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Watch From the Amazing Lizard that looks like Spider Man, to the obnoxiously big python that ate an adult antelope, this is TRENDING TUESDAY !
Last Supper -- There’s an old saying … “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” Well, a 20 foot python in India was so hungry it ate an entire, fully grown antelope. In the picture, you can nearly make out the shape of the antelope stretching the python’s skin. Video shows the huge reptile rolling on the ground with its grotesquely engorged belly. The creature had strangled the antelope to death, then swallowed it whole … and paid a hefty price for that voracious appetite. It could barely move because of the size of the animal it ate. The snake died moments later.
Hard Hat Reptile -- A team of paleontologists and researchers recently identified a new species of extinct reptiles thought to be around 230 million years old … and named the species, ‘Triopticus primus (prime-us)’. The fossil was discovered in Texas in 1940, but was analyzed only recently. It displays a thick, domed skull that resembles a construction worker’s hard hat. For now, researchers can’t determine the exact appearance and size of the Triopticus because they’ve only recovered that top part of the skull. The pit on on the top of its head looked like a third eye, which inspired the name Triopticus. It’s likely the animal was no bigger than an alligator, and was closely related to dinosaurs and crocodilians. Then again, with a name like Triopticus Primus, it could be related to a Transformer.
Lemur Leaf Frogs grow just over an inch in size, and are native to the rainforests of Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. They’re also considered a critically endangered species. But the Paignton (pain-ton) Zoo in Devon England, has found a way to breed these rare creatures in captivity. Zookeepers have created a specialized rain chamber that mimics the humid environment of the frogs natural rainforest habitat. The frogs numbers in the wild have dwindled in large part due to deforestation and development. But Lemur Leaf Frogs seem to be resistant to the Chytrid fungus, which has plagued other amphibian populations. Scientists think their immunity has to do with the animal’s unusual skin. It contains a pigment that turns the creature’s skin bright green during the day. That allows it to reflect heat as it stays camouflaged on the underside of leaves. Experts think the ability to withstand heat might raise the frogs temperature sufficiently enough to kill off the fungus. So far, the zoo has bred 18 tadpoles and 10 adults, and is one of four collections in the UK working to save the frog. Did you know the creatures are called Lemur Leaf Frogs because it walks using all four limbs when walking, not just the hind legs … not unlike the mammalian ‘Lemur’.
The Tardigrade is an 8-legged water-dwelling micro animal … measuring about 0.5 mm (0.02 inches) when fully grown. Due to its watery habitat and appearance, it’s also known as the Water Bear. They’re found all over the world, and they’ve earned a reputation as Earth’s Hardiest Animal. Among their many talents, they can survive survive temperatures close to absolute zero, withstand massive doses of X-ray radiation, and even live and reproduce in the vacuum of outer space! Now it seems that researchers may have unlocked the secrets of the Tardigrade’s amazing super powers: Scientists from the University of Tokyo found a certain protein that serves to protect the animal’s DNA. Known as “Dsup (D-S-U-P)”, the protein protects the Tardigrade’s DNA from the damaging effects of radiation and desiccation, or dehydration. The scientists also merged the Tardigrade’s super-protein with the DNA of human cells … and those manipulated cells were found to suppress damage induced by X-rays up to 40%. It’s possible these findings could pave the way to protect humans against radiation … or bio-engineer organisms that can withstand hostile environments. Scientists think they’ve only just begun to unlock the secrets of the Tardigrade … Stay tuned!
The Amazing Spider-Lizard -- Spider-Man is usually thought to call New York home … but a tourist discovered the web-slinger in Africa. Well, it wasn’t actually Spider-Man … it was a lizard that has red and blue colored skin, very similar to the superhero’s costume. The lizard is actually a Mwanza (m’waan-zuh) Flat-Headed Rock Agama (ah-gamm-uh), and is found in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. The tourist noted the lizard’s marvelous macho stance and incredibly impressive pose, and was told it’s the creature’s way of attracting a female mate. But as Deadpool might say, it looks like a perfect superhero landing pose! Do you think it’s ready to join the Avengers?
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