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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Month: May 2023

Debunked CO2, climate claim resurfaces online

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved. Social media users are recirculating a years-old video in which an Australian broadcaster implies the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in Earth’s atmosphere are too small to cause substantial global warming. This is misleading;…

Boilergeddon Could Topple Germany’s Heat Pump-Loving Green Party

Ah, Germany, land of economic resilience, political consensus, low debt, social compliance, manufacturing prowess, beer gardens, and lederhosen. But for how much longer? Alone among G7 advanced economies, Germany has recently slipped into recession, and hard though it may be…

Arctic Risks Loom Large as Blinken Tours NATO’s North

Russia may be having major difficulties in Ukraine, but it remains a vast power in the north and the Arctic, where climate change is opening new sea routes for trade and trouble. As polar ice melts, Russia, already a major…

New Dinosaur With Rows of Bristles On its Head Like a Toothbrush Has Been Discovered

Artist depiction of a pachycephalosaur named Platytholus clemensi – SWNS

Researchers say this strange, dome-headed, bristle-bristling dino from 68 million years ago has traces of keratin, what fingernails and rhino horn are made of, sticking up from its skull.

The paleontologists who discovered the beast completed a CT scan on the partially-completed skull and revealed these keratin bristles, described as giving the animal the appearance of having a “brush cut.”

The animal is called Platytholus clemensi, and is a type of pachycephalosaur discovered in 2011 in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation. It was a plant-eating dinosaur that grew up to 15 feet long and walked on two legs.

Dinosaur skulls sport an amazing variety of bony ornaments, ranging from the horns of Triceratops and the mohawk-like crests of hadrosaurs to the bumps and knobs covering the head of Tyrannosaurus rex. 

There is a theory that pachycephalosaurs bashed heads in courtship rituals much like some mammals do today. But despite a gash being discovered on the skull which had healed up, the researchers say there is no real evidence to support this, and the discovery of bristles is currently considered more like an elaborate headdress.

“We don’t know the exact shape of what was covering the dome, but it had this vertical component that we interpret as covered with keratin,” said Dr. Mark Goodwin of the University of California, Berkeley. “A bristly, flat-topped covering biologically makes sense. Animals change or use certain features, particularly on the skull, for multiple functions.”

The head wound is about half an inch deep but it could have been caused by anything from a falling rock to a chance encounter with a tree or another dinosaur.

“We see probably the first unequivocal evidence of trauma in the head of any pachycephalosaur, where the bone was actually ejected from the dome somehow and healed partially in life,” said Dr. Goodwin. “We don’t know how that was caused. It could be head-butting—we don’t dispute that.”

However his colleague and co-author of the paper describing the curious animal, Dr. John Horner at the University of California, Orange, believes that since Dinosaurs’ closest living relatives are birds, they should look at skull ornamentation among them, rather than their distant lizard precursors as a guide for what the purpose of these bristles was.

Artist depiction of a pachycephalosaur named Platytholus clemensi – SWNS

“That’s the first place everybody wants to go—let’s crash them together. And, you know, we just don’t see any evidence of it, histologically,” said Dr. Horner. “Any features, any accouterments that we find on the heads of dinosaurs, I think, are all display—it’s all about display.”

OTHER EVOLUTIONARY FREAKS: ‘Puppy Dog Eyes’ Are an Evolutionary Trait Developed So Dogs Can Better Capture Our Hearts

He said that reptiles and birds, the closest relatives to dinosaurs, have head ornamentation for display and rarely butt heads like mammals such as sheep. While crocodiles bash their heads together over territorial and mating disputes, sometimes for hours, dinosaurs diverged from crocodiles more than 200 million years before this animal was living.

Pachycephalosaurs also lack a pneumatic chamber above the braincase, as found in bighorn sheep, which protects their brain from injury.

“I don’t see any reason to turn dinosaurs into mammals, rather than just trying to figure out what they might be doing as bird-like reptiles,” Dr. Horner said.

The study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology said that blood vessels in the skull ended abruptly at the surface of the dome, indicating that the blood originally fed some tissue that was sitting atop the dome.

MORE DINOSAUR NEWS: Dinosaur With Biggest Claws Ever Discovered Was ‘Edward Scissorhands on Speed’ Scientists Say

And as the vessels were perpendicular to the surface they most likely fed a vertical structure.

“What we see are these vertical canals coming to the surface, which suggests that there might be keratin on top, but it’s oriented vertically,” Horner continued.

“I think these pachycephalosaurs had something on top of their head that we don’t know about. I don’t think they were just domes. I think there was some elaborate display on top of their head.”

MORE PALEONTOLOGY: Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Our Planet Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms

The authors added that it could have been high, colored, or even subject to changes in color depending on the seasons. It suggests they were used for sexual display and courting, though they may have been used to butt the flanks, as opposed to the heads, of male rivals.

Dr. Goodwin said he suspects that dinosaurs likely distinguished gender by color, as do most modern birds, such as cassowaries, peafowls, and toucans, which have bright integumental colors around the face and head for visual communication.

SHARE This Wild Hairdo With Your Flock On Social Media…

As U.S. Races Ahead, Europe Frets About Battery Factory Subsidies

The European Union is trying to assemble the building blocks to produce electric cars, but subsidies are luring companies to the United States. European leaders complained for years that the United States was not doing enough to fight climate change….

Earth is “really quite sick now” and in danger zone in nearly all ecological ways, study says

Earth has pushed past seven out of eight scientifically established safety limits and into “the danger zone,” not just for an overheating planet that’s losing its natural areas, but for well-being of people living on it, according to a new…

‘Safe and just’ climate boundary has already been breached, says contested study – Carbon Brief

Almost all global thresholds for a “safe and just” planet have already been breached, including for the climate, ecosystems and freshwater, according to new research. The new study develops the idea of “planetary boundaries“, first set out in an influential…


Deluge in Spain continues, could still face its driest summer in over 6 decades

Some areas see more rainfall in a day than normally seen in an entire month; wet weather to continue

Firefighters drain water from a house in El Llano de Molina district. Photo: @112rmurcia / Twitter Firefighters drain water from a house in El Llano de Molina district. Photo: @112rmurcia / Twitter

Record rainfall has flooded parts of Spain, including roads and metro stations, adding to the problems created by a prolonged drought. The rains began on May 22, 2023 and follow Spain’s driest spring to date through May 21. The country is, however, on track for its driest summer despite the deluge.

Huge swathes of the country have been placed under yellow warning by Spain’s meteorological office (AEMET) due to the risk of heavy rain and storms, reported European television news network Euronews. 

Heavy rain over the past week wreaked havoc along Spain’s Mediterranean coast and in the capital, Madrid. Some areas saw more rainfall in a day than is normally seen in an entire month. Affected regions include Andalusia, Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Madrid and Valencia. 

Read more: Drought to deluge: Heavy rain causes flash flooding across southern Spain

Flash flooding has turned streets in Murcia into rivers as buildings flooded and road closures have taken effect across southern parts of the country. Authorities battled to drain the streets as the extreme weather follows weeks of drought.

Despite the downpours, Spain is on track for its driest summer since record-keeping began in 1961, according to AEMET. Some parts in the Valencia region recorded more rainfall during a few days last week than they did in the previous six months.

Northern half of the peninsula and the Canary Islands are still facing dry conditions. However, for southeast Spain, rainfall has exceeded three times the normal value for the month in some areas.

The town of Ontinyent had the highest rainfall in one day for more than 100 years. It saw 130 litres per square metre fall in 24 hours, Euronews further reported. Molina del Segura is also an area of concern as rescue forces have been brought in due to the situation potentially becoming life-threatening.

The wet weather is set to continue throughout this week in areas including Madrid and Valencia, according to the AEMET, although conditions are set to be less severe than the previous seven days.

Media Outlet Cites Computer Models To Push Climate Disinfo On Landfalling Hurricanes

A CBS News Philidelphia segment claims that climate change will cause an increase in hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. This claim is unsubstantiated and undermined by the available evidence. Rather than citing data or the…

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