Wednesday 21 March 2012

news roundup ,sighting of spring heeled jack?sharpest teeth in history and new discovery

 Taxi driver breaks silence over "dark figure"
9:30am Tuesday 20th March 2012 in Top Stories By Lauren May
Taxi driver breaks silence over "dark figure" A taxi driver has corroborated the sighting of "a dark figure" in Epsom last month but has played down its significance. The man, who works with NV cars in Sutton has been on holiday since the mysterious sighting on February 14 on the Ewell bypass near Nescot College. His passengers reported seeing a dark figure cross the road in front of the taxi at about 10.30pm before leaping a 15ft bank. They were amazed by what they saw and likened the figure to the legendary Spring Heeled Jack. Since the story broke it has been one of the top stories on our websites attracting thousands of hits and comments from ghost hunters around the world.

Scientists Discover Sharpest Teeth in History
A team of scientists from Monash University and the University of Bristol has found that the tiny teeth of a long-extinct prehistoric fish are the sharpest that have ever been recorded.A study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that the teeth of conodonts, a group that first appeared around 500 million years ago, were easily able to bite through the animal’s food despite measuring only a millimeter in length. The fragile nature of the tiny fossil remains of animals that died out more than 200 million years ago meant scientists had to create virtual 3D models of the material using x-rays from a particle accelerator in Japan before they could conduct thorough research.“Evidence suggested the conodonts were the first vertebrates to develop teeth,” said Dr. Alistair Evans of Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences, a co-author on the study. “Conodonts had no other skeleton than the teeth in their mouths. These came together a bit like scissors, to slice up food.”

Should the location of newly discovered species be hidden?
By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service
Discovering a new species can be the defining moment of a biologist's career, but for some it can also mean exposing rare and vulnerable animals to the dark world of the wildlife pet trade, with catastrophic results. It's a scientific dilemma that has led some conservationists to question whether it would be better to hide their findings from the world.In 1999, herpetologist Bryan Stuart was working in Northern Laos when he stumbled across an eye-catching newt he had never seen before. The creature was prehistoric in its appearance with thick, warty skin and bright, yellow dots all the way down its back. He spotted it in a bottle of alcohol that a Lao colleague had brought back from a wedding in a remote part of the country - the poison from the newt's skin had been used to make a drink with special medicinal properties for a toast to the newlyweds. Stuart went in search of the newt in the wild and three years later he published an article in the Journal of Herpetology, announcing the discovery of the new species, Laotriton laoensis. "When you see one of these animals in the wild in your hand for the first time and you recognise that it is absolutely unique, it's like discovering a treasure," he says. But his joy turned to horror when he realised his discovery had caught the attention of amphibian dealers around the world. Examples of the species were popping up in pictures on amphibian pet forums as far away as Germany and Japan.

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