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Giant Creatures; huge prehistoric beasts.

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Sadurian Mike
463997.  Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:17 pm Reply with quote

Haast's Eagle


Haast's Eagle attacking moa.


Moa skeleton for size comparison.

A huge eagle that lived on prehistoric New Zealand, Haast's Eagle was a 20-30lb raptor that preyed primarily on the flightless moa. A lack of mammals (aside from bats) gave both the Haast's Eagle and moa a chance to assume the evolutionary niche taken by deer or antelope and big cats or wolves. Man's arrival on the islands in around 1000AD spelt the end for the moa and consequently the Haast's Eagle may have been hunted as a protective measure by the humans who could easily have become the new prey on the menu (the eagle's foot strength and talons could easily have punctured a human skull or broken a neck).

Haast's Eagle had a wingspan approximately the same as the very largest modern eagles, at about 10 foot, but this comparison should take into account that it was a relatively short-winged forest hunter rather than a plains or ocean soarer.

 
Davini994
464091.  Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:19 pm Reply with quote

[quote="Sadurian Mike"][quote="Davini994"]What's the rule for interbreeding again?
Quote:


So that the children don't lose out on presents.

No, I mean, isn't there a rule that if creatures can interbreed they are from the same... it was on the one with dogs, I think. Sorry, I can't work out how to search for it.

 
Sadurian Mike
464098.  Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:27 pm Reply with quote

Supposedly (and bearing in mind a lot more research is probably needed):

1. Physical compatibility (no mouse-elephant interbreeding).
2. Genetic sequence compatibility (the strands of DNA need to match up).
3. DNA number compatibility (same number of chromosomes).
4. Sperm/egg chemistry (correct enzymes and triggers).
5. Immune system compatibility.

They also need to hang around the same bars or clubs.

 
Sadurian Mike
470019.  Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:55 pm Reply with quote

Trilobites; giant underwater "woodlice".

Phylum; Arthropodia
Superclass; Arachnomorpha
Class; Trilobitia



Trilobites are one of the most common and familiar pre-dinosaur fossils, which leads to the conclusion that they were also very common and numerous creatures when they existed over 300 million years ago. More than 20 000 species of trilobite have been categorised, in ten Orders, which suggests that the Palaeozoic oceans teemed with these hard-shelled arthropods.

Trilobites came in many shapes and sizes, but the segmented ovoid body and multiple legs were common to all. X-ray examination has suggested a simple tube-like gut which is certainly what would be expected to be seen in such a primitive lifeform. Scuttling about the ocean floor and even swimming (this was largely before the land was colonised) the trilobites filled many evolutionary niches from predator to scavenger, and grew from less than an inch to nearly three-quarters of a metre long (the spendidly named Isotelus rex).

The age of trilobites was the very early part of our geological timeline, with the most fossils being found in Ordovician and Cambrian rocks (about 520 to 440 million years ago), and then number trailing off through to the late Permian (about 250 million years ago) after when no more have been discovered.

http://www.trilobites.info/index.htm
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilobite
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/trilobita/trilobita.html

 
exnihilo
470064.  Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:38 pm Reply with quote

Is that our old friend Buckland in the Moa size comparison picture?

 
Sadurian Mike
470076.  Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:47 pm Reply with quote

Professor Richard Owen, the first chappie to deduce that New Zealand had recently been home to gigantic flightless birds.

 
Arcane
470300.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:39 am Reply with quote

An interesting fact about the Moa is that they seem to have had significantly larger females than males, according to Wiki, "150% taller and 280% heavier than males". Until 2003, they were even classified as entirely different species.

 
djgordy
470315.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:17 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:

The age of trilobites was the very early part of our geological timeline, with the most fossils being found in Ordovician and Cambrian rocks (about 520 to 440 million years ago), and then number trailing off through to the late Permian (about 250 million years ago) after when no more have been discovered.


All the trilobites were beamed on to a Klingon space ship.

Oh, my mistake, that was the tribbles.

The closest living relatives to trilobites are thought to be the horseshoe crabs.

http://www.geocities.com/mrbbug1/site29/webtv.netmrbbug2doc2.html

 
Sebastian flyte
470355.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:05 am Reply with quote

Triops.. does anyone have those? i had some last summer or the one before, they are like sea monkeys but better.

here is a webpage on them: http://mytriops.com/

I got a few generations (three I think) but the tank I was hoping to keep as sometimes you can get dormant eggs was finally thrown out when dad found out about it I'd drained it but he said it was still 'dirty' I intend to get some more but my desk lamp broke and so I need to wait for spring really.

 
Sheriff Fatman
470546.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:38 pm Reply with quote

Gigantopithecus Blacki



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigantopithecus

Thought to live between 300,000 and 1 million years ago in South East Asia, Gigantopithecus Blacki was a 10 foot high, 1,200 lb gorilla. That made it 2 to 3 times heavier than modern mountain gorillas and nearly 5 times heavier than orangutan.

 
Sadurian Mike
470564.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:07 pm Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
An interesting fact about the Moa is that they seem to have had significantly larger females than males, according to Wiki, "150% taller and 280% heavier than males". Until 2003, they were even classified as entirely different species.

I thought that was just the Manchester ones, it seems to be a trend to have heavier females up here.

 
bobwilson
470828.  Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:30 pm Reply with quote

Now now Mike - don't get bitchy

 
Arcane
473279.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:59 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:

All the trilobites were beamed on to a Klingon space ship.

Oh, my mistake, that was the tribbles.

The closest living relatives to trilobites are thought to be the horseshoe crabs.

http://www.geocities.com/mrbbug1/site29/webtv.netmrbbug2doc2.html


Errrrrr.... perhaps not.

From the Australian Museum Online site (Paleontology)

"Cousins of horseshoe crabs?
That trilobites are arthropods is beyond doubt, but the exact position of Trilobita in the evolutionary tree of the arthropods is more controversial. Early workers took the geological antiquity of trilobites as evidence that they were the most primitive kind of arthropod, and may have included the ancestors of crustaceans and chelicerates.

A single pair of antennae is likely a primitive feature for all arthropods, and the similarity of leg structure along the trilobite body (e.g., without the specialised leg-derived mouthparts of crustaceans or insects) can also be interpreted as primitive. Most recent workers consider that, among living arthropods, the closest relatives of trilobites are the chelicerates. The similarity of these groups may not be obvious when we make comparison with the land-dwelling spiders, mites, or scorpions, but becomes more apparent when we examine the most primitive living chelicerates, the horseshoe crabs.

Trilobites, horseshoe crabs and sea scorpions have similar spine rows along the inner margin of their legs. The lamellae on the outer leg branch of trilobites are similar (and thought to have the same evolutionary origin) as the filaments of the book gills of horseshoe crabs and book lungs of arachnids.

The eyes of trilobites penetrate the dorsal surface of the head shield as in horseshoe crabs. Nonetheless, trilobites are not the direct ancestors of horseshoe crabs or other chelicerates. All trilobites share certain unique features (like the calcite mineralogy of the exoskselton and calcified eye) to indicate that they are a separate branch of Arthropoda"

http://www.austmus.gov.au/palaeontology/research/trilobites02.htm

and from Wiki:

"The horseshoe crab or Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) is a marine chelicerate arthropod. Despite its name, it is more closely related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions than to crabs."

 
Celebaelin
473281.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:26 am Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:
No, I mean, isn't there a rule that if creatures can interbreed they are from the same... it was on the one with dogs, I think. Sorry, I can't work out how to search for it.

If the offspring are fertile the parents are the same species. Donkeys and horses, whose offspring are infertile are members of the same family, the Equidae.

 
Celebaelin
473282.  Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:39 am Reply with quote

Sheriff Fatman wrote:
Gigantopithecus Blacki

It's a shame 'cos I'd love to believe in these massive apes but since the only evidence we have is teeth and a small number of mandibles there doesn't really seem to be enough evidence to predict a 10 foot tall, 1200lb creature. They were for instance vegetarian living primarily on bamboo it seems and that in itself might lead to an over-sized set of teeth and a heavily developed jaw simply to withstand the rigours of all that chewing. To show the creature as being huge beyond the size of other apes and having those knuckle-dragging arms doesn't really have any basis in fact.

 

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