This creature could do a number on your head, eh?! Thatd mess up your day. It’s… so huge!
I love pterosaurs! I want to see one so bad, but I have lost the means to go where they hang out. Sigh.
Here are some nasty great bigguns you probably wouldn’t want to encounter.
Unless, of course, you are into being someone’s meal for the night.
A Field Guide to Shells and Lifeforms on Mars, part 1
Published on Oct 23, 2015
This is a video by Tim Beech, the owner of the now 22 year old Life On Mars website established in 1997 as The Peculiar Rocks of Mars. There’s only a single video on his YouTube channel, this one, so it looks like the series he speaks of never happened.
Maybe Tim just got disillusioned in his quest? These things are unknown. But this video has mighty few views for being up for four years.
I think the similarity in pattern and shape is quite interesting, but they could actually be just rocks in odd lighting… So many minerals form perfect geometric shapes here at home, so minerals would on Mars, too. Although these examples are not rigidly similar at all, some are rounded and well, it could be something. So there.
Yes… the more I think about it the minerals are out, (noting that rocks are lumps of minerals), but although “I Want To Believe,” it might be that while it’s certainly plausible, it is certainly not probable.
The movement clip (see sidebar) that Tim discovered does still intrigue me, though. The resolution he was working with for all of these shown here is just barely adequate for pleasant viewing, let alone analysis, so, yeah, illusion and pareidolia abound. Having said that, however, note that a few of them are still — of interest. And we mustn’t forget the myriad of fantastic “rocks” that our modern rovers have happened upon. And driven past.
Hey, here’s a link to Tim’s Martian Lifeforms forum. Not a lot there, though.
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.