Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just a Little Odd

Just some interesting news recently:

A Goliath beetle specimen in a museum had strange round holes, recently recognized as shotgun pellets. The original collector must have caught it on the wing. (News source.)

Interesting article on unconfirmed Knysna (South Africa) elephants here.

More Homo floresiensis news here, and here.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Museum Exhibit

What sounds like an interesting museum exhibit on Bigfoot is being held at the Washington State History Museum. (News source.)

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Auk Bones Museum Find

A museum at Glasgow University discovered they had great auk bones in their uncatalogued archaeological specimens. (News source.)

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grover Krantz, on Exhibit

The skeletons of Dr. Grover Krantz (one of the few professionals to study Bigfoot) and his favorite wolfhound are on display now in a special exhibit at the Smithsonian NMNH. (News source.)

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Bigfoot Exhibit

Berkeley has put together an exhibit on Bigfoot, centered around some track casts donated to the museum by the late Dr. Krantz. (News source.)

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Tanystropheus

The Natural History Museum in Milan, Italy, has received fossil Tanystropheus bones from the Alps that are "exceptionally well-preserved." (News source.)

"The fossils belonged to three younger 'reptile giraffes,' so nicknamed because of their long neck which the animal used to approach its prey unnoticed.
"Tanystropheus lived in shallow waters but went ashore. On land, they dined on insects and small reptiles while in waters they would feast on fish and mollusks, the researchers said."

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bigfoot Exhibit

A year-long Bigfoot exhibit has opened up at Washington state's Capital Museum. (News source.)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Possible New Huntsman Spider?


Spotted in a rain forest in North Queensland, the orange and black marked spider may be the newest member of the Huntsman Clan.


The female collected by Alan Henderson has a 35 mm body and 90 mm leg span (that is around 1.4 inches and 3.5 inches, respectively).


Dubbed the "Tiger Huntsman" due to its coloration, the world may not know whether it is truly a new species until after it expires. Until then it can be seen as part of Melbourne Museum's Bugs Alive! exhibit.


For more see The Age

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Fossils: myths, mystery and magic

Fossils have fired the human imagination for thousands of years. To ancient civilisations they were objects of fear and wonder. Now, the legends these strange, beautiful relics inspired are celebrated in a major exhibition. Steve Connor digs up the facts - and the fiction

Published: 12 February 2007

Ancient bones and other fossilised remains have been known to humans for millennia but it is only over the past 300 years or so that their true origins have been revealed. Until then, a rich folklore sought to explain these enigmatic relics from the past. Every culture in every country, it seems, wanted an explanation for the unusual objects and bizarre shapes that often seemed to emerge, as if by magic, from the ground.

Imagine a group of prehistoric hunters, whose trail has brought them to a remote cave in northern Europe. They discover a cave and in it they find the empty skull of a huge, unrecognisable beast sitting on top of a pile of bones. It is easy to how the myth of cave-dwelling dragons who fed on other large creatures might have come about.

In fact, the mysterious beast would have been a woolly rhinoceros, which roamed Ice Age Europe before it went extinct about 10,000 years ago. Like many animals before it, the rhino would have used caves to take refuge from the elements - unaware that its bones would become entombed for thousands of years.

In Japan, fossilised sharks' teeth were said to be the pointed thumbnails of Tengu Man, a mythical mountain goblin. In India, the fossilised shell of ammonites - marine molluscs - were known as saligrams, symbols of the god Vishnu, which were kept in temples to purify water. In China, the fossils of mollusc-like brachiopods were known as Shih-yen, or stone swallows, which were said to be able to fly during thunderstorms.

Some fossils were ground into powder and taken as a potion to cure a rich variety of ailments. Others, like the saligrams of Hindus and the "tonguestones" of Christians, were dipped into drink to ward off evil.

Fossils were given exotic names in the many attempts to try to explain their existence. "Names such as thunderbolts, tonguestones, toadstones, snakestones and devil's toenails became widely used for different types of fossils in Britain," says Paul Taylor, a fossils expert at the Natural History Museum in London. Many resembled parts of the human body, and so became associated with the practice of sympathetic medicine - curing like with like. In Chinese medicine, the "dragon's teeth" used in some recipes were in fact the teeth and bones of common animals.
It was not until the mid-18th century that the true nature of fossils began to emerge.


A physician called Steno, who lived and worked in Florence, realised that the peculiar stone tongues that fell out of rocks were actually the teeth of ancient sharks. He was able to prove his theory after dissecting the head of a huge shark caught near Livorno in 1666. His "eureka" moment was the beginning of the end for fossil folklore - and the rest, as they say, is palaeontology.

An exhibition, Fossil Folklore, opens today at the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum in Tring, Hertfordshire, and runs until 8 July.

Read more at The Independent

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