by Rafael Silva do Nascimento and Piter Kehoma Boll
We want to bring every month a post of this bulletin with natural history network itens that catch our attention. Every month we will write the article and along with it bring to light his view on things, such as news, related blog entries, reviews on books, artistry and so on.
- Dan Warner, notable paleoartist for marine enviroiments, dies in January 1 2012.
- Photos of living Myanmar snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus strykeri, a highly threatened species described in 2010.
- “Extinct” giant tortoise found, a giant Galápagos tortoise believed extinct for 150 years probably still exists, say scientists.
- “Extinct” monkey is rediscovered, Miller’s grizzled langur (Presbytis hosei canicrus) has been photographed in Wehea forest in eastern Borneo.
- Study fails to confirm existence of arsenic based life, a new analysis was not able to support the controversial study claiming that a species of bacterium could replace phosphorous by arsenic in its DNA.
- Male mice have “singing voices”, a study reveals that the pattern of voice in male house mice are more complex than expected.
- Prehistoric predator from Palaeozoic found in Brazil, Pampaphoneus biccai was a top predator and closely related to mammals.
- Burmese pythons are declining Everglade’s mammal populations at an astonishing rate, new surveys found out that the exotic pythons living in the Everglades are becoming a major threat to the survival of the native mammals, eating from rabbits to bobcats.
- Petrobras suffers oil leak at Brazil tanker terminal, the Brazilian state-controled oil company, Petrobras, suffered an oil spill at an offshore terminal in southern Brazil, which reached Tramandaí beach in Rio Grande do Sul State.
- New snake species discovered – Atheris matildae, a colorful horned viper is discovered in Tanzania, but its exact location remains secret to avoid illegal hunting for wildlife trade.
- Beyonce’s Fly Scapia (Plinthina) beyoncea, named after the pop singer. Yes, taxonomy uses to have some shocking ideas.
Posts on nature blogroll that catched our attention this month:
- Nature Blog Network post on newbies from January 18h, including us!
- “My, What Weird Teeth You Have!“, post on notosuchians by Jaime A. Headden at The Bite Stuff.
- “Rigid Swimmer” and the Cretaceous Ichthyosaur Revolution (part I)”, by Darren Naish at Tetrapod Zoology.
- “O RNA se acha o tal, mas não é a toa!” (RNA fancies itself, but it’s not for nothing!), by Natália Dörr at Tage des Glücks (in Portuguese).
- The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins. If you still haven’t quite understood how evolution could shape all lifeforms on our planet, you’ll be fascinated by how everything is so simple and perfectly possible after reading this great book by one of the most influent biologists of our time.
Here are some pictures that came to light in this month and in my opinion deserve an place under the sun:
- “Carcharodontosaurus sanagasta” by Jorge Antonio Gonzalez – Gonzalez made this 10 meter long model of polyester resin with Ernesto Rodriguez, Cecilia and James Dellagiovanna, Sebastian Perez Parry and Maria de los Angeles Meza, with Gonzalez himself participating in sculpture and art direction. A great detailed model with eyes that don’t show the expression of monsters we usually see in those theropods. This is the main point that made me like it.
- “Ceratosaurus” by Sergey Krasovskiy – high detailed picture in a superb traditional artwork. Krasovskiy pictures always present us incredible scenarios with accurate and dynamic animals.
- “Coelodonta nihowanensis” by Chen Yu – skull and reconstruction of this obscure rhinoceros from Early Pleistocene of China. Chen’s gallery on DeviantArt is full of amazing compositions featuring extinct mammals that usually are out of the focus of the sight of the general reader.
- “Fisher King revisited” by Scott Hartman – Hartman’s technical drawings are, along with Gregoy Paul’s, a reference for most of the recent popular paleontological pictures we see in internet. A place he deserve, of course, with his pictures being product of deep research. This time, Spinosaurus aegypticus skeleton, which the original finds were destroyed by a bombardment during the World War II.
- “The Vicious Lizard of Madagascar” by Julio Lacerda – this composition make us think we are looking direct into a photograph of a long-gone creature. Lacerda’s pictures really catch my attention for being digital without looking ”plastic”, for being very accurate anatomically and making the dinosaurs looking the animals they were, not monsters. Yes, I really don’t like dinosaurs being depicted as creatures from hell with an insatiable thirsty for blood and destruction.
- “The Pampa Killer” by Jennifer Viegas – good to see a familiar name illustrating an article telling the world about the discovery of this Brazilian synapsid.
- “Singapore – Panorama IV” by Yousef Al Habshi – an amazing view of Singapore and the ocean behind, where you can also see the city sadly growing over the forest.
- A new threat to honeybees, the parasitic fly Apocephalus borealis: an interesting discovery of honeybees being parasitized by a species previously only known to affect bumblebees.
- New Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous Demonstrate Extensive Ichthyosaur Survival across the Jurassic–Cretaceous Boundary: this new discovery changes the view of how mass extinctions during Mesozoic affected ichthyosaurs. Apparently they weren’t that bad represented in Cretaceous as previously thought.
- The maximum rate of mammal evolution, measurements about evolution of body size in Mammals suggest that for a mouse to reach the size of an elephant, it would take about 24 million generations or 10 million years.
- Snake modulates constriction in response to prey’s heartbeat, constrictor snakes, or at least boas, seem to have the ability to measure prey’s heartbeat to control the amount of pressure applied.