Tala Ko

Archive for November 2008

Sir Raffy’d be so happy.
clipped from www.dailygalaxy.com
Australian scientists studying humpback whales sounds say they have
begun to decode the whale’s mysterious communication system. They say
they’ve already identified male “pick-up lines” as well as motherly
warnings.

Humpback_whale_underwater_shot_2
at least 34 different types of whale calls


The researchers studied migrating east humpback whales, as they
traveled up and down Australia’s east coast, and recorded 660 sounds
from 61 different groups. Dunlop says that some of the sounds recorded
could have multiple meanings depending on how they are grouped, for
example, but some sounds appeared to have one clear meaning, such as
the “purr” sound from males ready to try their luck with an available
female. High frequency “screams” were associated with disagreements. A
“wop” sound was common when mothers were together with their young.

Perhaps something like, “Junior, Junior! Get over here now!”
  blog it
Advertisements

if you’re looking for me, i’m over at tumblr. anothernotebook.tumblr.com. :)

Another turtle clip. This one’s really cool; I like the reconstruction picture.

Original clip by jw.

clipped from scienceblogs.com

Now this is an interesting beast. It’s a 220 million year old fossil from China of an animal that is distinctly turtle-like. Here’s a look at its dorsal side:

odontochelys_fossil.jpeg

Notice in the skull: it’s got teeth, not just a beak like modern turtles. The back is also odd, for a turtle. The ribs are flattened and broadened, but…no shell! It’s a turtle without a shell!

Flip it over. There’s another specimen, and we can look down on its ventral side, and there it is — a plastron, or the belly armor.

odontochelys_belly.jpeg
So, what we have here is a long-legged, toothed reptile with an elongate body, and it also has a plastron like a turtle, and hints in the bony structure of the spine of the carapace-to-be. It also fits perfectly with the embryology: modern turtles form the plastron first, and the carapace second. This is a beautiful transitional form
And here’s a reconstruction of what they would have looked like, way back in the Triassic

odontochelys.jpeg

Comments

Sigh. Two new gaps in the fossil record…

  blog it
Original clip by wt.

That soup song and the Mock Turtle keep coming to mind. It’s kind of inappropriate, considering that there are only four of these Swinhoe turtles left. :|

clipped from www.foxnews.com
A rare East Asian turtle, one of just four believed left in the world, was swept away by a flood, taken hostage by an enterprising fisherman and nearly ended up in a soup pot.

Instead, the 150-pound animal returned to its lake Wednesday and conservationists celebrated their deal with the fisherman — the turtle’s freedom in exchange for about $200 and two new fishing nets.

Douglas Hendrie and other conservationists had been trying to find the turtle for two weeks after floods washed the animal out of Dong Mo Lake near Hanoi.

Only three other members of the rafetus swinhoei species, also known as Swinhoe’s soft-shelled turtle or the Yangtze soft-shelled turtle, are known to exist.

  blog it
Now we have proof!
clipped from www.sciencedaily.com

ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2008) — Listening to your favorite music may be good for your cardiovascular system. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first time that the emotions aroused by joyful music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function.

Music, selected by study participants because it made them feel good and brought them a sense of joy, caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate (or expand) in order to increase blood flow. This healthy response matches what the same researchers found in a 2005 study of laughter. On the other hand, when study volunteers listened to music they perceived as stressful, their blood vessels narrowed, producing a potentially unhealthy response that reduces blood flow.

  blog it
Math and the Beatles – I love it!

Original clip by jimbo1000. His comment: go to the source for the finer points

clipped from www.sciencedaily.com
Mathematician Cracks Mystery Beatles Chord
It’s the most famous chord in rock’n’ roll, an instantly recognizable twang rolling through the open strings on George Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker.
It evokes a Pavlovian response from music fans
The opening chord to A Hard Day’s Night is also famous because for 40 years, no one quite knew exactly what chord Harrison was playing.
Dr. Brown decided to try and see if he could apply a mathematical calculation known as Fourier transform to solve the Beatles’ riddle. The process allowed him to decompose the sound into its original frequencies using computer software and parse out which notes were on the record.
  blog it