Horned Dinosaurs Had Better Teeth than Mammals

first_imgTriceratops and its buddies carried around fine sets of self-sharpening steak knives (to eat plants).Imagine finding dinosaur teeth so well preserved you could put them in a cow and they would work. That’s what biology prof Gregory Erickson (photo) says about teeth of Triceratops examined by a team of paleontologists and engineers at Florida State. They could see five distinct layers in the teeth, compared to mammals’ four and crocodiles’ two. “Each of those tissues does something,” Erickson says. “They’re not just there for looks.”Moreover, Science Daily says, the dino teeth are self-sharpening. This is a stunning case of “paleo-engineering” the headline announces; in fact, Brandon Krick, a professor of engineering from Lehigh University and an expert in tribology (the study of surfaces in motion), found that these self-sharpening teeth are so good, he’s getting ideas for “new engineering techniques that can be used for industrial and commercial applications.”A sophisticated three-dimensional model was developed to show how each tissue wore with use in a strategic manner to create a complex surface with a fuller (a recessed area in the middle, much like those seen in fighting knives and swords) on each tooth. This served to reduce friction during biting and promote efficient feeding….“Paleontologists challenged us with an interesting engineering problem, and now, we have a wear model that can be used to design material systems with optimized wear properties and surface features for many applications,” Krick said.A short video on Live Science features Erickson calling this a “remarkably complex tooth” – with emphasis on the adjective. “It rivals modern mammal teeth such as horse teeth in sophistication,” he says. “The material properties of these 70-million-year-old teeth are still preserved. You essentially could take these teeth and put it in an animal today; they would self-wear back to their functional morphology and function today.” Mammals used to be thought to have the most complex teeth that ever evolved, but Erickson says that Triceratops teeth are even more complex; they are “far more intricate than any reptile or mammal living today.” They provided “very efficient feeding” on the bulky plant material that comprised their diet.Meet RegaliceratopsSpeaking of horned dinosaurs, a new species with an ornate frill was announced in Current Biology by paleontologists in Alberta. Nature calls it “bizarre” because of its “strange halo of bony spikes.” An artist’s representation is shown at PhysOrg and Live Science. Though its genus name Regaliceratops refers to its royal-looking crowned frill (with a hat tip also to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada), some of the fossil hunters are calling it “Hellboy” over its fearsome appearance.The scientists are invoking convergent evolution again. Caleb Brown from the museum calls this “bizarre” dinosaur “the first to show evolutionary convergence in horn-like structures between different horned-dinosaur subfamilies.” To the discoverers, convergence is just a fact of life everywhere in the fossil record:Most surprisingly, Regaliceratops exhibits a suite of cranial ornamentations that are superficially similar to Campanian centrosaurines, indicating both exploration of novel display morphospace in Chasmosaurinae, especially Maastrichtian forms, and convergent evolution in horn morphology with the recently extinct Centrosaurinae. This marks the first time that evolutionary convergence in horn-like display structures has been demonstrated between dinosaur clades, similar to those seen in fossil and extant mammals.All the reporters bought the convergence line without criticism. Laura Geggel at Live Science, for instance, dutifully reported that it’s “the first example of a horned dinosaur showing evolutionary convergence, meaning that these two groups developed similar features independently of each other.”Let’s get this straight. Blind forces of evolution hit upon complex self-sharpening teeth that engineers would like to imitate. And these teeth are 70 million years old but still work today. This is known as cognitive dissonance, an affliction of evolutionists who refuse to abandon a falsified worldview even when it bites them in the behind. (Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Land claims ‘could be settled by 2011’

first_img“We have to note that these outstanding claims are difficult to settle as a result of the nature of the challenges that affects the claims, such as opposition from some of the land owners who are disputing the validity of the claims, exorbitant land prices, claims that have been referred to the land claims court, family disputes, as well as boundary disputes involving traditional leaders,” Mphela explained. “This has benefited 289 937 households and about 1.4-million individuals across the country,” Mphela told a media briefing in Polokwane in Limpopo province this week, adding that by the end of June the government had allocated over R16-billion for all settled land claims. Since its establishment in 1994, South Africa’s Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has settled 74 808 out of 79 696 land claims lodged at a cost of R16-billion. Acting chief land claims commissioner Blessing Mphela says all outstanding claims could be settled by 2011. “For land to be productive, it requires the full participation of relevant role players from the public and private sector,” Mphela said. “If the processes are not aligned, including the alignment of white agriculture and emerging black farmers, then we will have a problem.” While earlier indicating that it would take at least another five years to settle the outstanding claims, Mphela this week said that the commission was committed to settling the remaining 4 888 outstanding claims by 2011. He said that in June alone, 2 621 households had received back 81 050 hectares of land worth R186-million as part of the commission’s efforts to fast track the delivery of land in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the promulgation of the Native Land Act of 1913. The Land Claims Commission was initially given a 2005 deadline to settle all the claims, but the deadline was initially extended to December 2008, and now to 2011. In addition, the commission has asked Cabinet for an additional R18-billion to settle the outstanding claims, while also urging the Department of Agriculture to have a mechanism that links new land owners to all services and infrastructure available to larger commercial farmers.center_img Source: BuaNews “The dual role of investigating and settling claims on the one hand, and providing development support on the other hand coupled with the nature of challenges that we have encountered along the way, has had a negative impact on the commission’s ability to finalise the settlement of restitution claims within the timeframe earmarked initially for that purpose,” he said. 1 August 2008 He said one of the challenges encountered in providing settlement support relates to the issue of governance and institutional support from other government structures. Development support He pointed out that the commission had stepped in to fulfil the function of the beleaguered Land Bank in providing post-settlement support to emerging farmers had resulted in the commission’s resources being thinly spread.last_img read more

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Green Point Stadium ready for 2010

first_img17 December 2009 Just over a week after the successful hosting of the Final Draw for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, the “keys” to the brand new, completed Cape Town Stadium (Green Point Stadium) were handed over to the city’s executive mayor, Dan Plato, on Monday. At a special ceremony to mark the completion of one of the world’s most spectacular stadiums, the keys were handed over by joint contractors Murray and Roberts and WBHO. Construction of the 68 000-seater stadium started on 26 March 2007, and the project has been completed on deadline two years and nine months later. In just 33 months, Murray and Roberts and WBHO completed the massive project at a cost of R4.4-billion (about US$600-million). The project architects were an association between GMP Architects of Germany and two local firms, Louis Karol and Associates and Point Architects.‘The Diva of Cape Town’ Design: the sweeping silhouette of Green Point Stadium has forever changed the face of the surrounding Green Point Common. Enwrapped by a façade of woven fibreglass, coated with Teflon, it resembles a rose-coloured bowl floating on a base when lit up at night. The architects dubbed the stadium “the Diva of Cape Town”, reflecting the constantly changing moods of the city in varying weather conditions. Roof: the design and construction of Green Point Stadium’s roof is unique. Its basic structure resembles a bicycle wheel, open in the middle, with 72 cables linking the outer and inner rings of the circle, which were slowly tightened to raise the roof from ground level to its present height. Another first for the roof was the use of 16mm thick panels of glass to cover and protect the spectators from strong winds and rain. This will let in the light, while the ceiling panels underneath – made of woven PVC fabric – will soften the noise from within. The stadium bowl: for the eight World Cup matches to be played at the venue, the stadium will have a seating capacity of 68 000, including 13 000 temporary seats, which will be removed afterwards. Features of the stadium are that it can be evacuated in 15 minutes and that all the spectators are close to the game. Safety: spectators will be protected by a state-of-the-art camera surveillance system monitored by police from a venue operations centre inside the stadium, while pitch invasions will be discouraged by a wide moat around the circumference. There will also be a police station inside the building to deal with hooligans and other criminals.Quick facts96 000 cubic metres of concrete were used.The roof has a total weight of 4 700 tons.Some 9 000 glass panels were used to cover 37 000 square metres of roof.The stadium has 500 toilets, 115 entry turnstiles and 16 lifts.More than 2 500 workers were employed on site during construction, and almost 1 200 artisans received training from the contractors. Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

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Apple Express to pick up steam

first_imgPulled by its steam locomotive, the AppleExpress chugs through the EasternCape countryside..(Image: Skyscrapercity) The Apple Express is seen here behindthe Class 91-000 diesel engine,number 91-007.(Image: Wikimedia Commons)MEDIA CONTACTS • Chuma MyoliCommunications and marketing,Mandela Bay Development Agency+27 78 518 5702Emily van RijswijckThe inimitable Apple Express, the little green train which used to take passengers from Humewood Station near the Port Elizabeth harbour all the way to Loerie on an unforgettably scenic day trip, may soon chug back into the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality once more.The line used by the Apple Express is the longest 610mm narrow-gauge route in the world, measuring up at 285km from its start in Port Elizabeth to its final point in Avontuur. The Express’s destination of Loerie lies 72km out of the city.Weather permitting, the train was pulled by a steam locomotive, usually a Class NG G16 Garratt, and was one of the few remaining narrow-gauge lines still in operation in the world at that time.The steam engine was only replaced by a diesel engine if the risk of fires was high.The narrow-gauge Class 91-000 GE UM6B diesel locomotives, designed and built especially for the then South African Railways by US-based General Electric, are the largest 610mm diesel engines in the world.Train buffs take noteThe Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), which is tasked with rejuvenation of parts of the municipality, is about to embark on a financial feasibility study to see if the train, which rolled out for the last time in January 2011, can be viably re-introduced into the economic and tourism mix of the city.The study will look at different economic scenarios with the aim of showing Transnet, the owner of the railway line, that the train can be financially sustainable, says Pierre Voges, CEO of the MBDA.“Basically we would like to take the line from Transnet on a concession basis, and in turn we will appoint a concessionaire to operate the services on our behalf,” he says.The MBDA is confident that the line can work again successfully and viably, while according to Voges there is some interest from outside companies which points to private funders with the same view.Freight, passengers, touristsThe MBDA has already received funding to initiate a new feasibility study to look into three possible economic scenarios.They involve the reuse of the line between Humewood and Avontuur for hauling all kinds of freight, including citrus, apples and wood by-products; using the line for commuter purposes; and the viability of the line for tourism and leisure.The potential for real estate development along certain corridors, among them Chelsea and Assegaaibos, will also be investigated as a source of income but will not be considered in the initial stages of any kind of development, Voges adds.A study conducted in 2007 on behalf of the MBDA concluded that there is potential for the line to become profitable and to provide services and benefits to all the stakeholders along the railway line.Based on the same three revenue streams, the study found that freight would account for the largest portion of revenue within the first few years of operations, with the tourism and leisure sectors also able to make a profit.It also found that over time, tourism and leisure revenue will equal that of freight, showing the increasing potential of this revenue source for the area.Choo-choo no moreThe tourism train service was stopped in January 2011 by state-owned Transnet for economic reasons, as the historic narrow gauge line was not considered to be part of the organisation’s core business.At the time the move was bemoaned by local communities dependent on the line as well as the tourism industry, which saw the Apple Express as a product which added considerable value to Port Elizabeth’s other tourism attractions, among them the city’s many beautiful beaches.Mike Callaghan, who operates tours in the area, says the Apple Express used to be a highlight for his overseas customers who regularly booked a trip on the quaint little train.“Besides the fact that it was a day out in spectacular country for overseas visitors, the line crosses over the highest narrow-gauge railway bridge in the world, at 77.4m, when it traverses the Van Stadens River gorge,” he says.Passengers with a head for heights could cross the bridge on foot and board the train on the other side, adding that extra thrill and adventure to an already historic experience, he recalls.Although the initial urban scenery is unspectacular, the countryside eventually opens up and is dominated by the beautiful Kouga and Baviaanskloof Mountains, the latter a protected area. Baviaanskloof in Dutch refers to baboons, as these rugged mountains are home to large baboon troops and visitors are sure to see or hear their familiar calls.Another unique feature was the annual Great Train Race, an event in which runners pitted their speed against that of the little train to see who could arrive first in Loerie.In time, the relay race of 70km became a favourite on the running calendar with company relay teams also using the event as a team builder opportunity.The last Great Train Race was held in Port Elizabeth in 2004.History of the Apple ExpressOriginally called the Pear train (from PE-Avontuur route), sections of the Apple Express started operating in 1903 with the full line opening for traffic by 1907.Throughout its history, the mainstay of the line was its haulage of freight, with passenger services always taking a secondary role.The Apple Express was so christened with the establishment of the deciduous fruit industry was established in the Langkloof and apple farmers sent their produce for export to the PE harbour.Farmers in the rich Gamtoos Valley also made use of the line.From 1927 the line was used to bring limestone from the Gamtoos quarries to a cement factory in Port Elizabeth with this service continuing until 2000.The improvement in road infrastructure was the death knell for the Apple train, not only for passengers who started using buses, but also for freight which was increasingly being transported by big trucks.The last formal passenger service was terminated in 1948 with just limited services provided on freight trains until 1970.Fortunately for tourists and train enthusiasts, most of the coaching stock survived and from 1965 was used for what became the popular Apple Express tourist train. The train continued operation under the auspices of the PE Apple Express Company until 2011, when it was formally closed as a result of financial constraints.These same green coaches and the original locomotive could now possibly await a new future, something which many local Eastern Cape inhabitants hope will be sooner rather than later.last_img read more

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Rhodes lifts San Miguel to top 2 seed

first_imgPBA IMAGESCharles Rhodes took charge in the fourth period and helped San Miguel clinch the top two seed in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 112-101 victory over GlobalPort Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The enigmatic reinforcement unloaded 19 of his 34 points in the payoff period, wile also hauling down five rebounds and two assists to quash the Batang Pier’s belated rally.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Filloil: Arellano slips past St. Benilde Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP “I told the boys that this is the start of our best-of-three series. I’m glad that they responded and we now have one going to the quarterfinals,” said Austria, as San Miguel braces for a date against either Alaska or Phoenix.GlobalPort dropped to 4-7 and reeled to the eighth-seed playoff, either again the Aces or the Fuel Master, depending on the result of the second game. The knockout game is slated on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.Justin Harper topped the Batang Pier with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Stanley Pringle chipped in 21 markers, nine boards, and five assists.Terrence Romeo had 21 points, seven assists, and six boards, and Bradwyn Guinto had 11.Aside from those four, coach Franz Pumaren had little to no support from the rest of GlobalPort in its last elimination game.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV “I’m happy to see for the first time that our import didn’t get to early foul trouble,” said coach Leo Austria of Rhodes.Chris Ross added 17 markers, seven assists, six boards, and two steals, while June Mar Fajardo came off the bench and registered 15 points, eight rebounds, and three dimes despite playing through his stiff neck.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlex Cabagnot nabbed a double-double of 13 markers and 10 boards, while Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos both wound up with 13 points each.Finishing the eliminations with a 9-2 card, the Beermen have secured a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals but they still await their playoff seeding depending on the Ginebra-Mahindra duel. BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games The Scores:SAN MIGUEL 112 – Rhodes 34, Ross 17, Fajardo 15, Cabagnot 13, Lassiter 13, Santos 13, Reyes 4, Tubid 3, Heruela 0, Espinas 0.GLOBALPORT 101 – Harper 25, Pringle 21, Romeo 21, Guinto 11, Anthony 9, Pessumal 5, Cortez 4, Ababou 3, Grey 2, Forrester 0, Pennisi 0, Maierhofer 0, Mamaril 0, Paredes 0.Quarters: 32-21, 51-46, 77-72, 112-101.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds View commentslast_img read more

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