Venomous snake in Sydney, Australia

This video from Australia says about itself:

18 October 2016

Red-bellied black snake found outside bar in Sydney CBD.

By Daniel Uria in Australia:

Red-bellied black snake found outside of Australian pub

Oct. 18, 2016 at 2:41 PM

SYDNEY — Pub goers at a business district in Australia were shocked to find a possibly wounded snake slithering outside of the property.

The Morrison in Sydney shared a photo of the red-bellied black snake which was spotted outside the establishment on Tuesday afternoon.

“The staff couldn’t believe what they were seeing,” the bar’s manager told The Australian. “You don’t expect to see a massive deadly snake in the city while you are relaxing and having a drink.”

Police contacted handler Harley Jones who said the 4-foot long snake was in good condition although blood on its head indicated it may have suffered an injury.

“The snake’s injury is as much of a mystery as why it was there in the first place,” Jones said. “There was quite a lot of blood on the footpath.”

Possibly, a car caused the snake’s injury. Dutch NOS TV writes today (translated):

The vet found no internal injury to the snake. The animal has been named George, after the street where it was first seen in Sydney. It will probably get released in the wild in the coming weeks.

Red-bellied black snakes can grow to 2.5 meters long. The poison is fatal, although there are only a few known cases of people who have actually died because of the effects of a bite.

From the Australian Museum:

Red-bellied Black Snake

This beautiful serpent shares our love of sunshine and water, and is a familiar sight to many outdoor adventurers in eastern Australia. Attitudes towards these largely inoffensive snakes are slowly changing, however they are still often seen as a dangerous menace and unjustly persecuted.

Red-bellied black snake stuck in beer can

By Tania Dowsett in Australia, October 2016:

Snake with drinking problem gets rescued from beer can

An Aussie venomous red-bellied black snake gets a little too curious about those last few drops of beer in an empty can

The other evening a lovely man called concerned about this poor red belly who obviously had a drinking problem. So we took him for some help and where else would I go calling: Craig Bergman who very kindly helped remove the can so we could treat him and get him back to nature.

Valdosaurus dinosaur, well-preserved fossil found in England

This video says about itself:

2 September 2015

Dryosaurus” is a genus of an ornithopod dinosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic period. It was an iguanodont. Fossils have been found in the western United States, and were first discovered in the late 19th century. “Valdosaurus canaliculatus” and “Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki” were both formerly considered to represent species of “Dryosaurus”.

“Dryosaurus” had a long neck, long, slender legs and a long, stiff tail. Its arms, however, with five fingers on each hand, were short. Known specimens were about 8 to 14 feet long and weighed 170 to 200 pounds. However, the adult size is unknown, as no known adult specimens of the genus have been found.

“Dryosaurus” had a horny beak and cheek teeth and, like other ornithopods, was a herbivore. Some scientists suggest that it had cheek-like structures to prevent the loss of food while the animal processed it in the mouth.

A quick and agile runner with strong legs, “Dryosaurus” used its stiff tail as a counterbalance. It probably relied on its speed as a main defense against carnivorous dinosaurs.

The teeth of “Dryosaurus” were, according to museum curator John Foster, characterized by “a strong median ridge on the lateral surface.” “Dryosaurus” subsisted primarily on low growing vegetation in ancient floodplains.

A “Dryosaurus” hatchling found at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah confirmed that “Dryosaurus” followed similar patterns of craniofacial development to other vertebrates; the eyes were proportionally large while young and the muzzle proportionally short. As the animal grew, its eyes became proportionally smaller and its snout proportionally longer.

By Pete Buchholz in Britain:

A specimen of the dryosaurid Valdosaurus has been discovered on the Isle of Wight

The most complete specimen of the poorly known dryosaurid Valdosaurus canaliculatus has been discovered in Lower Cretaceous rocks on the Isle of Wight. This new discovery helps flesh out the anatomy of this dinosaur and is one of the most complete dinosaur specimens known from England.

The Isle of Wight off the south coast of England is a fossil-hunter’s paradise. Rocks of the Wessex Formation, deposited during the Early Cretaceous, approximately 130 million years ago, are exposed in numerous locations across the island. The Wessex Formation preserves numerous fish, turtles, crocodilians, and pterosaurs. It also has a rather famous dinosaur fauna, including the spinosaurid Baryonyx, the early tyrannosaur Eotyrannus, a number of fragmentary sauropods, and the ornithopods Iguanodon, Mantellisaurus, Hypsilophodon, and Valdosaurus.

Little dinosaur, belemnites, dukes in Pomeranian State Museum

This March 2016 video is about the Pommersches Landesmuseum, the Pomeranian State Museum in Greifswald town in Germany.

This 2015 video is about the Pommersches Landesmuseum as well.

As this blog has mentioned, we arrived there on 1 October 2016.

Not far from the museum entrance was the paleontology room.

There, the fossil, discovered in 1963, of Emausaurus ernstii. An ornithischian young dinosaur … well, by now about 190 million years old, so from the early Jurassic. The name refers to the Ernst Moritz Arndt University. This ornithischian, herbivorous dinosaur was about one meter in size.

Later in the Jurassic, the land of what is now Pomerania became sea; and remained so during the Cretaceous.

In the museum were fossils of Cretaceous cephalopods, belemnites, of the Belemnella genus.

Belemnella lanceolata

This picture shows a Belemnella lanceolata.

A bit further in the museum, amber, about forty million years old.

Still further, humans in the prehistory and history of Pomerania.

In the early Middle Ages, its inhabitants were Slavic tribes, practicing a polytheist religion. However, the Christian German empire attacked them. In the twelfth century, the Slavic dukes of Pomerania could only keep their dukedom by converting to Christianity, recognizing the German emperors as their overlords, and destroying the pagan temples.

In the sixteenth century, another conversion for the dukes and people of Pomerania: from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism. This is documented by an important item in the museum: the Croy Tapestry from 1544.

Croy Tapestry

In the seventeenth century, the ducal dynasty became extinct, and the kings of Sweden became the rulers. The harsh serfdom for the peasants in Pomerania became a model for the oppression of the peasantry in Sweden proper.

Stay tuned! As soon as the photos will be sorted out, there will be more blog posts here on the German Baltic Sea region, especially its birdlife.

Researchers Discover “Ghost Snake” in Madagascar

Quiet Kinetic

Malagasy cat-eyed snake The Malagasy cat-eyed snake (Madagascarophis meridionalis) is a relative of the ghost snake. Photo: Shutterstock

It might seem that, by 2016, it would be pretty rare to discover new species of animals. But a team of researchers from Louisiana State University have done just that.

They were looking for specimens of a different species when they found a snake they’d never seen before: Madagascarophis lolo, the ghost snake.

This snake’s very pale coloration and the fact that only one has ever been discovered earned it the name “ghost snake.” Lolo means ghost in the local Malagasy language.

The ghost snake belongs to a group of “cat-eyed snakes,” which have slit pupils like cats and are most active at night. They’re among the most common kinds of snake in Madagascar, but the closet relative of the ghost snake is found about 100 kilometers away, and it has only been…

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Psittacosaurus dinosaur’s camouflage colours discovered

This video from Germany says about itself:

3D camouflage in an ornithischian dinosaur

16 September 2016

We sat down in the Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt, with Dr Jakob Vinther, University of Bristol, to examine the colour patterns of Psittacosaurus. This exquisite fossil has its skin preserved intact and so we’re able to make inferences about the environment in which it used to live.

Paper available here.

From Current Biology, 26 September 2016:

3D Camouflage in an Ornithischian Dinosaur

In Brief

Countershading camouflage uses a dark-to-light gradient from back to belly to counter the light-to-dark gradient created by illumination. The body appears flatter and less conspicuous.

Vinther et al. use 3D reconstruction and radiance modeling to show that the dinosaur Psittacosaurus was countershaded and cryptic in a forested environment.


Preserved pigments in the dinosaur Psittacosaurus suggest countershading camouflage

We predicted the optimal countershading camouflage for different light environments

The dinosaur’s patterns would have been cryptic in a forest, but not open, habitat

We can also infer that dinosaur predators used shape-from-shading cues to detect prey

See also here.

Tyrannosaurus rex in Dutch museum, video

This 9 September 2016 Dutch video shows Tyrannosaurus rex fossil Trix, which arrived recently in Naturalis museum in Leiden in the Netherlands.