Saturday 20 August 2011

biggest croc, mouth evolution and mammoth find. (a round up of the news)

World's biggest captive crocodile held at Green Island, off Cairns
Daniel Bateman Saturday, August 20, 2011© The Cairns Post
IT'S official - Cairns has the biggest captive crocodile in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Cassius, the 5.5m saltwater crocodile, has called Marineland Melanesia his home for 24 years. Now, he has officially been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the largest croc in captivity. Cassius will appear in the 2012 edition of the organisation’s book, which will be launched next month.
Cassius, who is thought to be at least 100 years old, was captured south of Darwin in 1984, after he attacked one too many boats.He was relocated to captivity in the Far North in 1987

Fossil shows huge mouth evolution
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC Nature
Modern baleen whales, such as blue whales, can filter small marine creatures from huge volumes of water. Their "loose" lower jaw joints enable them to produce a vast filter-feeding gape. A study of this ancient jawbone showed that nature's largest mouths probably evolved to suck in large prey rather than to engulf plankton-filled water. The researchers, from Australia and the US, reported their findings in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters. The prehistoric jaw, they noted, was very different from modern baleen whales. In modern whales, the lower jaw does not fuse at the "chin". Instead there is a specialised jaw joint that allows each side of the jaw to rotate. By having two curved lower jaw bones that rotate in this way, baleen whales are able to produce huge gapes to take in massive quantities of water and prey.
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Reindeer herder finds baby mammoth in Russia Arctic
MOSCOW | Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:16pm BST
(Reuters) - A reindeer herder in Russia's Arctic has stumbled on the pre-historic remains of a baby woolly mammoth poking out of the permafrost, local officials said on Friday.The herder said the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old mammoth calf Lyuba discovered in the same remote region four years ago, authorities said, adding that an expedition had set off hoping to confirm the "sensational" find."If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance," expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said in a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region's official website.Scientists planned to fly the mammoth's remains to the regional capital Salekhard, where it would be stored in a cooler to prevent the remains from decomposing.Giant woolly mammoths have been extinct since the Earth's last Ice Age 1.8 million to around 11,500 years ago.
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