“Newly ‘discovered’ dino has heart shaped mojo”

Taking another look ar some ancient dinosaurs remains in the basement of at the American Museum of Natural History, Nicholas Longrich a postdoctoral associate at Yale found a fossilized bone fragment from a previously unknown dinosaur genus.

Mojoceratops, the dinosaur, was  a large plant-eater marked by its gaudy heart-shaped headgear that lived about 75 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period. Its fossils are found in Canada’s Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces.

“Mojo” seems like an unusual name for an ancient dinosaur, but its an early 20th-century African-American term meaning a magic charm or talisman, especially that used to attract sexual partners. So Mojoceratops seems to have been part of the stylish dinosaurs very much into impressing the ladies.

Paleontologists originally thought the Mojoceratops was part of that genus, and used plaster to restore the fossil to make the two specimens look identical. For more than 75 years, no one spotted Mojoceratops. Plastering to make perfection was a more common practice decades ago.

Mojoceratops, the dinosaur, was  a large plant-eater marked by its gaudy heart-shaped headgear that lived about 75 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period.

This drawing by Mr. Longrich (at the left) is his rendition of how the Mojoceratops might have looked back in the day.

Mr. Longrich’s finding was published this week in the Journal of Paleontology.


Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/debL2b

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cIOV5B

Image 1. courtesy of         http://bit.ly/b7iGrk

Image 2. courtesy of    http://bit.ly/989KPR


“Operation Helicopter Rescue at National Radio Observatory”

Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) the oldest national observatory in the US became Ground Zero for Operation Helicopter Rescue.
When you work in science you must be prepared for everything. It is a common occurrence when studying the stars in the heavens to observe various shooting stars and meteors falling out of the heavens. Nothing quite prepared the staff at the observatory to become assistants and support staff for one military Black Hawk helicopter rescue and the repair of another.

Rescue based at NRAO

On February 19, 2010 A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter took flight from the NRAO airstrip after being repaired Friday morning on its way to the crash site of a downed training Navy helicopter near the Randolph County line Greenbank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

The downed chopper was part of a training mission, carried 14 Navy personnel and three members of the West Virginia National Guard. It went down in more than four feet of snow.

Back to the story…
The National Guard Rescue copter landed at the observatory, because they were running out of fuel and needed minor repairs. After the emergency landing the crew ran into staff from the Observatory leaving for the day. Since the observatory has kitchen and dormitory facilities besides nearness to fire rescue services this chance landing became the ideal recovery and warm overnight facilities for the rescue mission. Scientists not only care about stars , but people too.  The facilities were offered to the military for their use. There were 17 people needing rescue.

The National Guard used the NRAO offices as their main base of operation and a make-shift hotel in the 60 bed bunk house and chow  hall on site. A cafeteria worker at the observatory, volunteered to prepare meals. She made lentil soup, chili, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and plenty of coffee. Six observatory employees offered their help in setting up the dorm to house the military personnel and worked with them on the search effort.
 By using sleds local search and rescue crews joined the National Guard and worked through the night to transported all 17 victims off the mountain.

The more severely injured were transported individually by sled with only a rescue worker. All others were transported down the hill in groups.
The sleds met up with a small snow groomer, a track-wheeled vehicle used on ski slopes, which then took them to a larger groomer waiting nearby. The large groomer, which was outfitted with a heated rear section, transported the injured to a group of ambulances waiting about a mile

snow groomer to the rescue

away from the Fire and Rescue team’s Snowshoe area station house.

By 12:30 p.m. Friday Mission Observatory Rescue was complete and all were safe.

“Thanks everyone for your help.” – Nature’s Crusaders


Excerpts and Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9Zd8Wi

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/aEpkzo

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/daKmwt

Armed Brazilian wandering spider on the attack in store’s bananas

The Brazilian wandering spiders (Phoneutria spp.), armed spiders are a genus of aggressive and highly venomous spiders found in tropical South and Central America. These spiders are members of the Ctenidae family of wandering spiders. Sometimes they wander far from home.250px-wandering_spider

In Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 19, 2009 an alert produce man found a spider in the bananas he was un-crating. The spider saw him and gave chase trying to bite him. Quickly he found an empty plastic container and trapped it. Then went to the internet to identify this hostile beauty.

He found that this spider is venomous and possibly deadly if seriously injected with venom. Although some experts dispute these findings. No one wants to volunteer to be the research guinea pigs for a study of the amount of venom or the duration of bite needed to kill a man. It is known that all bites are not deadly. Recent studies suggest that these spiders only inject venom in approximately one-third of their bites and may only inject a small amount in another third. However, research in this area is hindered by the difficulty of identifying particular species.

Bites from these spiders may result in only a couple of painful pinpricks, or may involve full-blown envenomation.,P. nigriventer venom contains a potent neurotoxin, ( PhTx3), It acts as a broad-spectrum calcium channel blocker that inhibits glutamate release, calcium uptake and also glutamate uptake in neural synapses. At deadly concentrations, this neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control, and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation. In addition, the venom causes intense pain and inflammation following an attack due to an excitatory effect the venom has on the serotonin 5-HT4 receptors of sensory nerves. This sensory nerve stimulation causes a release of neuropeptides such as Substance P which triggers inflammation and pain.

Aside from causing intense pain, the venom of the spider can also cause uncomfortable erections that can last for many hours and lead to impotence.


People bitten by a Phoneutria, or any Ctenid, should seek immediate emergency treatment, as the venom can be life threatening.

P. fera and P. nigriventer are the two most commonly implicated as the most virulent of the Phoneutria spiders.


Image and Excerpts: courtesy of Wikipedia.com Brazilian wandering spider

Killer Spider In Aisle 5
Play Video courtesy of AP – Killer Spider In Aisle

The first whistling orangutan hints at origin of speech

Bonnie the first whistling orangutan is charming keepers and friends

at the National Zoo Washington DC. USA.

She does not whistle in harmony , but can sound a few notes. This is historic. Bonnie is the first of her kind to whistle. She is self taught. Her present keepers deny any ability to whistle, but they think she may be mimicking someone from her past.

Maybe she too is happy about the president Obama’s dedication to improving scientific research. Go Bonnie!

Whistling orangutan surprises zooPlay


Video courtesy of BBC and YahooNews


Nasa global warming satellite studying carbon sinks sinks

A new global warming satellite mission to monitor carbon dioxide lands in ocean.orbiting-carbon-observatory-lg

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff February 24, 2009 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. Initial indications are that the structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere. on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate.

The Taurus XL rocket carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory a 986-pound global warming detection satellite (see NC Jan. 31, 2009 post below.) was supposed to be placed into a polar orbit some 400 miles high to track carbon dioxide emissions. The project was nine years in the making, and the mission was supposed to last two years.

It is a sad setback to finding out the carbon sinks around the world. Today scientists rely on 282 land-based stations and scattered instrumented aircraft flights to monitor carbon dioxide at low altitudes. This is a big setback for our understanding and control of emissions.

The observatory was NASA’s first satellite dedicated to monitoring carbon dioxide on a global scale. Measurements collected from the $280 million mission were expected to improve climate models and help researchers determine where the greenhouse gas originates and how much is being absorbed by forests and oceans.

Last month, Japan successfully launched the world’s first satellite to monitor global warming emissions.

Why was this satellite so important?

Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas and its buildup helps trap heat from the sun, causing potentially dangerous warming of the planet. Why is carbon dioxide so important to us? nasa.gov/mission

Excerpts courtesy of Yahoo News http://news.yahoo.com/sci_carbon_satellit

Refer to Nature’s Crusaders post nc2009/01/29/nasas-new-spac…r-carbon-sinks

Image courtesy of Geology.com nasa/human-carbon-dioxide/orbiting-carbon-observatory

Excerpts courtesy of Nasa.gov

The Mystery of the Missing Sinks January 23. 2009 nasa.gov/mission

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory And The Mystery Of The Missing Sinks – Staff Pasadena CA (JPL) January 28, 2009.

Spacemart OrbitingCarbonObservatoryAndTheMysteryOfTheMissingSinks

Find out how to reduce your carbon footprint

“Otterly” friendly -makes friends big and small

Orla the otter was rescued abandoned nearly frozen lying in the middle of a country baby_otter_12aroad by postman kindly Kenny Wilson. Kenny tried to simply move the baby otter to the side of the road, but this bundle of fur kept coming back to him. So with no adult otters in sight, Kenny decided to take the orphaned otter on his trip and back before handing his furry friend over to a local animal charity.

Wrapped in a blanket Kenny had a traveling companion for his 240-mile tour of the Highlands for a classic car rally and back.

“It slept away fine.”said Kenny

On their return he gave his new traveling amigo to a local animal shelter near his home. At its new home the gregarious little otter has made another best friend with Kevin the kitten. The two have become inseparable.

The kitten has trouble with his back legs so he will live probably live out its days at the shelter, but once Orla the Otter is recovered she will be released back into the wild.
So human contact is minimal to ensure her relocation is successfully. A local market has even agreed to pick up the bill for all the fish she eats every day during her recovery.

Her daily routine includes a breakfast of milk and trout, with a little time to play before, during and after mealtimes. Her bed is a furry hot water bottle cover turned inside out which she molds around her body to her liking.

“The otter was absolutely frozen and there was no evidence of the adult otters nearby. So I had no choice but to take it with me on a 240-mile tour of the Highlands for a classic car rally I was doing.

The animal center that will look after the otter cub for the next eight to ten months.

Just another way that people are helping people and animals make this world a little better –thanks Mother Nature.


Check out the Otter and kitten video courtesy of youtube.com and deadlinescotland.wordpress.com January 29, 2009.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuIOZ6jjgKc

http://deadlinescotland.wordpress.com abandoned-otter-makes-furry-friend

Stock image courtesy of http://cuteotters.com/BabyOtter

Manna from heaven came in the form of bird spit and rain water maybe

Manna from heaven came in the form of bird spit and rain water saved the lives of two men lost at sea floating in a giant icebox for 45 days. They survived their extraordinary ordeal thanks to rainwater from tropical storms and fish spat out by passing birds. The men, who were rescued by helicopter on Saturday, are still being interviewed by Australian immigration officials, who are hoping to clarify how they came to be drifting in shark-infested waters off the country’s northern coast.

iceboxphoto_1232424248222-3-0The pair told The Sydney Morning Herald they drank only rainwater and ate small fish regurgitated by seabirds after their Thai fishing boat broke up, possibly in Indonesian waters, in huge waves on December 23, 2008.

“For 10 days, nothing to eat,” one of the men told the paper through an interpreter.

“Then two big seabirds came and vomited some small fish — about six or seven little fish, and that’s all.”

The pair, who are aged 22 and 24 and thought to be from Myanmar, said that 18 of their crewmates from Thailand and Myanmar were lost when the 10-metre wooden fishing boat went down. Meanwhile, doubts have surfaced about the men’s seemingly incredible survival tale. Doctor Paul Luckin, a Royal Australian Navy Reserve commander and survival expert, said only a regular supply of fresh water would have kept them alive.

“But for them to be able to capture rainwater in that esky (icebox) would mean the bottom of that esky would have to be fairly clean — in other words free of saltwater and dead fish,” he told national news agency AAP.

“It would be unlikely that they would travel in that esky for that time without a certain quantity of saltwater getting in.”

An unnamed source told The Australian that doctors felt the men were in “remarkable condition, given their claimed exposure to the elements for almost a month. “There is no sunburn, no chafed lips, no discernible signs that the men were out there that long,” the source said. But Peter Heath, general manager at the helicopter rescue company that picked the men up, said they were both dehydrated and at least one was suffering from ulcerations.

“The first one, as soon as the rescue crewman who was on the line got close to him, the bloke jumped at him,” he told AFP. “He really wanted to get out of there. And he was in reasonable condition.” But he said the second man was wearing a lifejacket and floating in the water tied to the icebox — which was roughly a metre high, a metre wide and two metres long — when the helicopter arrived. “He was a bit worse. He needed to be picked up fairly carefully. And he needed to have first aid once he was in the aircraft to stop him going into shock,” Heath said.

So you let us know are these guys for real?


Excerpts and image – Staff Yahoo News,  January 21, 2009. australiamyanmarmaritimerescue

Casemaking Cloth moth identify corpses

05599f05The casemaking cloth moth caterpillar (Tinea pellionella) loves to eat your dirty wool clothes, but these hungry insects eat other things too. A casemaking clothes moth caterpillar crawls around partly surrounded by its long, lumpy case. A caterpillar case (not the one in the picture) incorporates other protein and vitamin rich substances like hair, sweat and mineral salts from  from sweat.  In 2007 these  hungry caterpillars helped identify a dead body near where they had been feasting. seems they had munched on some hair from the dead body which was then spun bits of the hair into its silken cocoon. these little bits of hair protein  DNA  helped  identify a body Galveston County, Texas according to  entomologist Sybil Bucheli of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. This can help police  identity a dead body, or help pinpoint where a person died

The life cycle of the clothes moth can last from two months to 2 yrs depending on temperature and food supply. The adults lay eggs on dirty wool clothing or other protein05599f061 rich food source that the larvae will consume. Each female moth can lay from 100 to 150 eggs, which hatch in about five days.

The small white caterpillars vary in size from 1/16 inch newly hatched to 1/3 inch fully grown. The caterpillar (larva) stage feeds on wool soon after egg hatch. Often they construct a silken tube and feed in the vicinity of this silken shelter. The larvae may continue to move across the fabric and only produce scattered patches of silk on which it rests. The larvae live in cases that are enlarged as they grow. When the larvae pupate, the case is transformed into a tough cocoon.
clothmothdiff The adult moth emerges from the pupal case in about 2 1/2 weeks. Mating and egg laying begins almost immediately emergence.  Adult moths do not feed and die within a month.

In the heat of a home, development can occur continuously which produces overlapping generations. Development of clothes moths is slowed on clean wool. Sometimes they are unable to complete their development on completely clean wool, because the larvae require Vitamin B and various salts as essential nutrients, and these are lacking in completely cleaned wool. However, perspiration, and many other kinds of fabric soiling can provide vitamin B and salts. Clothes moth attacks are typically focused on such soiled patches of cloth.

Prevent holes in clothes

To keep your clothes from becoming “holey” good housekeeping is key. Clothes should be brushed and cleaned seasonally especially before stored. Storage containers, closets, dresser drawers should be cleaned well before woolen sweaters Remove woolen lint or hair from floors, shelves, and drawers and clean and inspect areas for the presence of clothes moths, such as attics, ventilation ducts, under beds and closets where insects and dust accumulate. Clothing bags, cedar closets, and cedar chests only provide protection when stored materials are free from infestation.  Clean clothes and clean storage areas will prevent  the finding the tell tale silk and the pelleted droppings the insect produces when it has made your clothes its home.


Clemson University/USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, http//: Bugwood.org

Cases of the casemaking clothes moth among woolen carpeting. (Photo by W. Cranshaw.)
Life History and Habits


Image 1 & 2 courtesy off  Clemson University Extension

Adult image courtesy of


K-9 Skateboarding dogs on holiday float

Go dogs!

tillmantyson_lLeave it to he  bull dogs Tillman and Tyson  to steal the show. These dogs  are practicing for the debut in the Rose Bowl Parade on the Natural Balance Dogfood float in Pasadena, California on January 1, 2009.

“Tillman, the 3-year-old skateboarding bulldog from Oxnard, will be doing his thing on a float today in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

He and another bulldog, Tyson, will alternate skating around a float created in their likeness.

Tyson, a 7-year-old canine owned by Jim Blauvelt of Huntington Beach, has been rehearsing with Tillman for three months in preparation for this day.

Tillman’s owner, Ron Davis, says Tillman and Tyson are still having a little trouble negotiating the curves on the float’s 52-foot track, but said Tillman’s “pumped.”

Resource video & text:



Image courtesu of


$15,000 pipedream – very expensive nap

The restoration of a church’s 130-year-old organ has been delayed because four delicate pipes were first-churches-exteriordamaged when a visitor napped on them. The 18-foot pipes were among about 50 stored in the basement at First Churches in Northampton during the sanctuary’s renovation. The congregation traces its history to the 17th century, and was home to 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards.

Never would anyone dream that taking a nap might cost someone $15,000 ! But Rev. Peter Ives estimates the damage to some pipes from a 130 year old pipe organ repairs may cost the church that much. But he says the organ can be played without the pipes.
He is a homeless man who was in the church for a job counseling meeting mistook the pipes for rolled-up rugs and slept on them. The church will not press charges.

Man’s untimely nap damages church’s organ pipes November 12, 2008


Image courtesy of