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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Daily Drift

Deep thoughts ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 193 countries around the world daily.
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Today in History

1553 The Sadians defeat the last of their enemies and establish themselves as rulers of Morocco.
1561 Philip II of Spain gives orders to halt colonizing efforts in Florida.
1577 William of Orange makes his triumphant entry into Brussels, Belgium.
1667 Slaves in Virginia are banned from obtaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.
1739 The Austrians sign the Treaty of Belgrade after having lost the city to the Turks.
1779 The American navy under John Paul Jones, commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeats and captures the British man-of-war Serapis.
1788 Louis XVI of France declares the Parliament restored.
1795 A national plebiscite approves the new French constitution, but so many voters sustain that the results are suspect.
1803 British Major General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeats the Marathas at Assaye, India.
1805 Lieutenant Zebulon Pike pays $2,000 to buy from the Sioux a 9-square-mile tract at the mouth of the Minnesota River that will be used to establish a military post, Fort Snelling.
1806 The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives back in St. Louis just over three years after its departure.
1864 Confederate and Union forces clash at Mount Jackson, Front Royal and Woodstock in Virginia during the Valley campaign.
1911 The Second International Aviation Meet opens in New York.
1912 Mack Sennet's first "Keystone Cop" film debuts, Cohen Collects a Debt.
1945 The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.
1952 Richard Nixon responds to charges of a secret slush fund during his 'Checkers Speech.'
1954 East German police arrest 400 citizens as U.S. spies.
1967 Soviets sign a pact to send more aid to Hanoi.
1973 Juan Peron is re-elected president of Argentina after being overthrown in 1955.
1983 Gerrie Coetzee (Gerhardus Coetzee), boxer from South Africa; first boxer from the African continent to win a world heavyweight tittle (World Boxing Association).
1983 Gulf Air Flight 771 from Karachi, Pakistan, to Abu Dhabi, UAE, bombed; all 117 aboard die.
1992 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates 3,700-lb. bomb in Belfast, completely destroying the Northern Ireland forensic laboratory, injuring 20 people and damaging 700 houses.
2002 The first public version of Mozilla Firefox browser released; originally called Phoenix 0.1 its name was changed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies.
2004 Hurricane Jeanne causes severe flooding in Haiti; over 1,000 reported dead.

Non Sequitur


The Dirndl Code Expert Tips for a Rollicking Oktoberfest

by Julia Stanek
The Dirndl Code: Expert Tips for a Rollicking Oktoberfest
What does a dirndl apron reveal about its wearer, and how do visitors get seats inside the beer tents? An Oktoberfest expert answers questions about how to get the most out of the world's largest folk festival, which begins this weekend.  More

FBI data shows US cops made one pot arrest every 42 seconds in 2012

"Residents of two states voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, but despite an increase in public support for liberalizing drug policy, American police arrested about the same number of people last year on pot-related charges as in 2011."

Origins of genomic 'dark matter' discovered

A duo of scientists at Penn State University has achieved a major milestone in understanding how genomic "dark matter" originates. This "dark matter" -- called non-coding RNA -- does not contain the blueprint for making proteins and yet it comprises more than 95 percent of the human genome. The researchers have discovered that essentially all coding and non-coding RNA originates at the same types of locations along the human genome. The team's findings eventually may help to pinpoint exactly where complex-disease traits reside, since the genetic origins of many diseases reside outside of the coding region of the genome.
Origins of genomic 'dark matter' discovered
A duo of scientists at Penn State University has achieved a major milestone in understanding genomic "dark matter" -- called non-coding RNA. This "dark matter" is difficult to detect and no one knows exactly what it is doing or why it is there in our genome, but scientists suspect it may be the source of inherited diseases. This research achievement may help to pinpoint exactly where complex-disease traits reside in the human genome. This illustration shows, in the upper left corner, a chromosome -- a densely compressed package containing one long, continuous strand of DNA. The DNA is pervasively transcribed into RNA, but only a very small fraction of the RNA has the instructions (or codes) for making proteins. The green circles in this illustration represent places along the strand of DNA where transcription originates. New research led by B. Franklin Pugh of Penn State University shows that essentially all RNA, whether or not it codes for proteins, originates at the same types of locations along the strand of DNA. The findings eventually may help to pinpoint exactly where complex-disease traits reside, since the genetic origins of many diseases reside outside of the coding region of the genome [Credit: National Institutes of Health and B. Franklin Pugh, Penn State University]
The research, which will be published as an Advance Online Publication in the journal Nature on 18 September 2013, was performed by B. Franklin Pugh, holder of the Willaman chair in Molecular Biology at Penn State, and postdoctoral scholar Bryan Venters, who now holds a faculty position at Vanderbilt University.

In their research, Pugh and Venters set out to identify the precise location of the beginnings of transcription -- the first step in the expression of genes into proteins. "During transcription, DNA is copied into RNA -- the single-stranded genetic material that is thought to have preceded the appearance of DNA on Earth -- by an enzyme called RNA polymerase and, after several more steps, genes are encoded and proteins eventually are produced," Pugh explained. He added that, in their quest to learn just where transcription begins, other scientists had looked directly at RNA. However, Pugh and Venters instead determined where along human chromosomes the proteins that initiate transcription of the non-coding RNA were located.

"We took this approach because so many RNAs are rapidly destroyed soon after they are made, and this makes them hard to detect," Pugh said. "So rather than look for the RNA product of transcription we looked for the 'initiation machine' that makes the RNA. This machine assembles RNA polymerase, which goes on to make RNA, which goes on to make a protein." Pugh added that he and Venters were stunned to find 160,000 of these "initiation machines," because humans only have about 30,000 genes. "This finding is even more remarkable, given that fewer than 10,000 of these machines actually were found right at the site of genes. Since most genes are turned off in cells, it is understandable why they are typically devoid of the initiation machinery."

The remaining 150,000 initiation machines -- those Pugh and Venters did not find right at genes -- remained somewhat mysterious. "These initiation machines that were not associated with genes were clearly active since they were making RNA and aligned with fragments of RNA discovered by other scientists," Pugh said. "In the early days, these fragments of RNA were generally dismissed as irrelevant since they did not code for proteins." Pugh added that it was easy to dismiss these fragments because they lacked a feature called polyadenylation -- a long string of genetic material, adenosine bases -- that protect the RNA from being destroyed. Pugh and Venters further validated their surprising findings by determining that these non-coding initiation machines recognized the same DNA sequences as the ones at coding genes, indicating that they have a specific origin and that their production is regulated, just like it is at coding genes.

"These non-coding RNAs have been called the 'dark matter' of the genome because, just like the dark matter of the universe, they are massive in terms of coverage -- making up over 95 percent of the human genome. However, they are difficult to detect and no one knows exactly what they all are doing or why they are there," Pugh said. "Now at least we know that they are real, and not just 'noise' or 'junk.' Of course, the next step is to answer the question, 'what, in fact, do they do?'"

Pugh added that the implications of this research could represent one step towards solving the problem of "missing heritability" -- a concept that describes how most traits, including many diseases, cannot be accounted for by individual genes and seem to have their origins in regions of the genome that do not code for proteins. "It is difficult to pin down the source of a disease when the mutation maps to a region of the genome with no known function," Pugh said. "However, if such regions produce RNA then we are one step closer to understanding that disease."



Ted Cruz and Jim DeMint Privately Admit That repugicans Won’t Defund Obamacare

Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot blew the lid off the repugicans’ Obamacare bluff by saying on Faux News that even Ted Cruz and Jim DeMint are privately admitting that repugicans can’t defund the ACA. V
While discussing what the repugicans are hoping to accomplish by tying Obamacare to funding the government, Gigot said, “I’ve talked to these people privately. They don’t think going to. Even Ted Cruz and Jim Demint and these guys, they say well, we’re not going to be able to defund Obamacare.” Daniel Henninger of the WSJ added that Cruz’s goal was to launch a grassroots uprising against Obamacare, just like what happened with the threat of military strikes in Syria.
Cruz and Rand Paul tried to stage a big tea party rally in DC to defund Obamacare,10efund-obamacare-rally-attracts-dozens-medicare-elderly-people. But their event drew hundreds, not the thousands that they expected. It had become apparent that Cruz’s efforts have been a total failure, and that is why he is trying so hard to cut and run from his own campaign to defund Obamacare.
Once again, the repugican base has been scammed by their own elected officials. The repugicans know that they can’t defund Obamacare. This is all a scheme to raise money, and get repugican voters fired up for the 2014 election. Cruz was also hoping to become the leader of a popular rebellion that would carry him to the 2016 repugican presidential nomination. Expect lots of tough talk about defunding Obamacare from Ted Cruz, but it’s all bullshit, and he knows it.
The country is facing the prospect of a potential government shutdown, because repugicans want to fire up their base, and/or run for president in 2016. Gigot’s comments are more evidence that repugicans know that they are going to ultimately lose any fight over defunding Obamacare and shutting down the government.
Americans should be outraged by this pointless circus, and should give House repugicans a one way ticket to the unemployment line on Election Day 2014.

The truth be told


The disappearing "middle class"

Excerpts from an essay at Salon:
When I was growing up, it was assumed that America’s shared prosperity was the natural endpoint of our economy’s development, that capitalism had produced the workers paradise to which Communism unsuccessfully aspired. Now, with the perspective of 40 years, it’s obvious that the nonstop economic expansion that lasted from the end of World War II to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 was a historical fluke, made possible by the fact that the United States was the only country to emerge from that war with its industrial
capacity intact. Unfortunately, the middle class – especially the blue-collar middle class – is also starting to look like a fluke, an interlude between Gilded Ages that more closely reflects the way most societies structure themselves economically. For the majority of human history – and in the majority of countries today – there have been only two classes: aristocracy and peasantry. It’s an order in which the many toil for subsistence wages to provide luxuries for the few. Twentieth century America temporarily escaped this stratification, but now, as statistics on economic inequality demonstrate, we’re slipping back in that direction. Between 1970 and today, the share of the nation’s income that went to the middle class – households earning two-thirds to double the national median – fell from 62 percent to 45 percent. Last year, the wealthiest 1 percent took in 19 percent of America’s income – their highest share since 1928.

Capitalism has been doing exactly what it was designed to do: concentrating wealth in the ownership class, while providing the mass of workers with just enough wages to feed, house and clothe themselves.

The United States will never again be as wealthy as it was in the 1950s and ’60s. Never again will 18-year-olds graduate directly from high school to jobs that pay well enough to buy a house and support a family.

Daily Comic Relief


This Tiny Town Is Trying To Stop Neo-Nazis From Taking Over

by Meg Lindholm
Craig Cobb's house on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he spends his days posting online comments advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. Cobb, a self-described white supremacist, has invited fellow white separatists to help him transform the town into a white enclave. 
Craig Cobb's house on Main Street in Leith, N.D., where he spends his days posting online comments advocating for white supremacists to join his settlement. Cobb, a self-described white supremacist, has invited fellow white separatists to help him transform the town into a white enclave. 
A white supremacist has plans to take over a tiny town in North Dakota and turn it into one for whites only. This weekend, members of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations will descend upon the town in a step toward making that vision a reality — and several residents are trying to stop them.
Leith, N.D., which sits 3 miles off the nearest paved road, has been in decline for decades. The railroad, schools and most of the town's businesses and residents are gone. Many buildings are held together by rotting boards and slabs of concrete. At the urging of residents, the county health department has condemned several of the structures.
It's part of an effort to stop Craig Cobb, a white supremacist, from easily moving in others like him to take over the town and its small local government.
Bobby Harper, who lives right across an alleyway from Cobb, is the only black resident in the town of 24 people. He says he was prepared to tolerate Cobb as long as he kept to himself, but he's angry now that Cobb has invited other white separatists to join him.
Bobby Harper, with his wife, Sherill, lives across the alley from Cobb. He says he was prepared to tolerate Cobb as long as he kept to himself, but he's angry now that Cobb has invited other white supremacists to join him.
Bobby Harper, with his wife, Sherill, lives across the alley from Cobb. He says he was prepared to tolerate Cobb as long as he kept to himself, but he's angry now that Cobb has invited other white supremacists to join him.
"He knows that those people that he's inviting to this town are full of hate," Harper says. "He's bringing his people in that doesn't like me just because of my race, and that's not the way it should be."
When Cobb moved to Leith last year, he had already purchased 12 properties. He's given most of them away to people who are notorious in the white separatist movement. He gave one to a former Ku Klux Klan leader and another to Jeff Schoep, leader of one of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organizations, the National Socialist Movement.
Cobb invited Schoep and NSM members to visit Leith for two days, starting this Sunday, to showcase his vision of an all-white community. He says he wants to install flags of the "formerly white nations of Europe."
"It would be extraordinarily beautiful when people enter the town, particularly at night," Cobb says. "We will probably have the National Socialist hunting flag with stag horns and a very small swastika in the center — very discreet."
Cobb's plans don't end in Leith. He also wants to take over other towns roughly adjacent to the state's oil fields, like one near the Canadian border called Alkabo. "A little bit like 'al-Qaida' but 'Alkabo,' " he says with a laugh.
Gregory Gordon, a law professor at the University of North Dakota, says he doesn't think Cobb is necessarily dangerous but that he should not be underestimated.
"I don't think we should take him lightly, because he is very much into glorifying and promoting violence against racial minorities," Gordon says.
No one has come to Leith, N.D., but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb (above) could succeed. The mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb's dream remains just that.
No one has come to Leith, N.D., but the community is mobilizing to fight out of fear that Cobb (above) could succeed. The mayor has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure Cobb's dream remains just that.
Kevin Cederstrom/AP But, he says, laws like the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 that prohibit discrimination in housing opportunities will very likely put a brake on Cobb's all-white vision.
Still, the residents of Leith aren't feeling hopeful. Several say their best chance of saving their town may be to legislate it out of existence. They are considering and transferring control to the county.
It's a painful choice, says longtime resident Bethany Haberstroh.
"It's sad seeing a town die off, but what's heartbreaking is to see a town struggling with the decision of dissolving its government because an extreme hate group is wanting to take over," she says.
Meanwhile, Harper, Cobb's across-the-alley neighbor, says he won't be driven out. "They gotta do something very drastic to make it very unsafe and uncomfortable for me. Right now, I don't see it happening," he says.
A protest against Cobb and the National Socialist Movement is also being planned for this weekend. The town's mayor says his fervent hope is for peace on both sides.

Random Photos


Sailor girl, 1940s
1940s 'Sailor Girl'

Medical terminology named after Nazis

Surprisingly, there are a good half-dozen medical eponyms that come from Nazi doctors who performed experiments on unwilling human subjects or used bodies of executed prisoners in their work — often in the course of discovering the very things that now bear their names. Clara cells, for instance, are a type of cell that lines small airways in your lungs. They're named for Max Clara, who discovered them by dissecting executed political prisoners.

Secret Code Music Score May Lead to Nazi Gold

by Björn Hengst and Benjamin Dürr Secret Code: Music Score May Lead to Nazi Gold
After some initial digs, a Dutch filmmaker believes he may have found the site of buried Nazi treasure long rumored to exist. He was led to the Bavarian town of Mittenwald after cracking a code believed to be hidden in a music score.  More

U-1206 ... The sub that sunk because of its toilet

On March 28, 1945 the submarine departed from Kiel for its first training patrol in the North Sea, returning on March 30. The submarine departed from Horten for a one-day patrol on April 2, and its first active patrol began on April 6, when it departed from Kristiansand. On April 14, while on patrol, the vessel sank after the toilet was operated improperly.


U-1206 was one of the late war boats fitted with new deepwater high-pressure toilets which allowed them to be used while running at depth. Flushing these facilities was extremely complicated and special technicians were trained to operate them.
On April 14, 1945, 8 miles (13 km) off Peterhead, Scotland, while cruising at a depth of 200 feet (61 m), misuse of the new toilet caused large amounts of water to flood the boat. According to the Commander’s official report, while in the engine room helping to repair one of the diesel engines, he was informed that a malfunction involving the toilet caused a leak in the forward section. The leak flooded the submarine’s batteries (located beneath the toilet) causing them to release chlorine gas, leaving him with no alternative but to surface. Once surfaced, U-1206 was discovered and bombed by British patrols, forcing Schlitt to scuttle the submarine. One man died in the attack, three men drowned in the heavy seas after abandoning the vessel and 46 were captured.

Queen Marie of Romania

 "Diana Mandache originally published the picture in her book about Queen Marie and in correspondence noted that (then) Princess Marie was dressed as the Sun for a fancy ball."

Human News

We've all dreamed of hitting the lotto -- going from broke to livin' large in a minute's time! But, of course, the chances of that happening are really small. How small? Laci looks at the odds.
From fruity to minty to popcorn-y, all smells can be classified as one of 10 types of aroma, scientists say.
Outbreaks in China and Saudi Arabia worry doctors; what does it take for a contagion to make the big jump?
Arg! That's right, matey ... International Talk Like a Pirate Day is here again. So Trace set sail in search of buried treasure and an answer to why people speak differently around the world.
During a coma, the brain's electrical activity can diminish until medical devices show a flat line. But this may not be the end for the brain, researchers have found.
Go pretty much anywhere on the Internet, and you you're likely to find a whole bunch of angry people -- making comments about articles and videos, and blowing up Twitter. Anthony explains why anger is so prevalent online.

Human History

Pirate history stretches back for millennia, from the ancient Greeks into the 21st century.
Examples of fantasized, attempted and real cannibalism have been around for millennia. What's behind people eating people?

The 'Columbian Exchange'

How Discovering the Americas Transformed the World 
by Johann Grolle
 The 'Columbian Exchange': How Discovering the Americas Transformed the World
Columbus' arrival in the Americas sparked the globalization of animals, plants and microbes. A recent book takes a closer look at how items from the New World, such as potatoes, guano and rubber, quickly and radically transformed the rest of the planet.  More..

Finnish archaeologist digs up ancient civilization in Brazil

Archaeologist Martti Pärssinen has made sensational finds of an ancient civilisation in the Amazonian area. The summer’s digs in Brazil have unearthed unique artefacts, including entirely new forms of ceramics. 
Finnish archaeologist digs up ancient civilization in Brazil
Professor Martti Pärssinen (upper left) oversees the digs in Brazil
[Credit: Yle / Mika Mäkeläinen]
The clearing of the Amazon rainforest has revealed mysterious patterns in the earth. The large-scale patterns are best visible from the air, where Finnish archaeologist Martti Pärssinen takes pictures of them.

The geometrical patterns have been made with earth mounds and moats. Many of them are huge, with sides measuring up to a few hundred meters. Over 300 such structures have been discovered in the Brazilian state of Acre alone.

The construction feat involved can be compared to that achieved by those that built the pyramids in Egypt.

Pärssinen points out that people here must have expended as much energy as the workers in Egypt, shaping the earth into vast motes and mounds, in complex, multiple structures.

Sensational finds

The find has been a sensation for researchers, as it was previously thought that much of the Amazon was merely sparsely populated, wild rainforest.

Graduate student Ivandra Rampanelli from Spain's University of València says the patterns are rewriting the history of habitation of the Amazon – an area that was before seen as devoid of great civilizations.

Radiocarbon dating shows the oldest patterns were built some 2,000 years ago, and that the civilization suddenly ended 500 years ago, possibly due to foreign diseases brought by Europeans.

Now the archaeological excavations are shedding light on the life of this ancient people. Record quantities of ceramics have been unearthed, including 300 kilograms of pot shards.

Some of the ornamentation on these is totally new to science, while other figures prove connections with faraway populations in the Andes.

Pärssinen couldn’t be more excited, noting that this may be one of the last places in the world where such rich findings can still be made. Almost everything that is discovered here brings new knowledge of the past, he says.

You can watch a TV report on this story here.

Neandertals, not modern humans, made first specialized bone tools in Europe

One day in 2011, undergraduate student Naomi Martisius was sorting through tiny bone remnants in the University of California, Davis, paleoanthropology lab when she stumbled across a peculiar piece. The

Archaeology News

Inside a 2,600-year-old tomb lies the likely remains of a prince from one of the most enigmatic cultures of all time.
The body, sealed for 2,600 years until this week, may be a relative of the legendary fifth king of Rome.

Earth News

Arctic sea ice extent rebounds from last year's record low, but sea ice volume continues to decrease.
Storms can die twice, and two have had second lives this month already in the Atlantic.
Lake Superior was inferior to an ancient lake in southern Africa. The 35,000 sq. mi. lake once filled in a low-lying section of northern Botswana.
Earth could continue to host life for at least another 1.75 billion years, as long as some disaster doesn't intervene.
A handy world map shows where adapting to climate change will be easiest and where it will be a continual struggle for survival. 

Astronomical News

The alien diatoms are back! This time they're infesting our stratosphere, messing with our high-altitude balloons... possibly.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has scoured the red planet's atmosphere for methane -- possible evidence for microbial life -- but has found none.

Interesting Pictures

Steampunk Chariot Racing

Dinosaur Feathers Found in Ancient Amber

More and more evidence of feathered dinosaurs comes to light as scientists look in different places. Paleontologists in Canada began digging through large museum collections of amber searching for tiny pieces of feathers that no one would bother with before.
The researchers combed through thousands of minuscule amber nuggets from nearly 80 million years ago. Among them they found 11 M&M-sized globules with traces of ancient feathers and fuzz. A number resembled modern feathers—some fit for flying and others designed to dive. And unlike fossils, the amber preserved colors too: white, gray, red and brown.

But a few hollow hair-like structures stumped researchers. The unidentifiable filaments weren’t plant fibers, fungus or fur, so the researchers surmise that they are protofeathers (thought to be the evolutionary precursors to feathers).
See more pictures at Discover magazine.

Tuna closely related to some of the strangest fish in the sea

Some of the strangest fish in the sea are closely related to dinner table favourites the tunas and mackerels, an international team including Oxford University scientists has found.Deep sea fish such as the black swallower [Chiasmodon niger] with an extendable stomach that enables it to eat fish larger than itself, and manefishes, some sporting spiky fins like a Mohican haircut, are close cousins to mackerels and tuna despite having completely different body shapes and lifestyles.
Tuna closely related to some of the strangest fish in the sea
A mixed school of tuna [Credit: Bill Boyce, boyceimage.com]
The team, led by Dr Masaki Miya at Chiba Natural History Museum in Japan, suggests that this extended family of fishes might owe its success today to the devastating extinction that marked the demise of dinosaurs and many other creatures 66 million years ago.

The researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE this week how they combined DNA analysis of over 5000 modern fish species with fossil evidence to solve the mystery of which species were closest to tunas and mackerels in the fish family tree.

‘What was immediately clear from our result is that the extended family of tunas and mackerels is made up of fishes that all look very different from one another, with different ways of life, but which share one key trait: they all dwell in the open ocean,’ said Dr Miya of Chiba Natural History Museum. ‘This had been suggested before, but we were able to show that many additional groups of fishes inhabiting the open ocean – called the pelagic realm – were closely related to one another and to tunas.’

Reflecting this preference for the open ocean the team has called the extended tuna family tree: ‘Pelagia’. Although they share a preference for open-ocean habitats, members of Pelagia show radically different ways of life ranging from deep-sea fishes that live inside sac-like invertebrates to speedy, shallow-water predators such as the tuna.

‘Discovering that such radically different fish species are related is a bit like finding that a seal is more closely related to a cat than it is to a walrus!’ said Dr Matt Friedman of Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences, a co-author of the PLOS ONE paper. ‘By comparing genetic data with fossil evidence we were able to show that the origins of all these disparate groups lie in a period of rapid evolution that occurred around 65 million years ago. This is significant because this is when the Cretaceous extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs also killed off many groups of large fishes inhabiting the open ocean.

‘It’s likely that the common ancestor of this family lived in the deep ocean, helping it to survive this ancient extinction. It then emerged from its refuge to diversify and colonise the shallower waters to produce the profusion of related, but very different, species we see today.’

According to the team the new findings suggest a different way of thinking about past extinctions.

‘We tend to think of extinction events as damaging diversity but in fact they always offer opportunities for other species – for example, we mammals famously took advantage when the dinosaurs died out,’ said Dr Friedman. ‘What our study shows is that while extinctions sweep away old diversity they also see a new kind of diversity rapidly, at least on an evolutionary timescale, flooding in.’

Animal News

The three-month-old male is finally let loose to explore his enclosure at Illinois's Brookfield Zoo.
A new species of legless lizard is found living on the edge of a runway in Los Angeles. 

Animal Pictures


Blondes rule, yeah by Tampen on Flickr.