Saturday, March 21, 2009

My, what big teeth you have

"The calculation is one of the largest bite forces ever calculated for any creature."

That's this one (a pliosaur, or Kronosaurus):

Not this one (a plesiosaur):

The one with the longer neck was at times the shorter neck's breakfast. But the quote above does not refer to the pliosaur next to Red Riding Hood in the above photo. It refers to what appears to be the largest discovered one yet; a new species, perhaps a new family.

Two partial skeletons have been discovered on a Norwegian island 800 miles from the North Pole. At least 50 feet long and 45 tons. A skull estimated to be 10 feet. Flippers also 10 feet. Each tooth being one foot. And that bite:

"With a skull that's more than 10 feet long you'd expect the bite to be powerful but this is off the scale," said Joern Hurum, an associate professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of Oslo University.

"This one...could crush a Hummer," he said.

It had a bite force of about 33,000 pounds.

"More than 10 times that of any animal alive today and 2 to 4 times the bite force of T. rex." From this article, a pretty good read on the fossil discovery. Both photos above are from this site.

Do you ever get the notion that God is relaying some rather bold message to us from prehistory concerning His creative powers?

On the other end of the spectrum, I was looking at this helpful site, being interested in having plants that attract beneficial insects, and I learned that even parasites can get parasites. Take the parasitic mini-wasps. The stinger of the female allows her to lay eggs in the bodies of insect pests. When the eggs hatch the young eat the pest from the inside, leaving a hollow mummy. Which explains the paper husk of a woodbug that I occasionally find in the dirt.

Or the Tachinid Fly. The larvae are also internal workers, sucking the body fluids of the pest until it dies.

I want some. Not on me of course. But in the garden.

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