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Pingo posted a topic in Off-Topic Rampancyhttps://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/still-snarling-after-40000-years-a-giant-pleistocene-wolf-discovered-in-yakutia/ The intact head of a gigantic wolf has been discovered in Siberian permafrost. The head is 40cm long, as large as a modern donkey’s head (fully half the body length of a modern wolf!)
I need some help identifying this skull. Seriously, what kind of critter WAS this thing? The skull is not real; it seems to be a resin cast, and as far as I can tell, it is not representative of anything that ever actually walked the earth. Judging from the smaller teeth, I'm guessing the master was sculpted from scratch by someone with only a tenuous grasp on what animal skulls, much less their teeth, are supposed to look like. The final puzzle piece: I got it at Hobby Lobby in the Mens Decor section; ten bucks. I reiterate the question: If a visitor to my home steps into the trophy room with me for brandy and cigars... and sees THAT thing... and asks what it IS... ...what should I reply? Answers need not be serious, but bonus points for cleverness.
Pingo posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancyThink Man-Sized Swimming Centipede â€” And Be Glad It's A Fossil (by Christopher Joyce) A seven-foot-long filter-feeding anomolocarid fossil from the early Ordovician period, 480 million years ago, has been cleaned up and identified after being found in Morocco. Anomalocarids were first identified in the famous Precambrian Burgess Shale formations in western Canada, 508 million years old. For the time they were gigantic -- maybe 80cm to a meter long, when all else was tiny worms, trilobites, and some extremely weird early critters. They weren't even recognized as one creature at first. No one believed that anything that large could have lived that early. Various anomalocaris body part fossils -- mouthparts and grasping arms and body segments and fins -- were misidentified for decades as multiple species of small shrimp, sponge, or jellyfish (the name "anomalocaris" means "something odd about this shrimp"). Eventually paleontologist Harry B. Whittington put together the pieces and came to the incredible realization that something relatively gigantic and weirder than anyone thought had lived in late Precambrian seas. Anomalocaris was eventually recognized as a very early arthropod, a relative of centipedes and spiders, with some of the most advanced eyes ever evolved. As this article says, 30 million years later its descendants were still swimming around, now having evolved into even larger filter-feeders, with comblike nets at the front to help filter plankton out of the ocean. It lived like a whale, but it was an arthropod.