Friday, August 24, 2012

Just the Facts?: NASA's Dinosaur Footprints -- Monster Marlin! -- Man Bites Cobra To Death!



Cretaceous Footprints Found at Goddard

NASA's Nodosaur Footprint Verified – Perhaps with Baby Nodosaur in Tow

Not one, but two nodosaurs passed through the campus of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., between 110 and 112 million years ago, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) paleontologist confirmed.

The second track, overlapping the first, looks to be a young version of the same creature, perhaps following and sniffing along after, said Rob Weems, emeritus paleontologist and stratigrapher with the USGS, from Reston, Va. "It's definitely a track.”

He confirmed the track to be a nodosaur footprint while visiting NASA Goddard on Aug. 23 at the invitation of center officials. He also discovered the second track while clearing and excavating the stone plate that contained the first print. Nodosaurs are a type of heavily-armored plant eater, as heavy as small elephants. The name is derived from the many spikes or nodes in their armor.

"It looks to be a manus print of a much smaller dinosaur than the first one, but it looks to be the same type," Weems said of the second track. The manus is the front foot of a quadrupedal animal, while the pes is the back foot. "If the one that came through was a female, it may have had one or more young ones following along. If you've seen a dog or cat walking with it's young, they kind of sniff around and may not go in the same direction, (as the adult) but they end up in the same place."

The tracks had to have been made around the same time, at least within the same day, said Ray Stanford, an amateur dinosaur tracker who discovered the "momma" track during the summer of 2012. The smaller track shows signs of pushing up the still-wet mud, that the larger footprint had hollowed out.

NASA Goddard facilities director Alan Binstock said the next steps will be to have the site analyzed to determine whether further excavation is called for, and to extract and preserve the existing footprints.

Dinosaur tracker Ray Stanford describes the cretaceous-era nodosaur track he found on the Goddard Space Flight Center campus this year.

About 110 million light years away, the bright, barred spiral galaxy NGC 3259 was just forming stars in dark bands of dust and gas. Here on the part of the Earth where NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center would eventually be built, a plant-eating dinosaur sensed predators nearby and quickened its pace, leaving a deep imprint in the Cretaceous mud.

On Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, noted dinosaur hunter Ray Stanford shared the location of that footprint with Goddard’s facility management and the Washington Post newspaper.

“This was a large, armored dinosaur,” Stanford said. “Think of it as a four-footed tank. It was quite heavy, there’s a quite a ridge or push-up here. … Subsequently the sand was bound together by iron-oxide or hematite, so it gave us a nice preservation, almost like concrete.”

He had material from the same Cretaceous-era sedimentary rock dated, with help from the US Geological Survey, to approximately 110- to 112-million years old, by analyzing pollen grains sealed in the stone. The Cretaceous Period ran between 145.5 and 65.5 million years ago, and was the last period of the Mesozoic Era.

Goddard Facilities Manager Alan Binstock said the agency considers the footprint and its location “sensitive but unclassified.”

The footprint is on federal land, so improperly removing it could potentially violate three laws: the Antiquities Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act.

NASA officials will next consult with the State of Maryland and paleontologists to form a plan for documenting and preserving the find, Binstock said.

Stanford also identified and presented several smaller footprints – three-toed, flesh-eating therapods – to Goddard officials from the same site.

He called the location of the find “poetic.”

“Space scientists may walk along here, and they’re walking exactly where this big, bungling heavy armored dinosaur walked, maybe 110 to 112-million years ago,” Stanford said. - NASA

NOTE: I live about 20 miles from the Goddard Space Flight Center. The area north of Washington DC through Prince Georges Co. is known as a dinosaur graveyard, in particular areas in and around Laurel, MD. Lon

Fossil Legends of the First Americans

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (Smithsonian Handbooks)

Auks, rocks, and the odd dinosaur: Inside stories from the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History


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UFO: Remote Controlled?

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One viewer says he saw an unidentified flying object in the Southern Tier sky.

Brian Titus says he was at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, when he saw something rising behind a hill in Vestal.

In an email, Titus wrote, "It sat there for about ten seconds and then it shot up like a bullet and vanished."

He says at least ten people saw it happen.

Minutes later when he was coming home, Titus saw the U.F.O. again.

During this second sighting, Titus snapped the picture.

Titus wrote, "I am so exited and freaked out at the same time." - wbng

UFOs Over New York: A True History of Extraterrestrial Encounters in the Empire State

Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings

UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record


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Nepali man bites snake to death in revenge attack

A Nepali man who was bitten by a cobra snake bit it back and killed the reptile in a tit-for-tat attack, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Nepali daily Annapurna Post said Mohamed Salmo Miya chased the snake, which bit him in his rice paddy on Tuesday, caught it and bit it until it died.

"I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry," the 55-year-old Miya, who lives in a village some 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, was quoted by the daily as saying.

The snake, called "goman" in Nepal, is also known as the Common Cobra.

Police official Niraj Shahi said the man, who was being treated at a village health post and was not in danger of dying, would not be charged with killing the snake because the reptile was not among snake species listed as endangered in Nepal. - yahoo

Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature

King Cobras: The Biggest Venomous Snakes of All! (Fangs)


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Monster Marlin!

A 5-foot-9-inch woman tournament fishing in Hawaii waters fought a 12-foot marlin more than four hours before getting it on her team's boat and weighing it at more than a half-ton — a would-be world record.

But 28-year-old Molly Palmer is missing out on the glory and thousands in tournament prize money for one pesky reason: Her team's honor code.

Cheating would have been easy and tempting. The Big Island Invitational Marlin Tournament runs in part on an honor system and Palmer, her captain and crewmates put up roughly $9,000 to enter last week.

But the Kailua-Kona angler said it wasn't a question of whether or not to cheat — her team just wanted to reel in the big catch. So they disqualified themselves and Palmer's crewmates helped pull the monstrous fish aboard.

"The question was only can I land the fish or not," Palmer told The Associated Press. "I didn't come here to set world records. I didn't even really come here to win money. I came here to catch fish and that's just what we were there to do."

Palmer needed to reel in the fish by herself in order for it to qualify as a valid catch for the tournament, according to rules set by the International Game Fishing Association.

Palmer's fish weighed in at 1,022.5 pounds, well over the record of 950 pounds for a woman using a 130-pound line, tournament organizer Jody Bright said.

Officials at the International Game Fishing Association were not immediately available late Wednesday.

"I've had people try to slide things past me for a whole lot less money, for a less important thing than a world record," Bright said.

"We don't have officials on the field like you do in baseball or football or anything like that," he said. "Everybody's playing on the open ocean playing field and since there's nobody there checking to see if you stepped out of bounds or any of that sort of stuff there's a whole lot of opportunity to do things nobody would know of."

Bright said most of the fish caught during the three-day tournament were released, while those that died would be sold at market for seafood and marlin jerky.

Neal Isaacs, the boat's captain, said the team knew the fish was big — but not necessarily a world record — when they saw it start jumping to free itself from the line nearly 40 minutes after it was hooked. The battle then became about whether the boat could position itself to give Palmer enough leverage to reel it in, he said.

She didn't want to give up, but the fish stayed in deep waters and eventually died on the line, drifting directly below the ship, Isaacs said.

"We pushed it, but her husband suggested we get out of the chair before she passed out," Isaacs said.

Angling is as much about math and physics as the open-water adventure. Palmer, at 160 pounds, needed to get the marlin more than six times her weight positioned higher in the water to make it easier for her to reel in her line without attracting sharks or breaking the line or any of the boat's equipment.

"It was a bad decision that stopped me more than my physical limits," she said. - THP

Guinness World Records Amazing Animals Fact Cards

Guinness World Records Amazing Animals

Ken Schultz's Essentials of Fishing: The Only Guide You Need to Catch Freshwater and Saltwater Fish
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