Sunday, January 29, 2006

Man "Descends" From Bird? - Fossil hunters make rare find in basement - Jan 26, 2006: "Fossil hunters make rare find in basement

Thursday, January 26, 2006; Posted: 3:02 p.m. EST (20:02 GMT)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A toothless, two-legged crocodile ancestor that walked upright and had a beak instead of teeth was discovered in the basement of New York's American Museum of Natural History, according to a report published on Wednesday.

The 210 million-year-old fossil had sat in storage at the museum for nearly 60 years and was found only by accident, the paleontologists said.

The animal is interesting because it closely resembles a completely unrelated dinosaur called an ostrich dinosaur that lived 80 million years later, they report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a British science journal.

'A lot of people, from seeing (the film) Jurassic Park know what an ostrich dinosaur looked like,' said museum curator Mark Norell. 'This is a case of convergence with the ostrich dinosaur. It evolved more than once.'


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Greenhouse Plants?

Science News Online:Vegetation may produce methane: Science News Online, Jan. 14, 2006:

"Greenhouse Plants? Vegetation may produce methane
Sid Perkins
Lab tests suggest that a wide variety of plants may routinely do something that scientists had previously thought impossible--produce methane in significant quantities.

Methane, like carbon dioxide, traps heat in Earth's atmosphere. Scientists have been studying natural sources of methane for decades but hadn't pegged plants as a producer, notes Frank Keppler, a geochemist at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany. Previously recognized sources of methane include bacterial action in the digestive systems of ruminants such as cows and in the saturated soils of swamps and rice paddies. "

"NASA Probe Discovers Rolling Rocks, Gullies, Shifting Sands on Mars

Space - Discover magazine science:

"Sightings of shifting sand dunes, rolling boulders, and a dwindling polar ice cap in the past year demonstrate that the Red Planet is a far more dynamic world than scientists suspected.

Recently released images from the Mars Global Surveyor show before (left) and after views of the same crater, taken 13 months apart. During that time, falling boulders carved at least a dozen new tracks into the fine-grained material that lines the crater's wall.

NASA's orbiting Mars Global Surveyor revealed fresh gullies as long as three football fields on a dune west of the Hellas Basin. The same slope was smooth and unblemished in 2002. Scientists suspect that carbon dioxide trapped beneath the surface during winter vaporized when temperatures rose, releasing gas and causing sand to pour down the dune's face. The probe also snapped photos of boulders that had tumbled down a five-mile-wide crater, gouging shallow troughs not seen a year before. Possible causes include wind and seismic activity, although Mars's atmosphere is one-hundredth as dense as Earth's, and researchers have not yet found reliable evidence of Marsquakes. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide ice at the south pole has dwindled for three consecutive summers, suggesting long-term climate change is under way."

Are Incan Knots A Crackable Code?

Archaeology - Discover magazine s:

"The Incas didn't leave any written words behind, but they did leave behind khipus:knotted, colored, and twisted textile strings that seemed to serve as a record-keeping system for the largest state in the ancient New World. Until this year, the function of khipus was more presumed than proven. In August Harvard University anthropologist Gary Urton and his colleague Carrie Brezine reported the first clear signs of shared information embedded in 7 of 21 khipus from Puruchuco, an Incan palace and administrative center on the coast of Peru. 'For the first time we've been able to see khipus that are communicating with each other,' says Urton."

Thursday, January 05, 2006


That's no jack rabbit ... it's an artist in chains - Peculiar Postings -

"That's no jack rabbit ... it's an artist in chains Man has to hop 12 hours across desert after binding legs for realistic picture ..."

Uh, ok. Kinda embarrassing.