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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.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Daily Drift

Yeah, it's like that ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 199 countries around the world daily.   

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Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Paupack, Zeeland, Pollock, Bratenahl, Poquoson, Lents, Boise, Sylva and Friona, United States
Calgary, Saint John's, Sherwood, Mississauga, L'ancienne-Lorette and Lake Louise, Canada
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Colegiales, Argentina
Medellin, Colombia
Tipitapa, Nicaragua
Mexico City, Mexico
Teixoso, Porto and Lisbon, Portugal
Reykjavik, Iceland
Eixample, Palma, Santa Cruze De Tenerife, Madrid and Algeciras, Spain
Bucharest, Romania
Rouen, Toulouse and Lyon, France
Calgiari, Treviso, Ivrea, Rome, Milan and Venice, Italy
Vladivostok, Ryazan and Moscow, Russia
Dublin, Ireland
Arendal, Norway
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Amsterdam and Amersfoort, Netherlands
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Minsk, Belarus
Maribor, Slovenia
Nuremberg and Dresden, Germany
Waltham and Pool, England
Vienna, Austria
Pita Kotte, Sri Lanka
Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad, Iran
Carthage, Tunisia
New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Balotra, Pune, Konnagar, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Shillong, Calicut, Bikaner, Mumbai and Goa, India
La Dagotiere, Mauritius
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Doha, Qatar
Medan and Jakarta, Indonesia
Muscat, Oman
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Nairobi, Kenya
Durban, South Africa
The Pacific
Sydney, Poona and Melbourne, Australia

Today in History

1430 Burgundians capture Joan of Arc and sell her to the English.
1533 Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
1618 The Thirty Years War begins.
1701 Captain William Kidd, the Scottish pirate, is hanged on the banks of the Thames.
1785 Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.
1788 South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify U.S. Constitution.
1861 Pro-Union and pro-Confederate forces clash in western Virginia.
1862 Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson takes Front Royal, Virginia.
1864 Union General Ulysses Grant attempts to outflank Confederate Robert E. Lee in the Battle of North Anna, Virginia.
1900 Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, thirty-seven years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.
1901 American forces capture Filipino rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo.
1915 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1934 Gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are killed by Texas Rangers.
1945 Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo, commits suicide after being captured by Allied forces.
1949 The Federal Republic of West Germany is proclaimed.
1960 Israel announces the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.

Non Sequitur


Metal-Eating Plant Discovered, and It's Already at Risk

A recently discovered, yet already endangered, plant devours nickel and could help reduce pollution.

Snubbing lion hunters could preserve the endangered animals

Primates and patience

Primates and patience
A chimpanzee will wait more than two minutes to eat […]

New Bone Grown from Monkey's Own Skin Cells

The US study is the first time such a development has been shown in an animal that is similar to humans.

Humans, pets have same types of MRSA infections

Humans, pets have same types of MRSA infections
A shared population of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria circulates […]

Man’s best friend shares similar ‘albino’ gene

Man’s best friend shares similar ‘albino’ gene

Michigan State University researchers have identified a genetic mutation in […

Helping Honey Bees’ Health

Helping Honey Bees’ Health

You’ve probably heard that the honey bees in this country […]

Dopamine Turns Worker Ants into Warrior Queens

Dopamine Turns Worker Ants into Warrior Queens
The ritualized fighting behavior of one ant species is linked […]

New insect species named after Shakira and Jimmy Fallon

New insect species named after Shakira and Jimmy Fallon

Some Ecuadorian tribes were famous for making mummified shrunken heads […]

'Vicious' New Praying Mantis Discovered in Rwanda

by Elizabeth Howell

'Vicious' New Praying Mantis Discovered in Rwanda
The female wingless "bush tiger mantis" (Dystacta tigrifrutex) from Nyungwe National Park in …
On a cool and rainy night in a dense, mountainous forest in Rwanda, insect-surveying scientists discovered a new species of praying mantis, one whose wingless females are "vicious hunters" that prowl for prey as if they were marauding tigers.
The researchers have named the newfound praying mantis species — which was discovered in Nyungwe National Park — Dystacta tigrifrutex, or "bush tiger mantis."
"The new species is amazing, because the fairly small female prowls through the underbrush searching for prey, while the male flies appear to live higher in the vegetation," stated Riley Tedrow, a Case Western Reserve University evolutionary biology student who led the research.
Researchers found out about the species after a winged male was attracted to a light trap the scientists had set up to study the local insects. After fortuitously trapping a female from the leaf litter, the scientists got another lucky break: She laid an egg case (called an ootheca). This allowed the scientists to study the nymphs and adults in one three-week field session, which is a rarity in insect science for one field trip.
The researchers compared the new specimens with those found in museums and described in scientific papers; the scientists also looked at various measurements of the bush tiger mantis' bodies, such as color and length. Through these analyses, the researchers concluded the species belongs to the genus Dystacta; until now, this genus had consisted of just one species, D. alticeps, which is spread all over Africa.
One feature could have provided a big help in identifying the species, the male genitalia. This, however, was missing, as ants had gobbled up these vital parts while the male dried up in the Rwandan heat, the researchers noted.
The scientists also tracked down a dozen species that were previously not known to live in Rwanda, and urged that conservation authorities place the park under protection so as not to endanger the new finds. A follow-up expedition is planned in June to gauge the size of the bush tiger's habitat.
A study based on the research will be published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

The Frog That Turns Blue

The Moor Frog (native to Europe and Asia) is a small and rather unprepossessing amphibian. They grow up to seven centimeters in length and are a reddish-brown color. However, all that changes once a year between March and June. It is then that the male of the species turns blue.



The Maned Wolf

Despite being called a wolf and resembling a fox, the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is not closely related to any other living canine and is the only member of the Chrysocyon genus. The Maned Wolf is on the IUCN red list of endangered species. Habitat destruction is the main threat to maned wolves. They have almost no natural enemies, but nevertheless are in great danger because they need wide, uninterrupted spaces. In addition, people kill the Maned Wolf for its body parts, believed to have magical properties.

Rare Pygmy Hippo Baby Born

How cute is this little zoo baby? Lani the Pygmy Hippopotamus was born on March 18, 2014 at Basel Zoo in Switzerland. At birth, the tiny hippo was the size of a rabbit, weighing in at just under 11.5 pounds.
The birth was a happy occasion for the staff at Basel Zoo, as it has been fourteen years since a baby of this species was born there, and it did not survive. Lani's mother Ashaki accompanies her when she is in the outdoor area of their enclosure. Lani is allowed to roam only on sunny days for now, as she needs to keep warm. Her keepers say she enjoys hiding in the bushes and snacking on Fennel and other plant leaves.

Pygmy hippopotamus are severely endangered. They typically live in the rainforests of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Until recently, these countries suffered from political unrest and instability; thus, few researchers and conservationists operate there. Basel Zoo donates 17,000 Swiss francs each year to support a conservation project in Sierra Leone.

Mysterious elephant having a paddle at Florida beach was probably there for a birthday party

An elephant spotted on North Redington Beach in Pinellas County, Florida, on Saturday was likely part of a beach birthday party.
Back in February, a woman asked the city commission to sign off on having the trained elephant to make an appearance at her 60th birthday party.
Commissioners approved that request.

Beach goers had spotted the elephant having a paddle in the comfortable Gulf of Mexico waters.

Couple surprised to find eight-foot alligator having a dip in their pool

Sharon Bente heard a noise in her backyard in Bradenton, Florida, at about 4am on Thursday when she found an eight-foot alligator taking a dip in her pool.
"I saw something that is not usually in the pool along with the little floaty, and it turned out to be an alligator," she said. The gator had ripped through a screen of the enclosed patio, said Bente's husband, John.
"He was just swimming around in circles," he said. "He tried to get up here for awhile, [but] I think he was a little intimidated with everybody watching, too." A trapper later came and removed the reptile after the couple called the Sheriff's Office.

"It was quite an evening," said John. "I'm sure there's other alligators. I'm sure I'm going to be sleeping with my - with at least one eye open for a while." The couple has since repaired the screen surrounding the pool, while the gator was taken to a farm in Arcadia.

Get a load of this ....

Take a look at this strange deep-water fish that washed up on shore.... in North Carolina!

Newly Found Godzilla Shark Featured Teeth Like Namesake

Godzilla shark ruled a warm lagoon 300 million years ago in what is now New Mexico. 

A Tiny, Toothy Catfish with Bulldog Snout Defies Classification

A Tiny, Toothy Catfish with Bulldog Snout Defies Classification
Kryptoglanis shajii is a strange fish – and the closer […]

Mysterious sea star disease makes its way to Oregon

by Cassandra Profita
Divers have documented the first cases of sea star wasting syndrom in Oregon. Image courtesy of Courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium
Divers have documented the first cases of sea star wasting syndrome in Oregon.
The mysterious disease that has caused widespread sea star die-offs in Puget Sound is now killing dozens of sea stars off the Oregon Coast.
Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium made the discovery during a survey on April 27 that revealed 48 dead and dying sea stars in a 60-square-meter area in Yaquina Bay on Oregon’s central coast. The symptoms of wasting syndrome were seen in sunflower stars, ochre stars and giant pink stars.
Divers from the The Oregon Coast Aquarium documented some of the afflicted sea stars of off Oregon’s central coast.
Sea stars infected with the disease physically deteriorate before they die. In some cases, afflicted arms break off from the sea star’s body and walk away before dissolving completely. Scientists suspect a bacteria or virus is causing it, but they don’t know for sure. Until April, there had only been a few cases reported in Oregon.
Click for interactive map from data.piscoweb.org. 
Erin Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, says divers had been conducting surveys in the ocean off the central Oregon coast since January, but they hadn’t found any afflicted sea stars until their April survey.“They found, basically dead, melting animals,” Paxton said. “Their arms were curling up, they had signs of lesions or arms had detached and walked away from the bodies completely.”
Aquarium divers are planning additional surveys this month.
One of the afflicted sea star arms documented on a recent dive off the central Oregon coast. Image courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium
One of the afflicted sea star arms documented on a recent dive off the central Oregon coast.
“We just found it, so we don’t know how widespread it is yet,” she said. “It is concerning. The species affected are widely regarded as a keystone species in the Oregon rocky reef ecosystem. If it widely the species off our shores, that will change the entire food chain for that marine food web.”The aquarium research team is working with researchers at University of California at Santa Cruz, the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Multi-Agency Intertidal Network.
Kristen Milligan, program coordinator for PISCO, said the problem documented off the Oregon coast goes beyond symptoms that appear in sea stars from stressful environments.
“The current outbreak along the West Coast is ‘true’ wasting disease, meaning that sea stars have these extreme symptoms while in suitable ‘healthy’ habitat,” she said.

Drunk Zebrafish Doubles Its Swim-Speed Limit

Does a group of sober zebrafish encourage one drunk fish to swim really fast? 

‘World’s biggest dinosaur’ discovered in Argentina

A technician lies next to the femur of a dinosaur at the Egidio Feruglio Museum in Argentina's Patagonian city …

Paleontologists in Argentina say they recently discovered fossils belonging to the largest dinosaur on record. During its lifetime, the new species of titanosaur is believed to have stood 65-feet-tall, was more than 130-feet-long, and weighed 77 tons (177,000 pounds).
"Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known that walked on Earth," researchers Dr. Jose Luis Carballido and Dr. Diego Pol told the BBC.
Its enormous length was spread out across a long neck and tail, with a relatively small skull. To put the newly discovered titanosaur’s enormous size in context, a T-Rex weighed about 7 tons.
The fossils were first spotted by a local farm worker in 2011 and were fully excavated by a team from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio led by Carballido and Pol. The fossils, taken from seven different titanosaurs, were described as being in “remarkable condition.”
"Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high -- equal to a seven-story building." Carballido said.
Despite its overwhelming size, the giant titanosaur, belonging to the larger sauropod group of dinosaurs, is believed to have been a herbivore, roaming through the forests of the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago.
“This is a true paleontological treasure,” Carbailido said in a statement.
Carballido and Pol said in choosing a name for the newly discovered species, the researchers want to honor both the historic size of the fossils but also the farming community that first stumbled upon the remains.
"It will be named describing its magnificence and in honor to both the region and the farm owners who alerted us about the discovery," they said.
This was the second major titanosaur find in 2014. Back in January, a team of Pennsylvania scientists uncovered fossils belonging to the Yongjinglong datangi during an excavation in China.
Carbaillido and Pol say the 150 fossils were found in close proximity to other species, including carnivores. They say the unusual placement means the dinosaurs likely died in a draught, either due to dehydration or after getting stuck in the mud.
"It's like two semi trucks, one after another, and the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants together in weight," Carballido said. "Such dimensions put the focus on the extent to which these animals may have grown. It's a real paleontological treasure," he added.

Daily Comic Relief


Animal News

A 19-year-old Syrian brown bear went under the knife to repair a herniated disc.
Dads often get a bad rap in the animal kingdom, but many animal moms engage in behavior that would never be celebrated in a Mother’s Day card.
Fishermen off the coast of Japan hauled in a rare shark recently, marking the 58th time in history one of its kind were seen or caught by man.
Something about at least two kinds of neonicotinoids - a class of insecticide -- prompts bees to abandon their hives during winter and die.
Lasting feelings of pain or anxiety after an injury may seem perplexing, but they serve an evolutionary purpose, research suggests.

More Animal News

The 103-year-old orca paid a visit to the waters off Washington State.
What's better than one new dinosaur? Two! This week, discoveries of two new huge plant-eating dinosaurs were announced.
Small, toothy fish, that resembles the creature from the movie 'Alien,' is turning out to be a big mystery for the scientists who study it.
Deadbeat-penguin dad abandons his incubation duties, and in step Jumbs and Kermit.
The world’s oldest known fossilized sperm tells a bizarre tale of life 17 million years ago.
Three years and thousands of miles later, the animal has found a mate and likely produced offspring.
Without enemy-free territory, wolf packs will fight each other to the death.
A new metric offers a surprising answer, and it could help in the design of cars and underwater vehicles.

Still More Animal News

The sunken carcasses of marine animals sheds light on a rarely seen event.
Narwhals are considered to be "the unicorns of the sea" because of the long tusk on their heads! Did you know these tusks are actually teeth? Laci is here to tell you everything you need to know.
Octopuses don't know where their six arms and two legs are in any given moment, but a new study shows why they never tie their limbs in a knot.
The creatures have surprisingly high levels of naturally produced carbon monoxide, a noxious gas that is deadly at high concentrations in their blood.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • The Science of Selfies
  • 10 Magical Facts About Unicorns
  • How Extreme Isolation Warps The Mind
  • Is Farting In The Workplace Acceptable?
And more ...
These friends are  our Animal Picture, for today.