Just when we humans…
Think we are pretty secure in the knowledge of the species which surround us?
Oh, discoveries crop up and we learn…
We can still be surprised by Mother Nature!
And surprised by animals not ONLY from our past…
[via The Blaze] DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Experts are trying to figure out what a fossil dubbed “Godzillus” used to be.
The 150-pound fossil recovered last year in northern Kentucky is more than 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. To the untrained eye, it looks like a bunch of rocks or a concrete blob. Experts are trying to determine whether it was an animal, mineral or a form of plant life from a time when the Cincinnati region was underwater.
Scientists at a Geological Society of America meeting viewed it Tuesday at the Dayton Convention Center in Ohio.
“We are looking for people who might have an idea of what it is,” said Ben Dattilo, an assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Scientists say the fossil is 450 million years old. University of Cincinnati geologist Carl Brett said it’s the largest fossil ever extracted from that era in the Cincinnati region.
“This is the ultimate cold case,” said Ron Fine, the Dayton, Ohio, amateur paleontologist who spotted the fossil on a hillside last year and gave it its name.
“Like Godzilla, it’s a primordial beast that found its way to the modern era,” Fine said. Now 43, he’s been collecting fossils since age 4, and said he saw part of this one on a hillside off Kentucky 17 nearly a year ago.
“Most fossils around here are small, the size of your thumbnail or your thumb,” he said. “This thing’s huge.”
He said it could be an early form of seaweed or kelp.
“This one has us stumped,” said David Meyer, another UC geology professor. Fine shared his find last September at a meeting of the Dry Dredgers, a group of amateur geologists.
Meyer, who wrote a book called “A Sea Without Fish” about the era, said the fossil has intricate patterns that remind him of “goose flesh. Some of its surface also looks like scales. But this thing is not boney. It is not a fish.” [Read More]
Wonderfully we do indeed learn?
We can still be surprised by species in our very present!
[via WSJ] NEW YORK—A new bee is buzzing in Brooklyn: The tiny insect, the size of a sesame seed, sips the sweet nectar of the city—sweat.
“They use humans as a salt lick,” said entomologist John Ascher, who netted the first known specimen of the species in 2010 while strolling in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park near his home. “They land on your arm and lap up the sweat.”
For Mr. Ascher, 41 years old, nothing quite brightens the day like a new box of unidentified bees landing on his desk from some distant glade. So puzzling was the greenish-blue city bee he netted, though, that it took Mr. Ascher, who oversees a digital catalog of 700,000 bee specimens at the American Museum of Natural History, months to pinpoint its proper place in the insect kingdom.
In the end, only DNA testing by sweat bee specialist Jason Gibbs at Cornell University could identify its niche. Last November, they announced the discovery of Lasioglossum gotham, in a peer-reviewed journal called Zootaxa. The newbie joined the growing catalog of easily overlooked wild native bees.
Sweat bees don’t have a high profile outside academic circles. Unlike honeybees, which were originally imported from Europe, native bees don’t make much honey. To their credit, though, sweat bees rarely sting; their occasional pinprick registers a one on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, the lowest on the four-point scale. (Bullet ants and the tarantula hawk wasp rate a four.)
A new species of sweat bee, Lasioglossum gotham, was discovered in the Brooklyn borough of New York in 2010, joining the growing catalog of easily overlooked wild native bees. Shown, a Lasioglossum gotham specimen.
These bees prefer sweaty people—over most animals—because the human diet usually is so salty that their perspiration is saturated with the essential nutrient, experts said. Yet most people never notice when the tiny bees alight on a bare arm or leg. [Read More]
There is just something about the glorious treasure that is to be had in a discovery…
A feeling found only in the particular sensation while learning of something new, which cannot be had or experience, through anything else.
Of course there are those who exist that think they “know” all there is, and all that is needed, to know and shun the experience of new knowledge.
How glad I am I am not one of those people!