Thursday, 31 July 2008
Though most scientists contend there is no doubt that moa are extinct, there has been occasional speculation—since at least the late 1800s, and recently as 2008 that some moa may still exist, particularly in deepest south Westland, a rugged wilderness in the South Island. Cryptozoologists and others reputedly continue to search for them, but their claims and supporting evidence (such as of purported Moa footprints or blurry photos) have earned little attention from mainstream experts, and are widely considered pseudoscientific.
Experts contend that moa survival is extremely unlikely, since this would involve the ground-dwelling birds living unnoticed in a region visited often by hunters and hikers.
While the rediscovery of the Takahē in 1948 (after none had been seen since 1898), showed that rare birds may exist undiscovered for a long time, the Takahē was rediscovered after its tracks were identified—yet no reliable evidence of moa tracks has ever been found.
Oh yes, the, uh, the Great Auk...What's,uh...What's wrong with it? I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead,
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
The worship of Horus was brought from the outside by neighboring tribes who invaded and then settled into Egypt. He was their god of war, but was quickly absorbed into the state religion, first as a son of Ra, then changing to become the son of Osiris. He was the protector and guide to the pharaoh and later pharaohs were believed to be his avatar on earth. Horus was also the patron of young men and the ideal of the dutiful son who grows up to become a just man.
The most popular story of Horus is the one in which he grows to manhood to avenge the death of his father Osiris by battling against his cruel uncle Set. In many writings, he is said to continue to battle Set daily to ensure the safety of the world. This is a pic of Horus at Edfu. God of the noontime sun. This particular variant was first worshipped in the western Delta and spread south, a cult center being established at Edfu. He is represented by a winged sun or as a lion with the head of a hawk. Horus Behudety fights constantly against Set and an army of darkness to ensure that the sun rises each day.
Spätgotisches Musterbuch des Stephan Schriber - BSB Cod.icon. 420
Stephan Schreiber's late gothic pattern book was produced in Urach in the (now) state of Baden-Württemberg in South-West Germany in 1494. It was dedicated to Count Eberhard (Eberhard the bearded, later first Duke) of Württemberg.
The parchment manuscript appears to be a manual of templates and/or a practice book containing partially completed sketches, painted and calligraphy initals, stylised floral decorative motifs, plant foliage tendrils, fantastic beast border drolleries, together with some gold and silver illumination work.
Probably the earliest drawings of a dodo (Raphus cucullatus) from the Journal of VOC-ship Gelderland 1601- 1603
vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead squirrels. Stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion allowed!"
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
A group of Italian physicists working on a project called STARFLAG claim to have devised a manner of 3d mapping that can allow scientists to determine how an individual starling will react and move within a flock. The mechanisms underlying flock movements may also be applicable to human economic behaviours, which also exhibit flocking phenomena like passing fads.
The New Caledonian crow is the only non-human species known to invent new tools by modifying existing ones, and then passing these innovations on to other individuals in the cultural group. They have also been seen making tools that they use in the wild out of completely different material.
In 2002, researcher Kacelnik and colleagues at the University of Oxford observed of a couple of New Caledonian Crows called Betty and Abel: Betty's toolmaking abilities came to light by accident during an experiment in which she and Abel had to choose between a hooked and a straight wire for retrieving small pieces of pig heart, their favorite food. When Abel made off with the hooked wire, Betty bent the straight wire into a hook and used the tool to lift a small bucket of food from a vertical pipe. This experiment was the first time the crows had been presented with wire.
(from the Behavioural Ecology Research Group at the University of Oxford)
Gull, informally seagull, Laridae family, genus Larus.
ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Gulls are resourceful and highly intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure; for example, many gull colonies display mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders. In addition species such as the Herring gull exhibit tool-use behaviour. Stealing the corvid crown of the feathered ape? Many species of gull have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Often relying on cleptoparasitism, i.e. stealing food from another animal that has already caught and killed the prey. The current greatest threat to seagulls is the loss of coastal habitat. Most seagulls nest in coastal areas and are losing more and more nesting grounds each year to human development. Surely a little seagull rage is justified...
Some excitingly named gulls: Belcher's Gull, Larus belcheri, Olrog's Gull, Larus atlanticus, Sooty Gull, Larus hemprichii, Kelp Gull, Larus dominicanus, Heuglin's Gull, Larus heuglini, Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans, Hartlaub's Gull, Larus hartlaubii, Silver Gull, Larus novaehollandiae, Boneparte's Gull, Larus philadelphia, Relict Gull, Larus relictus, Lava Gull, Larus fuliginosus, Laughing Gull, Larus atricilla, Franklin's Gull, Larus pipixcan.
Recent seagull related reports include:
- An elderly welshman suffering a fatal heart attack after being swooped on by seagulls.
- An English woman was rushed to the hospital with deep beak wounds to her head.
- A preschool in Scotland had to harness hawk-force to safeguard its children.
- London postmen refused to deliver mail to a usually quiet street following attacks by what one resident described as a "slightly psycho herring gull."
- And then there was Sam the Aberdonian shoplifting seagull, (below....)
The seagull manager flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything then flies off again leaving a big mess behind)