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Xenoposeidon, another skeleton in the closet

Sauropod Vertebra of the Week: get a look at this beauty: Xenoposeidon proneukos, a new English dinosaur. The XenoposeIdon vertebra is shown here:

xenopoiseidon vertebra fragment

This partial vertebra was collected in the 1890s and stored away in the London Museum of Natural History until recently, when palaeontologist Mike Taylor discovered that it was unusual. He asked Darren Naish of Tetrapod Zoology about it, and Darren had a partially written review article, so they decided to collaborate on a new description. The bone turned out to belong to a very large, unknown dinosaur which was different enough to be placed in its own genus. There’s a whole week of posts about it in the link, plus another link to a web-friendly page with lots of detailed images and a simple connecting narrative. Enjoy!

This reminds me of the Barosaurus found by the Royal Ontario Museum last year in its own closet:

Coyote attacks on toddlers

Coyotes are getting more urbanized and more used to people. They are adding small children to their potential menu.

Southern California:

  • A coyote grabbed a 2-year-old girl by the head and tried to drag her from the front yard of her mountain home
  • On Friday, a nanny pulled a 2-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote at Alterra Park in Chino Hills, a San Bernardino County community about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. The girl suffered puncture wounds to her buttocks.
  • A coyote came after another toddler in the same park Sunday. The child’s father kicked and chased the coyote away. That incident prompted Fish and Game officials to temporarily close the park, which is near Chino Hills State Park, a natural open space of thousands of acres spanning nearly 31 miles.
  • Eleven-year-old rescues toddler from coyote. State wildlife officials are saying it could be the first coyote attack on a human in New Jersey. ..when it grabbed little Liam Sadler, [Ryan] Palludan instinctively sprang into action, yelling and kicking at the attacker which was later determined to be a coyote.

Across the country coyotes are moving into cities and suburbs showing up in unusual places – like the one that wandered into a Chicago sandwich shop last year. And in April, 2007, a coyote caused a stir in downtown Detroit, running loose for about one hour before being captured by local animal control officers. The advice for people who encounter coyotes in the city or anywhere else is to make plenty of noise – that should scare them away.

About bloody time 3: Canada raises age of consent to 16

It is now illegal for people over 21 to have sex with children under 16. The age of consent has been raised two years. It was set at 14 in 1892. However, it has a “close-in-age exception,” which means that teens of 14 and 15 years old can have sex with someone who is less than five years older.

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