A decaying dinosaur’s increasingly contorted neck
What’s wrong with your neck, dinosaur fossil? That looks kind of uncomfortable…
Paleontologists have long wondered by so many fossilized dinosaurs have their necks contorted into painful-looking positions—the phenomenon even has a name: opisthotonus. Various hypotheses have suggested the dinosaurs died in pain, or that their unusual posture is from rigor mortis.
Could be, though, it’s just what floppy necks do in water, according to a recent study involving chicken carcasses. Scientists recruited study subjects from among the dinosaurs’ extant relatives at a local butcher’s, plunged them underwater, and witnessed some startling acrobatics. The New York Times reports:
If you haven’t heard about the corkscrew kookiness that is duck genitalia by now, you need to check that stuff out ASAP.
Ducks’ twisting vaginas and telescoping penises are well-known part of an evolutionary arms race between the sexes that’s been going on for millennia, with each side trying to exert control over which males’ sperm fertilize the female’s eggs—a battle that, especially in birds, is fierce, occasionally violent, and weird as all-get-out. The most recently discovered example of what biologists deem “sexual conflict,” a little behavior hens have developed called sperm ejection, upholds that fine tradition.
With Turkey Day right around the corner, you don’t want to be caught with an unplucked bird. And who has the money to buy a plucker?
The solution? Build a chicken plucker out of your washing machine!
From the Annals of Improbable Research:
A Whizbang plucker will pick the feathers off chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese in a matter of seconds. Every component needed to make the machine is thoroughly discussed and the construction process is carefully detailed, step by step. There are 62 clear drawings…. Commercial tub pluckers cost $2,000+ but this book tells the reader how to build a comparable unit for $500 or less.
A bizarre trend of DIY chicken plucker videos has emerged on YouTube. Must be the tough economy. WARNING: If you’ve never seen a chicken plucked, it may seem a little disturbing. The chicken is already dead, but still…
Discoblog: How to Turn a Papasan Chair Into a Solar Cooker
Discoblog: How to Make Solar Chocolate Chip Cookies on Your Car Dashboard
Discoblog: The Secret to Why French Fries Smell So Good: Ironing Boards?
Image: Whizbang Books
How do those gooey yellow and clear globs that sizzle and fry as our morning omelettes ever grow into big, squawking, feathery chickens? Well, they don’t—the eggs we eat aren’t fertilized—but fertilized eggs look the same and pose a similar mystery. Pravda.ru has a photo gallery that tracks the life of a chicken, from its familiar yolk-n-white yumminess into an embryo that looks increasingly grotesque and chicken-like.
via fun fun fun