s-c-i-guy:

A Triassic Cuddle Set In Stone

In 1975, near the base of South Africa’s Oliviershoek Pass, paleontologist James Kitching discovered the final resting place of a small, shuffling mammal that had perished some 250 million years before. Little more than a piece of skull was poking out of the stone, but the shape and composition of the surrounding rock suggested that the poor creature had died in a burrow – and that there might be more inside. Sure enough, when Kitching cracked open the rock the little lair was pocked by even more bones, so off it went to the collection of Johannesburg’s Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of Witwatersrand. Kitching had no idea that he had found a pair of unusual Triassic bedfellows.

The part of the fossil Kitching first spotted was a piece of Thrinaxodon. Multiple specimens of this small, squat protomammal have been found curled up inside burrows. Whether or not Thrinaxodon made their own dens is a mystery, but their remains, fossilized in repose, hint that they escaped the blistering heat of the dry season by snoozing underground.

Thrinaxodon is not alone in the Triassic tomb. Lying belly-up atop the protomammal is a rare, salamander-like amphibian named Broomistega. No one had any idea that the bonus fossil was there until University of the Witwatersrand paleontologist Vincent Fernandez and colleagues had the contents of the burrow scanned at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. Presented in the scan’s digital detail, published last year, the pair of fossils rest against each other in stunning articulation.

How did this Triassic mash-up come together? The fossil doesn’t offer a definite answer, but Fernandez and colleagues narrowed down the list of possibilities.

Regardless of whether the Thrinaxodon created the hollow, previous fossil finds and the anatomical improbability of a burrowing Broomistega suggest that the protomammal was the den’s primary occupant. And even though both animals were buried by a mix of water and sediment that sluiced into the burrow, it would be a hell of a coincidence if the sloshing mud carried an intact amphibian right into the burrow.

With such an accidental burial unlikely, Broomistega was either dragged in by Thrinaxodon or the amphibian purposely hauled itself into the burrow. The latter seems more likely. Even though the Broomistega bones show two possible tooth puncture marks, the size and spacing did not match the dental particulars of the Thrinaxodon. Instead, Fernandez and colleagues hypothesized, the Broomistega simply wandered into the burrow where theThrinaxodon was sound asleep in a brief torpor, and there the amphibian lay until a mucky slurry buried them both.

Such close cohabitation is rare, even among modern animals, but theBroomistega may have had good reasons to seek shelter. For one thing, this particular animal had a series of broken, partly-healed ribs that probably hindered the amphibian’s ability to move and breathe. That’s a major problem for a creature that will quickly die if stranded in dry season sun, so perhaps the burrow was the closest place of refuge for the injured Broomistega. So long as the Thrinaxodon lay undisturbed in a multi-day slumber, as Fernandez and coauthors suspect, then the amphibian could have rested in the cool without risk of being run out by the burrow-owner’s snapping jaws. In the cool and the dark, the Triassic neighbors dozed together, died together, and became fossilized together.

source

(via geologychronicles)


awkwardsituationist:

described by david attenborough as his favorite place to see wildlife in the united kingdom, the farne islands are home to a colony of playful grey seals that come to the islands — which are owned and protected by the british conservation charity, the national trust — to have their pups in the autumn.

renowned for being friendly, the seals often want to play hide and seek with the photographers, and like to mimic their underwater movements. the seals are also prone to nibbling on the fins of photographers and hugging their legs, which can complicate shots already made difficult by the cold water’s limited visibility.

photos by (click pic) nigel roddis, adam hanlon, eleonora manca, saeed rashid, alex tattersall, caroline robertson brown and robert bailey.

(via ofools)


thereverieinrealityy:

jesuschrist-:

i want this
as a mural on my wall
as a framed and lighted painting
as a screen printed afghan
as a shower curtin
and last but not least a book of this image as stamps


Omg yes

thereverieinrealityy:

jesuschrist-:

i want this

  • as a mural on my wall
  • as a framed and lighted painting
  • as a screen printed afghan
  • as a shower curtin
  • and last but not least a book of this image as stamps

Omg yes


fuckyeahvolcanoes:

FYV Bonus Post!
"The geology of Silfra and the Þingvellir valley are connected to the tectonic drift of the Eurasian and the North American plates. … Silfra, by virtue of its location in the Þingvallavatn Lake, contains clear, cold water that attracts scuba divers drawn to its high visibility and geological importance; divers are literally swimming between continents."

fuckyeahvolcanoes:

FYV Bonus Post!

"The geology of Silfra and the Þingvellir valley are connected to the tectonic drift of the Eurasian and the North American plates. … Silfra, by virtue of its location in the Þingvallavatn Lake, contains clear, cold water that attracts scuba divers drawn to its high visibility and geological importance; divers are literally swimming between continents."

(via geologychronicles)




x

(via woodsywitch)


splendiforouslove:

charamath:

And here is the first compilation of my ‘Yzma is Best Princess’ series.  I meant to do it when I completed 10, but people wanted a compilation, apparently.  So here is the first 8.  It’s been a wild ride so far and I’ve still got several more to go >.>

Watercolors, ink and digital outline.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA THIS IS THE BEST

(via ofools)


jameshance:

Latest Painting In Progress - “A Princess & A Guy Like Me?” (24” x 24” Acrylic on canvas)Very nearly there! Sorry about the muted color in the photos - I managed to lose the charger for my camera battery (such as my sitcom-like life tends to be), the new one should be here tomorrow - I’ll be able to take proper pictures for you again, ones that you can seeeee!x
My site / My Facebook / Original Art on eBay

jameshance:

Latest Painting In Progress - “A Princess & A Guy Like Me?” (24” x 24” Acrylic on canvas)

Very nearly there! Sorry about the muted color in the photos - I managed to lose the charger for my camera battery (such as my sitcom-like life tends to be), the new one should be here tomorrow - I’ll be able to take proper pictures for you again, ones that you can seeeee!

x

My site / My Facebook / Original Art on eBay



capo-verde:

envycamacho:

kim-jong-healthy:

humpback whales in their natural habitat before deforestation forced them into the sea

this is actually so cool

Fuck

(via revgrlutena)


zooborns:

Zoo Basel Welcomes a Critically Endangered Somali Wild Ass

A Somali Wild Ass has been born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland! The foal, named Lakisha, was born quickly and easily on March 27. Zoo Basel is a world leader in the conservation of this Critically Endangered species: Lakisha is the forty-first Somali Wild Ass to be born and raised at this zoo since 1972.

Read more at Zooborns.


365q:

Day 354/365: Part 2/3

365q:

Day 354/365: Part 2/3

(via ourwildways)


ucresearch:

What trilobites can tell us about how animals evolve
The trilobite, which became extinct millions of years ago, is commonly known as one of the first complex forms of life on earth.  Their fossils can be found in many parts of the world and are often collected for their interesting shapes and varieties. (There’s even a vacuum cleaner designed after this creature…) 
In fact there are actually 20,000 known varieties of this arthropod. They even ranged in sizes from ones that could fit inside your pocket to being as large as your sofa (!!!?!).
UC Riverside’s Dr. Nigel Hughes explains:

"They can have scoops or shovels, be fantastically spiny or beautifully streamlined and diverged to really explore their evolutionary space, but they still maintain that common body plan.”

Scientists study trilobite fossils to understand how today’s animals have evolved to the present.  This can be everything from how mating habits developed to how a species can protect itself from predators.  
Dr. Hughes not only studies the trilobite, but even sings about them.

ucresearch:

What trilobites can tell us about how animals evolve

The trilobite, which became extinct millions of years ago, is commonly known as one of the first complex forms of life on earth.  Their fossils can be found in many parts of the world and are often collected for their interesting shapes and varieties. (There’s even a vacuum cleaner designed after this creature…) 

In fact there are actually 20,000 known varieties of this arthropod. They even ranged in sizes from ones that could fit inside your pocket to being as large as your sofa (!!!?!).

UC Riverside’s Dr. Nigel Hughes explains:

"They can have scoops or shovels, be fantastically spiny or beautifully streamlined and diverged to really explore their evolutionary space, but they still maintain that common body plan.”

Scientists study trilobite fossils to understand how today’s animals have evolved to the present.  This can be everything from how mating habits developed to how a species can protect itself from predators.  

Dr. Hughes not only studies the trilobite, but even sings about them.

(via lostbeasts)


Adam Savage is my spirit animal.

Adam Savage is my spirit animal.

(via ofools)