Showing posts with label fierce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fierce. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tyrannosaurus Rex was very, very fierce, discover scientists

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is the famous monster predator dinosaur. It walked on its hind legs, had stumpy little front legs whose purpose (if any) is somewhat mysterious, and had a huge mouth full of teeth. In the popular imagination, it was a top-level predator that went around chasing and eating any of the other big herbivore dinosaurs it could catch.

Some scientists, however, turned against this view. They took to arguing that the Tyrannosaurs Rex could not have been this kind of predator. Instead, they saw it more as a giant scavenger, a carrion feeder who would lumber around until it had found an animal that had died of natural causes or been taken down by smaller and nimbler predators. The Tyrannosaurus would then tuck in. These kill-joy scientists are no doubt associates of the others who argue that the giant winged dinosaurs were only able to glide and could not truly fly.

However, a recent discovery seems to have established that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a top-level predator after all and no pathetic scavenger. Palaeontologists working in South Dakota found the fossilised skeleton of a Hadrosaur, a large Cretaceous herbivore, with the tooth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex embedded in its spine. It appeared that the Tyrannosaurus had attacked the Hadrosaur and bitten into its back, whereupon the tooth had come loose, but the herbivore escaped and survived the encounter.

This finding seems to prove that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was a hunting animal. Like any hunter, it would eat carrion if it found it, but it would also attack other animals, albeit not always with success.


More:

T rex tooth found embedded in prey, restoring dinosaur's reputation

A near miss for a Tyrannosaurus rex: evidence of failed predation

"Her Pack of Tyrannosaurs Came Screeching to Her Side!" (image source)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Fierce Rabbit Terrorises Burglar

Rabbits are not known for their fierceness, but when a burglar broke into the home of Ms Kimberley May and her fiancé, their 4.5kg monster rabbit Toby sprang into action. The two foot long bunny started stamping on the floor of his cage with such aggression that Ms May was awakened - and the burglar frightened into fleeing for his very life.

"Toby has done the job of a guard dog," commented Ms May. "We're so proud of him we've rewarded him with a new tunnel to play with."

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Red squirrels find a fierce new friend

The red squirrel has long been in trouble in Britain in Ireland, where the colourful little rodent has suffered from competition by grey squirrels. The alien invader greys have not been physically attacking the reds, but they have been out-competing them, thanks partly to a more powerful digestive system. The greys also carry a disease that is barely noticeable to them but lethal to the reds. The march of the greys has seemed relentless, and it looked like the reds would end up pushed away into remote areas, where they would make up precarious and isolated communities.

Now, though it seems like the reds are on a bit of a comeback. In Britain there have been concerted programmes to trap and exterminate the greys, which have helped red squirrel numbers bounce back. But the reds have also gained from a tacit alliance with another endangered animal - the cute but fierce predator that is the pine marten. These little fellows have been protected in Ireland since the 1970s and in recent years their numbers and ranges have started to increase.

Although not averse to eating red squirrels, pine martens rarely do so as the agile reds are hard to catch. The chubby grey squirrels, on the other hand, make for easy prey for the pine martens, and analyse of their droppings reveals that the little predators are munching their way through the aliens. The hope is that spreading pine martens further through Britain and Ireland will help the red squirrels by controlling the greys without the bother of all those trapping and extermination programmes.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Brave Dog Defends Home, Family

Ruger is a pitbull terrier who lives in Valparaiso, Illinois. Recently his owner, Jayne Casteel , answered the door of their home at 3.00 am to a suspicious character who then forced his way in through the door, knocking her and her toddler son to the ground. Alerted by her scream, Ruger sprang into action, biting the intruder's arm and dragging him outside. Ms Casteel 's fiancé and another man living with them then joined the affray, serving up some punches to the intruder and a waiting accomplice. Ruger bit the intruder in the leg, whereupon he and his partner in crime ran away into the night.

Ruger has received great praise for his swift response to the threat to his family. "I am so proud of him", commented Ms Casteel. Ruger is not normally a violent animal, typically acting as what Ms Casteel describes as a "big baby". However, Ruger had been trained to protect Ms Casteel's son, as the intruder found out to his cost.

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An inuit panda production

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bears Discover Tools

Bears are well known for being large, fierce animals. It seems now that they might also be surprisingly intelligent. A brown bear in Alaska was seen recently picking up a stone and scratching itself with it, revealing that rudimentary tool use is possible for these animals. In some respects this is not completely surprising, as bears have quite large brains for their body size. However, they are relatively solitary and it had been thought that it was only social animals (like chimps, humans, or New Caledonian crows) who would have their intelligence boosted such that they would start messing about with tools.

At the moment it is not known whether this particular bear is the first ever to use a tool, or if it is merely engaging in behaviour that is not uncommon but not previously observed. Reports that the bear in question is training other bears and building a wooden town with human-sized cages have been hurriedly denied by members of the scientific community.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little Blue Penguins – Very Small But Very Fierce

The Little Blue Penguins of New Zealand may be small, and they may look like cute little fellows, but it turns out the males are all very fierce. The territorial birds are forever laying into each other and inflicting terrible injuries in an effort to gain status and impress the lady penguins.

Here a male Little Blue Penguin shows off to his mate after winning a fight.

The Little Blues also learn which of their fellows are the most fierce and are careful not to try fighting a penguin who could peck the shite out of them.

More on this important story

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

INVASION OF THE ROCK HYRAX


The good folk of Israel are often troubled by the indigenous human inhabitants of what was once Palestine. Now they are being menaced by the non-human natives, as the Hyraxes of the rocky parts of the country are invading human areas and "eating everything they can find". The Hyraxes seem to like the piles of boulders that are created by building projects, using them as hiding places from which to mount raids into back gardens and villages.

Hyraxes are mentioned in the Bible – the Book of Proverbs (30:26) reports: "The rock badgers are a fierce folk, yet they make their homes in the crags". There are also reports that the new suburban Hyraxes may carry the noxious skin disease leishmaniasis.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fierce Otter Goes On Rampage


The Co. Clare town of Tulla has been terrorised by a fierce otter. Not realising that the townsfolk were trying to help it back to the wetlands that make up the usual otter environment, the furry menace lashed and snapped at all comers, repeatedly escaping from human custody. So fierce was the little fellow that he had exhausted himself by the time he was brought to the water he had to be saved from drowning and held in custody for another fifteen minutes until he was ready to swim and bite again.

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Lazy Lions Slow Research

Lions are unusual animals. Male lions have the characteristic mane, something not seen in any other type of big cat. The most unusual thing about lions is their sociability. Other big cats (and, indeed, small cats) are naturally solitary, hunting and living on their own. Lions, however, live in groups, hunting and hanging out together. Quite why they do this has proved something of a mystery, with various theories being advanced over the years to explain this odd behaviour. The three most commonly advanced are that their social living is driven by communal hunting, collective suckling of young and protection of cubs from other predators.

Professor Craig Parker set himself and his team the task of solving the conundrum of lions' social behaviour. They hoped that observing lions in action in the Serengeti would generate data that would make clear what advantage the big cats derived from their sociability. The initial expectation was that the project would take three years. Unfortunately, it ended up taking 45 – because lions are so lazy that they engage in so little activity that it took ages and ages to observe enough actual actions from which to start drawing conclusions.

Parker eventually found enough evidence to rebut the existing theories and to back a new one. This is that lions live together so that they can better defend prime hunting territory from rival lions. The most sought after territories for lions turned out to be areas where rivers converged together, with prides of lions that could not gain access to these typically being doomed to eventual disappearance.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hungry Bears Eat You Granny

In the Komi Republic of Russia, the local bears are getting ready to hibernate. Unfortunately, a variety of factors have meant that the foods on which they usually fatten up are not so available this year. To get around this problem, the giant omnivores have started sneaking into human graveyards to dig up and eat the newly interred dead. Apparently a bear in Karelia was the first to work out how to open coffins, and he (or she) then taught all its friends.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

RIP Cedric

Cedric the Tasmanian Devil has been euthanised. The fierce little fellow had developed untreatable facial tumours which would ultimately have prevented him from feeding and let to his starvation. The plague of facial tumours is devastating the Tasmanian Devil community, but hopes had originally arisen that Cedric was somehow immune to the disease. This has proved not to be the case.

Tasmanian Devils spread the facial cancers to each other by biting each other while fighting. Scientists have suggested that if they do not moderate their behaviour there is a real likelihood that they will soon be extinct.

image source, more

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Monster Marmots

Global warming is not great for people who live in low lying areas (like the 160 million people who live in Bangladesh). For many wild animals and plants climate change also causes problems, pushing many towards extinction.

The world’s rising temperature does however seem to be good news for marmots. The little fellows are apparently experiencing something of a baby boom, with their numbers multiplying greatly. Not merely that, but marmots are becoming ever chubbier and healthier, because the warmer summers greatly suit their lifestyle.

It is as yet unclear whether this new population of monster marmots is good or bad news for marmot predators – does the growth in marmot numbers mean more tasty snacks for wolves and bears, or are the marmots becoming too fierce to eat? Only time will tell.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Invasion of the Squirrels

Mrs Oonagh Nutt, from Moira in Co. Down, has had her house invaded by squirrels. Far from being cute little fellows with cuddly tails, these squirrels are monsters. "Up close they are quite frightening", reports Mrs Nutt. "They look like puppy dogs with big hands, they growl and bark at you, they're vicious things. They'll go for you".

A member of the League of Red Squirrels has pointed out that Mrs Nutt's home has been invaded by sinister grey squirrels. "You'd want to watch your nuts with those b----s around", commented the red squirrel, speaking on conditions of anonymity.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Untidy Details

Casual reading of the Wikipedia page for George Moscone, the mayor of San Francisco who was murdered by demented former city supervisor Dan White, revealed the fascinating fact that he had appointed Jim Jones of the People's Temple to the city's Housing Authority. Jim Jones is of course more famous these days as the raving lunatic who orchestrated the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana, in which some 900 members of his cult were induced to poison themselves, but he seems to have spent much of the 1970s involving himself and his movement in progressive San Francisco politics. Jones seems to have been a fairly big player, someone that many liberal politicians were, for a time, anxious to have onside. One detail the Milk film omitted was the People Temple's involvement in some of Harvey Milk's election campaigns. It is perhaps easy to make too much of this - for a long time Jim Jones and the People's Temple must have seemed like just another bit of leftover 1960s counter-culture stuff, but it is still a fascinating detail.

Wikipedia page on the People's Temple in San Francisco (with lots of citations)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes We Can

I have on a number of occasions mentioned the ongoing conflict between red and grey squirrels. Grey squirrels have been in the ascendant for some time, but recently they have faced a number of challenges, both from human alliances with the reds and the emergence of red squirrels immune to the mysterious disease that was decimating their fellows.

Now the grey squirrels face a terrible new threat. As in the world of humans, a new type of black squirrel has risen up and is becoming increasingly oppressive towards its lighter coloured fellows. Scientists have predicted that the black squirrels may soon exterminate the greys completely. The situation is so desperate that some greys are proposing the unthinkable - an alliance with the red squirrel.

image source

Saturday, January 03, 2009

THE GREAT DEBATE!

On Internet messageboard I Love Everything, the most crucial question in the history of humanity is being debated - right now. Make sure your voice is heard. Polls close January 19th.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Worrying news for Tasmanian Devils

Tasmanian Devils are very fierce animals whose very fierceness has put them in terrible danger. They spend a lot of their time biting and snapping at each other, but unfortunately in so doing they transmit a terrible disease which causes their faces to erupt in repulsive cancerous growths that eventually make them unable to see or eat, leading to their death by starvation. Scientists have projected that their complete extinction in the next five or so years.

I have previously mentioned how some hope had emerged following the discovery of Cedric, a Tasmanian Devil who appeared to be immune to the facial cancers decimating his kind. Scientists had hoped that they could discover the secret of his immunity, or use him to repopulate the world with his cancer-immune progeny. Sadly, these hopes have now been dashed. Cedric recently developed some of the tumours on his face. Scientists have tried to excise them, but they do not hold out much hope.

Professor Greg Woods of the University of Tasmania has said that the results are "very deflating, very, very disappointing. There really is only one thing that can save the Tasmanian Devils now - they must stop being so fierce".

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

REMINDER: Pandas are fierce

Readers should remember that while pandas may look like they would love a cuddle, they are actually very fierce. Mr Liu, a student in Guilin, China, learned this to his cost when visiting Qixing Park. Despite many warning signs, he climbed into the enclosure of panda Yang Yang. "Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him," he has said. Yang Yang however saw things differently and bit Mr Liu repeatedly.

Panda attacks in Chinese zoos are not uncommon. Gu Gu in Beijing zoo is always having a go at people who climb into her enclosure,as Mr Zhang Xinyan can vouch.

in Guilin, Mr Liu has been held in hospital but is expected to recover. Yang Yang is eating and playing normally.

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