Proapteryx micromeros by Peter Schouten.
Size (length): 7-8m (23-26ft)
Notes: I’ve been looking for a good image of Metriacanthosaurus since, oh, the first installment of Dinosaur of the Day. I’d prefer one without a watermark, but this will do in the meantime.
lol who else had this jurassic park fighting game on playstation
Thought you and your followers might enjoy some bright dinosaur skulls! From left to right, top to bottom there’s Nigersaurus, Centrosaurus, Velociraptor, Parasaurolophus aaaaaand Dilophosaurus :) Enjoy!
Bateleur eagles, Terathopius ecaudatus, are generally the most recognised serpent eagle. Compared to other raptors, the eagles fly a massive range in search for food; individuals have been noted to fly up to 300 miles (500km) in a short period of time. It can take individuals up to eight years to fully moult their speckled brown feathers for their recognisable black and grey adult plumage. The species also has a very short tail compared to other birds, meaning they can walk in all directions without damaging their tail feathers. This is especially useful when hunting for small rodents or snakes which can easily scan the skies for predators. Bateleurs’ are opportunistic feeders; they will eat carrion they come across whether it be mammal, bird, reptile or fish, and will resort to hunting effectively if there is no food available. The species often spends a large deal of its time sunbathing, as the dark coloured plumage can rapidly gather heat. This can also aid the bird in hunting snakes with heat pits; the snake will generally strike for the hottest part of the animal, so an approaching Bateleur with outstretched wings is unlikely to be struck by the snake; it will often attempt to bite the heated wings instead of the body which is an effective defence for the bird against venomous prey.
i’m proud to be from a state that has an official state dinosaur.
Since I live in Texas now.
For the record, Colorado (my home state) also has a state dinosaur: the stegosaurus.
Neanderthal had low genetic diversity
Following on from a recent post about how much of our cousin’s genetic legacy lives on in us (seehttp://tinyurl.com/mzm2h3e), another study just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has compared over 17,000 known protein coding genes between 3 specimens excavated in Croatia, Siberia and Spain in order to assess something of the genetic variation between these widely dispersed populations.
Comparing these with the average human spread, Neanderthal had very low diversity, and the results suggest low populations living in small, relatively isolated groups. They had about a quarter of the rate of African diversity, and a third of that of Asians or Europeans. Compared to ancestral humans, the genes linked to skeletal morphology (think of those huge thick bones) changed to a greater extent during their evolution than ours, while modern humans who swiftly became more geographically diverse show greater development in genes affecting skin pigmentation, demonstrating the effect of selective pressures of the different environments we evolved in.
Recent research suggests that we spread out of Africa in more than one wave, starting as early as 140,000 years ago and that each wave has its own distinctive genetic legacy, partly influenced by the environment they ended up in. The two lineages split sometime between 750 and 550,000 years ago, and we were at the limit of diverging into two species when non African Homo sapiens interbred with our cousins some 40,000 years back. Humans are already less diverse than apes, suggesting genetic bottlenecks in our deep past, and Neanderthal seems to have been even less diverse, possibly as a result of repeated ice age population squeezes.
Image credit: Aquila Gib
Original paper, paywall access: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/04/16/1405138111
Spreading his wings and opening his tail fan isn’t enough to earn this male Citipati a mate. To show his fitness he must be able to jump higher than his rivals in order to draw a female’s interest in the midst of the swirling sands.
Skeletal reference used by J. Headden.
The nation has Punxsutawny Phil the ground hog to prognosticate the coming of spring. We have Texas horned lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum) to announce spring’s arrival. Horned lizards are starting to come out of hibernation and our first horned lizard encounter this year was on 10 April.
(via: Texas Parks and Wildlife)
The snake is a Great Basin Rattlenake (Crotalus viridis lutosus) from the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City, Utah. The snake was a rescue, having been removed from a backyard and returned to the wild. She was curious and good natured and never once rattled at me. What a sweetheart!
Photograph and text by David E. Jensen
ABC Bird of the Week: Streamer-tailed Tyrant
This large flycatcher is a resident of wet South American grasslands and is named for its long, deeply forked tail, which plays a role in courtship. A pair will perch facing each other, bobbing up and down and fanning their tails while calling continuously.
The Streamer-tailed Tyrant can be found at the Barba Azul Reserve in Bolivia, created by ABC and Asociación Armonia in 2008 to protect unique Beni savanna habitat and the critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw. Other unique and threatened species that can be found at Barba Azul include the Cock-tailed Tyrant, Orinoco Goose, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, which stops here during migration.
The Bolivian population of the species found in Barba Azul is isolated by over 400 miles of Beni savannas from populations in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Further study may reveal that it has evolved into a distinct species…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
photo: Gary Kinard