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tictacmars

The full frame from NASA.

And now, from:

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Just thought I’d throw this in here, rather than my “interesting rocks” thread, since it doesn’t really have to do with rocks. Anyway, here’s a .gif made with some Curiosity Right Navcam images taken 13 seconds apart. Unfortunately, it appears that the Left Navcam apparently wasn’t taking pictures at the time. I guess they don’t do that all the time anymore. Anyway, it’s like that bright spot that showed up on one of the images a few weeks back, except that it’s black and kind of looks like one of those “tic-tac” deals that are so popular these days.

mars.jpl.nasa.gov…

tictacmars

Crop!

tictacmars

Aerial anomalies on Mars are a treat for me.

This one, of course, since it’s only on one frame from one camera, could be the old cosmic ray strike and that’s been trotted out for it. Of course.

But, then again, it doesn’t really look like a cosmic ray strike, so… who knows what it is?

Naturally, my preference is a device of some sort. Or, even better, a critter! Now, that’s unlikely!

Which leads all the way back to my yoot, when a glowing orange aerial anomaly first triggered my deep interest in all things Forteana.

I love this stuff…

And, again, as noted, it really doesn’t look like a cosmic ray strike. Just look at that shape. Ya dig? Seriously, now.

Dig it.

 

 

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.

FULL STORY

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.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Taylor & Francis GroupNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. 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 arrivalJournal 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!

Whee!

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.

 

 

the Bunny

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.

 

 

training

Astronauts David Scott, Neil Armstrong and Roger Chaffee with Geologist Joel Watkins during training in New Mexico in June, 1964.

Via historium

I wonder if they felt overflowing emotion regarding the amazing mission that they were about to embark on. I bet they did, but their training and professionalism made it easy to get past.