species of horned dinosaur, called the xenoceratops—"alien horned-face"—has been discovered in fossil beds in Alberta, Canada.

The discovery is based on remains from at least three adult-sized individuals, which were identified from fossils originally collected in 1958. The creatures would have been approximately six meters long and would have weighed more than two metric tons each.

The xenoceratops was a herbivore with a parrot-like beak, two long brow horns above its eyes and a large frill protruding from the back of its skull with two additional large spikes. It lived around 80 million years ago, making it one of the oldest ceratopsids, the group of large-bodied horned dinosaurs that includes triceratops.


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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:50 pm

Black piranha, megapiranha have most powerful bites of fish living or extinct

The black piranha and the extinct giant piranha, or megapiranha, have the most powerful bites of carnivorous fishes, living or extinct, once body size is taken into account, finds researchers in a paper recently published in Scientific Reports. The research paper, Mega-Bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas, highlights the piranhas’ specialized jaw morphology, which allows them to attack and bite chunks out of much larger prey.


The paper reports the first bite-force measurements taken from wild specimens of the largest species of carnivorous piranha in the Amazon, the black piranha, and describes the underlying functional morphology of the jaws that allows this creature to bite with a force more than 30 times greater than its weight. The powerful bite is achieved primarily due to the large muscle mass of the black piranha’s jaw and the efficient transmission of its large contractile forces through a highly modified jaw-closing lever.

The expedition was organized and filmed by National Geographic. A subsequent program called Megapiranha aired on the National Geographic Channel featured the expedition and focused on the creature that existed millions of years ago.

“It was very exciting to participate in this project, travel one more time to the Amazon to be able to directly measure bite forces in the wild,” said Dr. Orti. “I learned a lot of biomechanics from my colleagues while collecting valuable specimens for my own research.”

The authors also reconstructed the bite force of the megapiranha, showing that for its relatively diminutive body size, the bite of this fossil piranha dwarfed that of other extinct mega-predators, including the whale-eating shark and the Devonian placoderm. Research at the Ortí lab at GW continues to focus on reconstructing the genealogical tree of fishes including piranhas based on genomic data.

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:23 pm

Sub chases, films giant squid going to Pacific abyss

Scientists and broadcasters said Monday they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid deep in the North Pacific that may have been up to 8 meters long before losing its two long tentacles.

The National Science Museum was able to film the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with NHK and the U.S. Discovery Channel.

They spotted the squid at a depth of 630 meters using a submersible in July, some 15 km east of Chichi Island, part of the Ogasawara chain. The submarine with three people on board, including Tsunemi Kubodera from the museum, followed the enormous mollusk to a depth of 900 meters as it swam into the abyss.




More footage as part of a Discovery special later in the month.

After Giant Squid, Search Turns to its 'Colossal' Counterpart

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby Herald » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:36 pm

sdsichero wrote:Hives of candy-crazy bees in France are reportedly producing honey colored blue and green.

But honey-lovers hoping for something strange to put on their English muffins are likely to be disappointed: The oddly colored honey is not for sale, according to France24.


Someone -- maybe a local farmer or some such -- should try selling it. Between the candy and the way the bees "process" it, there's nothing in that colored honey that people weren't already eating without a problem.

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:50 pm

Very cool...

The Sound of Birds, Whales, Elephants, Frogs, Published Online
More than 9,000 species are represented in Cornell’s Macaulay Library archive that has now been put online.


http://macaulaylibrary.org/

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Well the "main" creature is dead (though they are spectacular creatures), but the ecosystem that grows around its skeleton is really fascinating...

Whale Skeleton Found On Sea Floor In Antarctica, Along With Several New Marine Species

In what's being called the first discovery of its type, scientists recently stumbled upon a whale skeleton on the ocean floor near Antarctica -- one of only six natural whale skeletons found worldwide.

That's not all. As the researchers took a closer look at their find, they noticed something else quite remarkable -- at least nine never-before-seen species of deep-sea organisms feeding on the bones and skull.

A paper about the discoveries, "The discovery of a natural whale fall in the Antarctic deep sea," was published in the online journal Deep-Sea Research II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.







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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:17 pm

'Living fossil' coelacanth genome sequenced

Researchers sequenced the genome of the coelacanth: a deep-sea fish that closely resembles its ancestors, which lived at least 300 million years ago.

The study found that some of the animal's genes evolved very slowly, giving it its primitive appearance.

The work also shed light on how the fish was related to the first land-based animals.

The coelacanth has four large, fleshy fins, which some scientists believe could have been the predecessors of limbs.

It had been suggested that this fish was closely related to early tetrapods - the first creatures to drag themselves out of the ocean, giving rise to life on land.

But the study, published in the journal Nature, suggested that another fish called the lungfish, which also has four limbs, had more genes in common with land-based animals.

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Wed May 08, 2013 4:21 pm

Greater wax moth 'can sense' highest recorded frequency

A team at Strathclyde University in Glasgow found the moth can sense sound frequencies of up to 300kHz.

Humans can only manage up to 20kHz, while dolphins, which use ultrasound, have limitations around 160kHz.

The university hopes the discovery will lead to new technological innovations, such as miniature microphones.


"The use of ultrasound in air is extremely difficult as such high frequency signals are quickly weakened in air.

"Other animals such as bats are known to use ultrasound to communicate and now it is clear that moths are capable of even more advanced use of sound."

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Re: Creatures & Monsters, Real & Imagined

Postby sdsichero » Mon May 13, 2013 4:36 pm

What a weird little frog... Desert Rain Frog...


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