This is why we need to keep plastic out of the oceans and upcycle/recycle and reuse everything, in order to keep the carbon footprint prints low and or nonexistent. Not to mention it will keep plastic from hurting our animal life.
Skulls and a nearly complete skeleton offer our best look yet at a shark that lived about 360 million years ago.
By Tim Vernimmen
Shark teeth are among the most commonly found fossils around the world, yet the cartilage-based skeletons of their owners were rarely preserved. As a result, researchers have no idea what many early sharks looked like, even if they were once very abundant.
That’s why paleontologists working in the eastern Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco were stunned to find several skulls and an almost complete skeleton from two species of Phoebodus, a primitive shark genus that, until now, was known only from its three-cusped teeth. Described this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the fossils reveal that Phoebodus had an eel-like body and a long snout, which makes it look a lot like the frilled shark that still roams the deep sea today. (Explore our interactive showcasing the sizes of the world’s sharks.)
And while these two animals are only distantly related, the teeth of Phoebodus and those of the frilled shark look really similar as well, suggesting that their feeding modes didn’t differ drastically.
“Many modern sharks have serrated teeth that allow them to cut up their prey before ingesting the pieces,” says study coauthor Christian Klug of the University of Zurich. By contrast, the cone-shaped, inward-pointing teeth of Phoebodus and the frilled shark are only good for capturing prey and then swallowing it whole.
The fossilized Phoebodus remains were found in a layer estimated to be about 360 to 370 million years old, in what used to be a shallow sea basin. When the sharks died there, the limited water circulation and low oxygen levels created an environment in which their bodies were largely left alone by bacteria, scavengers, and currents, preserving them for posterity.
The resulting fossils are damaged by sediments and time, but Klug and his team were able to CT scan some of the material they recovered from the Moroccan mountains to get an even better picture of what these primitive sharks looked like during the Late Devonian period.
The quantity of data that is emerging from studies such as this is staggering,” says John Maisey, a paleontologist with the American Museum of Natural History who was not part of the study team. “We are experiencing a renaissance of anatomy.”
The scans revealed some striking similarities to the frilled shark, not just in body shape, but in the teeth as well, which offers some clues to how the more ancient predators might have hunted. (Find out why great white sharks may be responsible for the extinction of the Megalodon.)
“The frilled shark is a specialized predator, with the ability to suddenly burst forward to catch its prey,” says David Ebert, a modern shark expert at the Pacific Shark Research Center who has studied the frilled shark for decades. “The inward-pointing teeth then help to make sure the prey can only go one way: into its throat. Maybe Phoebodus did something similar.”
Because the reclusive frilled shark is so rarely observed, however, there are many outstanding questions about the way it feeds. So, for a better understanding of how Phoebodus may have gotten its food, the researchers also looked at another unrelated species with a surprisingly similar skull, jaw, and teeth, a large freshwater fish called the alligator gar. Like Phoebodus, the alligator gar has long jaws and a flat skull, which limit its bite force. Yet there are also benefits to having a head like that, says Justin Lemberg of the University of Chicago, who has studied the gars’ feeding behavior.
They hunt in open water, where they don’t have the luxury of choosing which direction their next meal will come from. And flat heads and long jaws are great for snapping sideways at prey.”
Physics of feeding
While it may seem unusual to compare the feeding strategies of species as different as sharks and gars, such analyses are often among the best ways paleontologists have to reconstruct how extinct animals behaved, Lemberg says.
I was asked why cats sleep so much, at a shelter I volunteer for in NY. I can say with certainty it is not because they’re lazy. Yet they do literally put the nap in “cat nap”. Roughly on average, and any cat care taker can tell you this they will sleep up and around 12 to 15 hours a day. Although according to one care-giver she clocked her cat sleeping 20 hours.
Why do cat’s sleep these odd hours? According to Veterinarians and PetMD – Cat’s are crepuscular and not Nocturnal. What is Crepuscular:
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal and nocturnal behavior, where an animal is active during the hours of daylight or the hours of darkness, respectively. The term is not precise, however, as some crepuscular animals may also be active on a moonlit night or during an overcast day. The term matutinal is used for animals that are active only before sunrise, and vespertine for those active only after sunset.
The time of day an animal is active depends on a number of factors. Predators need to link their activities to times of day at which their prey is available, and prey try to avoid the times when their principal predators are at large. The temperature at midday may be too high or at night too low. Some creatures may adjust their activities depending on local competition. Therefore, for many varied reasons, crepuscular activity may best meet an animal’s requirements by compromise.
According to Dr. Ziskin VMD – Why these hours? Well, cats’ sleeping habits have to do with their evolution and their history as hunters. The cats of old would hunt during the early morning and twilight hours and then sleep during the main daytime and nighttime hours when their natural predators would be on the prowl. This is part of the reason cats often like to sleep “tucked away” somewhere.
Pretty much it’s an evolutionary throwback encoded into their DNA. Known as Instinctual DNA, which many predatorial animals such as Lions as well as wolves have.
There is no changing a cats sleeping habit, even if you try. Therefore if you have a cat keeping you awake, there are methods to keep them busy without disturbing your sleep. As in Cat tree’s, Cat toys with no sound of course, and keeping your door closed. Or my favorite which gives them everything they could want. A Catio, with plenty of high places to climb as well as their favorite, snack and toy.
I have seen so many people turn in their cats because of their crepuscular habits. It’s saddening to see this happen, and to know that people would do this, is very Disheartening. As a volunteer I am disallowed from given my two cents at the job, yet as an animal advocate – during “off duty” hours, I can say a few choice words.
One – This is not a reason to hand over or dump your cat to any shelter, especially, when we have an over whelming number of cats as is. Two – Maybe you really should not invest in having any animal if you cannot take the time to learn about them, or deal with a little noise. Three – I really hope you don’t plan on having any children in the future, because like cats – babies/ particularly 5 months to at least 3 years of age, are up odd hours and disrupt sleep. I would hate to see you throw in said proverbial towel and dump them at an orphanage.
Which goes hand in hand with my favorite quote
You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.” ― Paul McCartney
We need to bring back the true history of America to schools once again. Our kids deserve the correct information on how America came to be. Since the day I have left school, I have heard that the curriculum has been changing, a way to desensitize our kids to the realities of our nation. Which in my opinion is why I believe we have so much hatred towards each other. In order to stop repeating history, we must learn from the mistakes of the past.
I am requesting that each school board member in the 50 states, as well as the government, bring back the correct historical curriculum, for kids to be taught the factual truth. We cannot and should not erase or change the facts of history just to meet some corrupt agenda or brainwash our children with Alternate facts in the place of truisms.
They need to know what happened on the trail of tears and what happened in Southern America with the conquistadors. True education is key to making a real positive change for our nation.
It is my belief that with true education and the consequences of the past learned. Our future generations or even today’s generation will not make the same mistakes, instead, they may just be the kick we need, to be more accepting of others. To where we can live in a more peaceful society without constant violence, we see daily.
Change is a big deal for most. Change albeit difficult must happen in order to have any chance of success in life or in happiness.
What has been happening in today’s society is a true travesty of humanity. From hate wars, open racism, and prejudices. From discrimination of the LGBTQ and the death of transgenders.
Nothing is right in the world, today. Nothing is right due to the fact that there is no open-mindedness and no tolerance. There is only intolerance and ignorance.
How can we change this? We can change this by bringing education to the masses. The true history of each culture and ethnic background. The true history of America, of how the first settlers and conquistadors treated the Natives of this land. The fight the LGBTQ community has had to go through.
Bringing back the real history may just prevent a repetition of events in the future.
It starts with us. It starts with teaching the difference and teaching the acceptance of everyone. It starts by standing United against hatred and racial injustices.
I for one hope to make a difference in the lives of others by advocating and acting on behalf of those who can’t speak due to tyranny and for those who have zero freedom.
I am working on a petition currently requesting that schools bring back the true history of Native Americans and other areas of importance in their curriculum. Seeing as since I left high school they stopped teaching the trail of tears and the history of Cortez, plus the history of the liberty statue. All of which is a big part of American history.
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