Stories tagged weird

This BBC documentary produced a few years back provides some valuable insight and information involving some of the dinosaurs included in the Science Museum of Minnesota's new upcoming exhibit Ultimate Dinosaurs which opens March 1.

Sep
24
2013

Big-nosed dinosaur: Nasutoceratops gets its name party from its extremely big nose.
Big-nosed dinosaur: Nasutoceratops gets its name party from its extremely big nose.Courtesy Lukas Panzann
(Psst everybody.....don't mention anything about his big nose. Got it? He's kind of sensitive about it.)

Okay, paleontologists from the University of Utah have recently discovered a new dinosaur very similar to triceratops, that has a very large...um, um, set of horns.

Roaming about present day Utah some 76 million years ago, measured about 15 feet long. Its colossal 4.5-foot skull bore a single horn over the nose, a horn above each eye and an elongated, bony frill toward the rear. Its large, flat teeth were perfect for eating plant matter.

But what really set this dinosaur apart is its extremely large...um, um, feet. Yeah that's it. This 2.5 ton dinosaur walked around great big feet.

Its horns are much more curved than Triceritops – almost looking like cattle horns – yet its frill is much more plain than its cousin's. Paleontologists have long speculated about the function of horns and frills on horned dinosaurs. Ideas have ranged from predator defense and controlling body temperature to recognizing members of the same species. But prevailing view today is that the horns primary purpose was for competing for mates.

And of course, Nasutoceratops had a huge honking schnoz on the front of its face, a nose bigger than any of its planting-eating, frilled and horned relative. (Ooops, I wasn't supposed to say that, was I.) But researchers don't think the big nose gave Nasutoceratops a more refined sense of smell. Olfactory receptors would have sat farther back in the skull, just like other dinosaurs. Like the horns, the big nose was probably a key to attracting mates.

Nov
07
2011

I posted this picture a few days ago on Facebook and got a ton of comments. Apparently, I am not the only one that does this. I also thought this was something new, but a friend pointed out that I did this since I was 14 (9th grade sleepovers). My husband is really creeped out by it and he has to physically push my arm back down. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Does anyone know what causes this? The human body sure does weird things!!

Weird Sleeping Habit
Weird Sleeping HabitCourtesy My Husband

Feb
12
2009

Charles Darwin: The great naturalist was born 200 hundred years ago.
Charles Darwin: The great naturalist was born 200 hundred years ago.Courtesy Public Domain
Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, one of science’s most revered figures. Special events marking the occasion are planned throughout the world especially in England where he was born on this date (February 12th) in 1809. This year’s also the 150th anniversary of the publication of the famed naturalist’s most important work, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a book that revolutionized the science of biology, and one that - despite enormous amounts of evidence in its favor - remains controversial to this day. Born in the town of Shrewsbury, Charles Robert Darwin took after his grandfather Erasmus Darwin and from an early age showed a keen interest in the natural world, particularly geology, botany, and biology. While in college, a professor arranged for Charles to join the surveying expedition of the HMS Beagle to South America. It was during the five-year voyage that Darwin formulated his brilliant theory of evolution through natural selection. He returned to England in 1836 never to venture abroad again, and spent the next two decades writing out his ideas. On the Origin of Species was published on November 24, 1859, and sold out immediately. Five more editions were published during Darwin’s lifetime. He died April 19, 1882.

MORE ABOUT DARWIN
Darwin Online
Darwin Day site
Darwin Bicentennial at London’s Natural History Museum
About Darwin
Voyage of the Beagle (eBook)
Galapagos Islands in peril

Oct
15
2008

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic anxiety disorder most commonly characterized by obsessive, distressing, intrusive thoughts and related compulsions. Compulsions are tasks or "rituals" which attempt to neutralize the obsessions. OCD is distinguished from other types of anxiety, including the routine tension and stress that appear throughout life. The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal or caricatured manner to describe someone who is meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed in a cause, or otherwise fixated on something or someone.[1] Although these signs are often present in OCD, a person who exhibits them does not necessarily have OCD, and may instead have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) or some other condition.

(this is from wiki!!)

You've probably never thought about this before, but catfish and soccer balls don't mix well. Read this to find out why.

Jun
24
2008

Not only is today the birthday of the UFO, but apparently June 24th is infamous for all sorts of crazy carp, from (one of) the discovery of North America, to Angelic visions and rains of blood and goo, to a handful of Bigfoot sightings. And a bunch of other stuff.

But, then again, a lot of stuff happens every day.

Oct
05
2006

Skipjack herring: Illustration courtesy Duane Raver and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Skipjack herring: Illustration courtesy Duane Raver and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I work at the Science Museum and I often learn unusual things during the course of my day. Some things are funny, some I store away to pull out in a Cliff Claven moment, and others make me want to run screaming to my desk to put them into this blog.

This is one of the latter.

Yesterday I learned that herrings may communicate with one another through their anuses by farting. I almost exploded when the person leading the meeting casually mentioned this fact. I ran back to my computer, and sure enough. Researchers at not one, but TWO institutions are studying the phenomena. Both the Institute of Coastal Research at the National Board of Fisheries in Sweden and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver have researchers looking into the matter.

Before this remarkable discovery, it was known that herrings communicated with one another through sounds produced by their swim bladder. Researchers thought that all the sounds they heard coming from the herring were coming from the swim bladder. But, and I am laughing as I type, they noticed that a stream of bubbles would leave the herring’s anus in time with the sounds they were hearing. Sure enough, they are connected, and that sound was soon dubbed by the quick-thinking researchers as a Fast Repetitive Tick (or FRT, if you will).

Researchers note that the unlike the gas we pass, these sounds are not produced by the digestive process, but rather a connection between the swim bladder and the anus. The exact purpose or reason behind the FRTs is not exactly known. One theory is that is a way for the herring to communicate with each other at night. Another is that is an anti-predator tactic. Seriously. Or, it could just be an incidental release of air from the swim bladder as the fish adjusts its buoyancy.

You can hear the herring communicating in this manner here.

Woah! Check out this creepy fish found down in Texas. It has human looking teeth. I can't find much more credible information on this fish but some are suggesting it might be a sheapshead. Any ideas?

Mar
12
2005

The USGS, the branch of our government that reports and monitors earthquakes, reported a small earthquake in southern Florida yesterday. Well, at least that's what they thought. Residents of the Tampa, Florida area felt strong shocks and sounds of explosions last night and many thought it might have been an earthquake too. But Florida doesn't usually experience these sorts of tremors. The military later released a statement saying that two F-18 fighter jets flying low and then landing at an area Air Force base created the shocks. But, is that the whole story?