Skulls and squiggly things

Back in February, we went to the Beaty Biodiveristy museum (pro tip – free admission for UBC employees and students) and here are some pictures. Warning, there are dead squiggly things in jars in this post (and even more at the Flickr Set).

Display: Red, Green, Dead Birds
Sea snake in a jar
Sea snake in a jar. Perfect Seal
Mountain Goat, Reflection
Mountain Goat, Reflection
Squiggly things
The Owls are Judging You
The Owls are Judging You
Life Matrix
The matrix of life, from Day 0 on.
Black Tailed Deer
Black Tailed Deer
Blue Whale Skeleton
Blue Whale Skeleton


Snakes on an historical plane

This is just too terrifying to not post about.

‘Anaconda’ Meets ‘Jurassic Park’: Fossil Snake from India Fed on Hatchling Dinosaurs

The remains of an extraordinary fossil unearthed in 67-million-year-old sediments from Gujarat, western India provide a rare glimpse at an unusual feeding behavior in ancient snakes… The remains of a nearly complete snake were found preserved in the nest of a sauropod dinosaur, adults of which are the largest animals known to have walked the earth. The snake was coiled around a recently hatched egg adjacent to a hatchling sauropod. Remains of other snake individuals associated with egg clutches at the same site indicate that the newly described snake made its living feeding on young dinosaurs.

That’s right. Dinosaur-eating snakes.

Sleep tight.

Bloggy Victory! plus SNAKES

I’ve moved the blog from a sub directory to the top-level of this domain (where you’re now seeing it). This just goes to prove that the only thing closer to Godliness than cleanliness, is proper documentation.

The daily round-up:
Updated Olympic Transportation Plan unveiled: Road closures, parking restrictions, recommended driving times
Road closures, severe parking and stopping restrictions on Vancouver streets, and recommended travel times will be part of the Olympic experience. The plan requires reducing vehicle traffic by at least 30 per cent in downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge and Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, the Sea to Sky Highway, and in Whistler.

Youth ‘cannot live’ without web: A survey of 16 to 24 year olds has found that 75% of them feel they “couldn’t live” without the internet. The report, published by online charity YouthNet, also found that four out of five young people used the web to look for advice. About one third added that they felt no need to talk to a person face to face about their problems because of the resources available online.

Complete retirement ‘bad for you’: Giving up work completely on retirement could be bad for your health, US research suggests. The study of 12,189 people found retirees who take on temporary or part-time work have fewer major diseases, and function better day to day. The findings were significant even after considering people’s physical and mental health before retirement.

Report Documents Risks Of Giant Invasive Snakes In The United States: Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report.

The USGS report details the risks of nine non-native boa, anaconda and python species that are invasive or potentially invasive in the United States. Because all nine species share characteristics associated with greater risks, none was found to be a low ecological risk. Two of these species are documented as reproducing in the wild in South Florida, with population estimates for Burmese pythons in the tens of thousands.

And now for science!

And now for a purely scientific posing:

Sea Snakes Seek Out Freshwater To Slake Thirst

ScienceDaily (2008-11-08) — Sea snakes may slither in saltwater, but they sip the sweet stuff. It has been the “long-standing dogma” that the roughly 60 species of venomous sea snakes worldwide satisfy their drinking needs by drinking seawater, with internal salt glands filtering and excreting the salt. Experiments with three species of captive sea kraits captured near Taiwan, however, found that the snakes refused to drink saltwater even if thirsty — and then would drink only freshwater or heavily diluted saltwater…

…He added that his findings also raise questions about the accepted wisdom that other marine reptiles, including sea turtles, satisfy their freshwater needs by drinking saltwater.


Poor Rattlesnakes

Study looks to save rattlers from Canadian roads

In this arid river valley in southeastern Alberta, Adam Martinson is trying to find out why rattlesnakes cross the road.

Martinson, a University of Calgary student working on a Masters degree has come to Dinosaur Provincial Park, listed as a United Nations World Heritage site, to study why snakes slither onto — and too frequently die on — the asphalt blacktop of the region’s roads.

The snakes move onto roads looking for safety, food, mates and the heat absorbed by the asphalt. However, when a vehicle approaches the snakes don’t move.

They coil themselves up in a defensive posture and the rattlers shake their tails to warn off the danger.

It’s a strategy that has served them well for millions of years but is of little use in fending off a truck.