Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Dragon virgin births

news @ nature.com
A nativity story with a twist is playing out this Christmas in two zoos in the UK. At Chester Zoo, a Komodo dragon named Flora awaits the birth of eight babies, and another four dragons have already hatched at London Zoo — each and every one the product of a virgin conception.

The miraculous births, which are all males, could be a product of keeping this threatened species in captivity, say researchers, and could have implications for the continued health of zoo-bound populations.

Parthenogenesis — reproduction without the need for fertilization by a male — is rare in vertebrates. Some animals, including several lizard species, are known to be capable of it. But Komodo dragons have never been seen to breed like this before.

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December 20, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dragon virgin births

Obssesive?

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Daniel Chew is more than halfway to a goal he set for himself as a young man. He thinks he’ll achieve it about age 75 — if he doesn’t get hit by a car first.

Mr. Chew, 44, who lives in Shadyside, [Pennsylvania] wants to ride a million miles on bicycles. He’s already worn out at least 15 in his lifetime. He clocked his 600,000th mile on Sept. 10.

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“Haunted” B & B

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Potential. That’s what Charles and Tina Mattingly, who bought the old Waverly Hills Sanatorium in 2001, see when they look at the imposing four-story structure spanning 180,000 square feet. More specifically, the Valley Station couple envisions a “haunted” bed and breakfast complete with a rooftop restaurant, among other ideas.

The Gothic-style building, a former tuberculosis hospital from the 1920s, is infamous for the hundreds of people who died there — and some say paranormal events occur there.

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The girl with the green hair

Ananova
A schoolgirl’s blonde hair turned bright green after she went for a swim. Seven-year-old Paige Williams hair changed colour after swimming with her school at a leisure centre in Morrison, near Swansea, reports the Mirror.

Paige only discovered what had happened after lifting her orange rubber swimming cap. Now cruel classmates are calling her Hulk’s Daughter after the TV character. Her family say they have tried everything to get the colour out but nothing has worked so far. Now they fear she will still be green for Christmas.

Her mum Lucy Williams, aged 24, of Tirpenry, Morriston, said “She has been going to school with vinegar and, lemons in her hair to try to bleach it out.”

A Swansea Council spokesman said Paige had been wearing her hair in a bobble under her cap which might have been responsible. He said the chemical levels in the pool had been normal and added: “Staff have been closely monitoring the pool since the matter was noted and no further incidents of this nature have been reported.”

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Two headed dragon discovered

Ananova
Scientists in China say they have uncovered the 145 million year old fossil of a two headed dragon. The creature was not a fire-breathing monster but a deformed baby lizard, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers say it had two distinct heads and necks and is believed to be the earliest example of a creature developing in such a way.

Scientists think it belonged to an ancient family of now-extinct reptiles that grew up to three feet long.

However the fossil is less than three inches long because it probably died shortly before or just after it was born.

The fossil comes from the choristodera family of reptiles which evolved crocodile-like characteristics.

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