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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just the Facts?: Loch Ness Monster Photo HOAX! -- Swamp Ape Buffoonery! -- Do Mosasaurs Inhabit the Hikurangi Trench?

Latest Loch Ness Monster Photo - HOAX!

Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence


The Possiblity of Mosasaurs breeding off the New Zealand Coast

My colleague, cryptozoologist Tony Lucas, has written an interesting piece at The Centre for Fortean Zoology - New Zealand...Lon

There have been many encounters with unknown creatures off the coast of New Zealand, with the East coast being particularly favoured.

There is a very good reason for this, running parallel to New Zealand's coastline is the Hikurangi Trench. A deep gouge on the ocean floor, that descends in places to depths of 3,750 metres (12,300 ft).[ (Lewis, Collott, & Lallemand, 1998, pp. 441-468.)

New Zealands unique oceanography

These deep troughs bring a wealth of nutrient rich organisms to the surface allowing for a mass of biodiversity to flourish in the nutrient rich upper waters.

Krill are profuse here along with smaller fish species which create a nutrient rich environment for larger predatory animals such as Giant Squid, which in turn are preyed upon by Sperm Whales. So there is no deficit of vast food supplies for large predatory animals cruising the depths of New Zealand's coastline.

Where the Hikurangi Trench joins up with the Tonga Trench, the area is heavily spotted with areas of geothermal activity which provide warm waters as well as a warm current which flows from the equatorial region. Continue reading at The Possiblity of Mosasaurs breeding off the New Zealand Coast

Sea Dragons: Predators of the Prehistoric Oceans

Giant Predators of the Ancient Seas (Cutchins, Judy. Southern Fossil Discoveries.)


Tim Fasano's Finding Skunk Ape Video

Posted at 'The Anomalist' today: We waited all day yesterday for this much-hyped video of undeniable proof of the Skunk Ape's existence and ended up with this, 23 minutes of badly filmed footage of...swamps and a few rhesus monkeys in trees. The quality is terrible, the audio is even worse and the music is beyond irritating and distracting. Worst of all, Fasano provides absolutely no proof of the Skunk Ape except for some admittedly interesting print casts. However, the prints have nothing to do with the small monkeys shown that Fasano seems to be indicating are Skunk Apes. Actually, we aren't sure what Fasano is implying because his narration and "theories" are as clear as the swamp mud he seems to enjoy filming. All his work seems to be doing nothing more than clouding the water for other Bigfoot researchers and casting a negative light upon the entire community. Is Fasano trolling us all? If so, he's the only one laughing.

Tim Fasano's Finding Skunk Ape Video

Fabulous Creatures and Other Magical Beings

Oddball Florida: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places (Oddball series)


Glowing Squid - Toyama, Japan

This photo has been showing up on various websites recently depicting glowing blue objects lining up along a shore. This beach is in Toyama, Japan and for the locals this isn’t such a crazy sight.

Before clicking “more” place your bets on what you think this is; algae, radioactive waste, aliens?

These are firefly squids who spend their days in the deep Pacific Ocean only to go hunting near the ocean’s surface when the sun goes down.

The reason for their blue glow resembling a new streetlight is bioluminescence, which is a chemical reaction inherent in some animals that cause them to generate light such as these guys’ namesake, the firefly.

The glowing parts are located on half of their limbs and at points along their backs. Their undersides don’t glow to protect them from predators. It may be hard to tell from the picture but the squids are quite small measuring only a few inches in length.

If you’d like to learn more about them then swing by the Hotaru Ika Museum (Firefly Squid Museum) also in Toyama. - rocketnews

Cold Light: Creatures, Discoveries, and Inventions That Glow

Glowing Genes: A Revolution In Biotechnology

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss


A protein particle that made humans most intelligent found

Scientists have discovered that a tiny particle within a protein allowed humans to become the most intelligent creatures on the planet.

Researchers from the University of Colorado found that the protein domain issue known as DUF1220 holds the key to understanding why our brains are so much bigger and more complex than any other animal, the Daily Mail reported.

DUF1220 is a protein domain of unknown function that shows a striking human-specific increase in copy number is considered important to human brain evolution.

Humans have more than 270 copies of DUF1220 encoded in their DNA, far more than other species.

“This research indicates that what drove the evolutionary expansion of the human brain may well be a specific unit within a protein – called a protein domain – that is far more numerous in humans than other species,” Professor James Sikela from the University said.

The closer a species is to humans, the more copies of DUF1220 show up. Chimpanzees have the next highest number, 125. Gorillas have 99, marmosets 30 and mice just one.

“The one over-riding theme that we saw repeatedly was the more copies of DUF1220 in the genome, the bigger the brain. And this held true whether we looked at different species or within the human population,” Sikela was quoted as saying by the paper.

It may also explain how human brain’s unequalled mental capacity evolved so rapidly and dramatically, a mystery that has baffled researchers for decades.

The modern human brain is three times larger in volume than those of the great apes, our closest living relatives.

More importantly, its ratio to body size is significantly larger and it has a much greater cerebral cortex, the area that controls higher thought processes, with a higher concentration of neurons.

The study was published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. - phenomenica



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