Now in a discovery reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus (KOO-lin-dah-DRO-mee-us ZAH-bike-kal-ik-kuss), suggests that feathers were all in the family. That's because the newly unearthed 4.5-foot-long (1.5 meter) two-legged runner was an "ornithischian" beaked dinosaur, belonging to a group ancestrally distinct from past theropod discoveries.
At the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary in the northeast of England (England, for the uninitiated, is a series of small wet rocks in the North Atlantic Ocean), penguins have been given anti-depressants because penguins are apparently pretty perceptive and are aware of the awful place in which they live. This winter has been the wettest on record in Scarborough, and while the Humboldt penguin (native to coastal Chile) is perfectly capable of dealing with brutal cold, these particular penguins are no match for the psyche-destroying sleet of an English winter. Hopefully they'll be kept away from the knives.
When rats die, they go to rat heaven or rat hell. The terminal stations in human afterlives do not have physical locations but do have common physical associations; in the rat afterlife, these associations are both based in reality and inverted. Rat heaven is below, in the subway muck. Rat hell is above, in the nest of a hawk.
Here is something I had not considered: That in Manhattan, and probably Queens and Brooklyn and the Bronx, live hawks. Hawks in windows and hawks on roofs. Big hawks, abducting rodents and laying eggs. This week, hatching them! Nor had I imagined the existence of a network of websites and [...]
Outside my third-floor window, in a narrow, leafy lane of Bandra West, a suburb of Mumbai, a crow had got itself stuck in some leftover Christmas decorations that were hanging off a tree. One of its feet was caught in string and the crow was dangling in mid-air. As it became more aware of its situation, it became more frantic, wrapping the string around its foot more securely. I’m not an animal activist and crows are not likable but I could not watch it die a slow, painful, and terrified death.
It was too high up and too far away from my building for me to be able to [...]
"It’s very rare in the U.K. to have a national police operation of this kind. The others are for drug trafficking, human trafficking, and football hooliganism." —You can try to guess but it is probably just easier to click and see.
"A pheasant with a temper problem is stalking the lanes of a Shropshire village, forcing local resident Sally-Ann Hudson to arm herself with gloves and a badminton racquet when she approaches the bird." There is video, but this might be one of those cases where it's just better to imagine.
"The ants are savage, relentless, capturing as many as 30,000 prey items in a single day. They scale trees to pull down giant scorpions, raid wasps’ nests and overwhelm the defenses of even the most violent Africanized bees. Any life form lying in the ants’ path knows its only chance is to try to leap away—and the antbirds know it, too. The birds swoop down and pick off as many of the harrowed menu items as they can get away with, a kleptoparasitism that ends up reducing the ants’ hunting success by one-sixth. Each of the three types of antbird makes its grab from a particular position around the [...]
"Wildlife control contractors have shot almost 26,000 birds at John F. Kennedy International Airport over the past five years to stop them interfering with passenger flights — including more than 1,600 protected birds the airport did not have express permission to kill, internal records show."
There is literally nothing on the internet that interests me today; the only thing I found interesting enough to read fully was this three-sentence description of Canadian primates on Wikipedia:
The only primates that live in Canada are human beings. They are only distantly related to the New World monkeys of Central and South America, and the species originated in east Africa. Humans first arrived in large numbers to Canada around 15,000 years ago from North Asia, and surged in migration starting 400 years ago from around the world, especially from Europe.
Which is pretty funny but not really enough for a post, you know? So I'm just going [...]
Finally, our president has taken the battle home in our long war against birds. So long, eagles and hawks! Get stuffed! (If they can still stuff the twisted half-carcasses—more than half a million a year!—that remain after our wind turbines do their work.) MAKE LIKE THE BEES AND DROP DEAD.
Oh man, this total environmental collapse is going to be awesome!
"H7N9 bird flu is considered a low pathogenic strain that cannot easily be contracted by humans," the AP reports from Beijing. Well that would be very comforting for humans (if not for birds), except for the sad fact that the wire story is about the first two humans known to be killed by H7N9. Another infected human is in critical condition.
But it's supposedly a low-level virus and not the SARS kind of crazy—that virus jumped to humans from a weird kind of wildcat cruelly captured and then kept in cages to sell to bad people at markets. SARS eventually killed 775 of the 8,000 infected during that [...]