Possibly one of the most magical moments of my life
80-mile-wide swarm of ladybugs shows up on National Weather Service radar
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A huge blob that appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar wasn’t a rain cloud, but a massive swarm of ladybugs over Southern California.
Meteorologist Joe Dandrea says the array of bugs appeared to be about 80 miles (129 kilometers) wide as it flew over San Diego Tuesday.
But Dandrea tells the Los Angeles Times that the ladybugs are actually spread throughout the sky, flying at between 5,000 and 9,000 feet (1,525 and 2,745 meters), with the most concentrated group about 10 miles (16 kilometers) wide.
NWS San Diego
The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of lady bugs termed a “bloom” #CAwx
It wasn’t immediately known what type of ladybug was causing the phenomenon.
The Times says one species, adult convergent lady beetles, mate and migrate from the Sierra Nevada to valley areas where they eat aphids and lay eggs.
(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
That is a lot of ladybugs!
Science Newsfrom research organizations
Bird three times larger than ostrich discovered in Crimean cave
First evidence that giant ostrich-like birds once roamed Europe
Date: June 26, 2019
Source: Taylor & Francis Group
Summary: A surprise discovery in a Crimean cave suggests that early Europeans lived alongside some of the largest ever known birds, according to new research published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
A surprise discovery in a Crimean cave suggests that early Europeans lived alongside some of the largest ever known birds, according to new research published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
It was previously thought that such gigantism in birds only ever existed on the islands of Madagascar and New Zealand as well as Australia. The newly-discovered specimen, discovered in the Taurida Cave on the northern coast of the Black Sea, suggests a bird as giant as the Madagascan elephant bird or New Zealand moa. It may have been a source of meat, bones, feathers and eggshell for early humans.
“When I first felt the weight of the bird whose thigh bone I was holding in my hand, I thought it must be a Malagasy elephant bird fossil because no birds of this size have ever been reported from Europe. However, the structure of the bone unexpectedly told a different story,” says lead author Dr Nikita Zelenkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“We don’t have enough data yet to say whether it was most closely related to ostriches or to other birds, but we estimate it weighed about 450kg. This formidable weight is nearly double the largest moa, three times the largest living bird, the common ostrich, and nearly as much as an adult polar bear.”
It is the first time a bird of such size has been reported from anywhere in the northern hemisphere. Although the species was previously known, no one ever tried to calculate the size of this animal. The flightless bird, attributed to the species Pachystruthio dmanisensis, was probably at least 3.5 metres tall and would have towered above early humans. It may have been flightless but it was also fast.
While elephant birds were hampered by their great size when it came to speed, the femur of the current bird was relatively long and slim, suggesting it was a better runner. The femur is comparable to modern ostriches as well as smaller species of moa and terror birds. Speed may have been essential to the bird’s survival. Alongside its bones, palaeontologists found fossils of highly-specialised, massive carnivores from the Ice Age. They included giant cheetah, giant hyenas and sabre-toothed cats, which were able to prey on mammoths.
Other fossils discovered alongside the specimen, such as bison, help date it to 1.5 to 2 million years ago. A similar range of fossils was discovered at an archaeological site in the town of Dmanisi in Georgia, the oldest hominin site outside Africa. Although previously neglected by science, this suggests the giant bird may have been typical of the animals found at the time when the first hominins arrived in Europe. The authors suggest it reached the Black Sea region via the Southern Caucasus and Turkey.
The body mass of the bird was reconstructed using calculations from several formulae, based on measurements from the femur bone. Applying these formulae, the body mass of the bird was estimated to be around 450kg. Such gigantism may have originally evolved in response to the environment, which was increasingly arid as the Pleistocene epoch approached. Animals with a larger body mass have lower metabolic demands and can therefore make use of less nutritious food growing in open steppes.
“The Taurida cave network was only discovered last summer when a new motorway was being built. Last year, mammoth remains were unearthed and there may be much more to that the site will teach us about Europe’s distant past,” says Zelenkov.
Materials provided by Taylor & Francis Group. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
- Nikita V. Zelenkov, Alexander V. Lavrov, Dmitry B. Startsev, Innessa A. Vislobokova, Alexey V. Lopatin. A giant early Pleistocene bird from eastern Europe: unexpected component of terrestrial faunas at the time of early Homo arrival. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2019; e1605521 DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2019.1605521
Cite This Page:
Taylor & Francis Group. “Bird three times larger than ostrich discovered in Crimean cave: First evidence that giant ostrich-like birds once roamed Europe.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190626200313.htm>.
This is FABULOUS news! Huge birds are so awesome! And so dangerous!
I got turned onto this by a post by Corinna somewhere at the Centre for Fortean Zoology, facebook, maybe, which I cannot find the link for. So Frustrating.
Hey, hey, it’s the Bunny!
GIF courtesy of the inimitable ArMaP.
One of the first up-close anomalies ever received from Mars — and to this day one of the most intriguing. NASA says it’s nowt more than a bit if cloth from the landing balloons just passing through in the breeze. Yeah. Right.
I have always maintained that that attempt was just beyond ludicrous, a modern day ‘swamp gas’ salute. Only one of the appendages moves with said ’breeze.’ It simply doesn’t add up. Let’s just say that I would be even more surprised to learn that it was a piece of the airbag than if it was a living creature.
A classic and a true favorite. Worth every second!
Rough Legged Falcon, 2 Barred Owl and a Short eared Owl
From: Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. American ornithology, or, The natural history of the birds of the United States. Philadelphia : Bradford and Inskeep, 1808-1825
Orangutan from Borneo photographed using a spear tool to fish
29 TuesdayApr 2008
Posted by Kambiz Kamrani in Anthropology, Blog, Orangutan, Photo
Tags borneo, carel van schaik, gerd schuster, Orangutan, thinks of the jungle, tool use
Tool use among orangutans was first documented by Carel van Schaik. In 1994, Carel observed orangutans developing tools to help themselves eat, while conducting field work in Gunung Leuser National Park, in the northwest Sumatra.
Specifically the orangutans were using sticks to pry open pulpy fruits that have “Plexiglas needles” capable of delivering a painful jab covering them. Using the tools, the orangutans were getting past handling the prickly husk and into the nutritious fruit. From an anthropological viewpoint, tool use represents an aspect of culture, since the entire group participates in a behavior that has developed over time. One unique thing to clarify is that only Sumatran orangutans have been observed to use tools, not orangutans from Borneo.
“a male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a passing fish…
The extraordinary image, a world exclusive, was taken in Borneo on the island of Kaja…
This individual had seen locals fishing with spears on the Gohong River.
Although the method required too much skill for him to master, he was later able to improvise by using the pole to catch fish already trapped in the locals’ fishing lines.”
Pretty awesome image, no? If you wanna read more about orangutan tool use, here are three papers on the topic:
Schaik, C.P., Fox, E.A., Sitompul, A.F. (1996). Manufacture and use of tools in wild Sumatran orangutans. Naturwissenschaften, 83(4), 186-188. DOI:
Call, J., Tomasello, M. (1994). The social learning of tool use by orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). Human Evolution, 9(4), 297-313. DOI:
van Schaik, C.P. (2003). Orangutan Cultures and the Evolution of Material Culture. Science, 299(5603), 102-105. DOI:
Intelligence is most certainly not limited to Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
Monster Bird on the loose in Scotland leaving victims drenched in blood
D. Hatswell #BBRUK Creature Reports #BBR
Published on Jul 5, 2019
A MONSTER bird that left a man soaked in blood is on the loose in the outskirts of Aberdeen. The mystery raptor, which divebombs walkers and cyclists, is believed to have escaped from a local falconer.
Just imagine if we are suddenly living back in the day and this is a serious, every day fact of constant concern! Wasnt all that long ago and in some places, it still is. Huge birds are so cool.
Super Fleet on Bridge 873.8
Late in the afternoon of June 1, 1995, a westbound Santa Fe intermodal crosses Bridge 873.8 east of Sais in New Mexico’s Abo Canyon. A trio of GEs in Super Fleet warbonnet dress power the train—C40-8W Nos. 943 and 933, and C44-9W No. 631.
It kept me to eat me. Man is rescued after spending a MONTH in a bear den in Russia
D. Hatswell #BBRUK Creature Reports #BBR
Published on Jun 26, 2019
Buy Our Car/Window/Glass Stickers to show support. Werewolf/Dogman www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293139937554 Bigfoot/Sasquatch www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293139939447 #BBR Team Car www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293139594021 Paypal paypal.me/BigfootResearch?loc…
Warning Graphic Images. A Russian man looking like a living corpse has been rescued from a bear den after he claims the animal broke his back and left him there for a month. The man, who identified himself only as Alexander, was discovered by hunting dogs in Russia’s remote Tuva region, close to the border with Mongolia, local media says. #BBR #BBRUK
I can only say wow. What a jaw-dropping story. Can you imagine? Waiting to be eaten!
Artist: Richard Wilkinson
Collection: Arthropoda Iconicus
A tapir petting a capybara with its nose
Oh, I am so loving this creature!
Seriously, this is awesome.
LOVELY DINOSAUR (Nature) – (Photo by Mehmet Karaca/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
I love chameleons.
Really, I do.
They are simply elegant magnificence.
Fabulous. Totally fabulous.
The Dinosaur of Delamere, Tree breaks, Strange Growls and Vandalised Bike Paths
D. Hatswell Creature Reports
Published on Jun 12, 2019
Join BBR and get your name on the Map of Worldwide Researchers, helping people to meet up with other researchers, witnesses, podcasters and many others. For a small fee of £2.99. Get your membership here www.ebay.co.uk/itm/British-Bi… Read the Witness Accounts Here www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1797797034 To see my videos before they are public, or to view exclusive podcasts and worldwide Cryptid reports please pop along to my Patreon Channel. I will be adding all of my sighting accounts here and many world wide reports I have collected over the years. www.patreon.com/DeborahHatswe…
Delamere Forest is so old, it has scars from ice-age glaciers of 10,000 years ago and its origins go way back into the mists of time. Rumours and reports of strange animals in Delamere Forest can be dated back to the Romans. The Romans cut a straight road through the forest to connect the fortress town of Chester to the salt mines of Northwich. The Romans reported hearing the loud roar of an unknown beast and frequently found deer and wild boars torn apart. There were also stories that some soldiers went missing trying to find the strange animal. At this time, Delamere Forest stretched right up to the southern banks of the Mersey. WEREWOLF RESEARCH
This is a great post from our Deb and it is chock full of Fortean finery.
Published on Jun 14, 2019
Composed by and for animals. – Pics by Jaromir Chalabala
Terrific tones, talent and a sweet message.