Nix Draws Stuff

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mindblowingscience:

Primordial Giant Kangaroos Did Not Hop, They Walked

The large marsupials of the middle Miocene that grazed the planet some 16 million years ago did not resemble the hippity-hoppity kangaroos we think of today. Christine Janis and colleagues at Brown University presented this rendering of the large sthenurine kangaroo, a subfamily member of the marsupial family Macropodidae, in PLoS ONE on October 15. Their portrayal of a now-extinct ancestor of the relatively dainty present-day roo illustrates how this “short-faced” marsupial’s unique body size and bone structure would make hopping on its two legs nearly impossible. Scientists speculated previously that the ancient sthenurine’s specialized forelimbs and a rigid lumbar spine would limit its ability to perform a pentapedal walk, or a low-speed gait that kangaroos commonly use instead of hopping. The modern-day kangaroo propels itself forward by putting all four feet on the ground and using its tail as a sturdy fifth limb. After comparing bone and muscle measurements of the sthenurine with today’s kangaroos, Janis’s team found differences that would suggest this species had a completely different gait altogether. The giant kangaroo, weighing an estimated 240 kilograms, appears to have held itself upright, lacking the specialized features that would allow it to hop rapidly. Its firm ankle joints and large hips and knees were likely strong enough to support its body weight on one leg at a time. Such features suggest that it walked like us, one plodding foot in front of the other, with a bit of a bowlegged gait. This stride may have enabled it to browse shrubs and trees for food without expending a lot of energy hopping from low to haute courses in a meal. —Julia Calderone


Modern tree kangaroos sometimes use a similar bipedal gait, as do the unrelated placental pangolins.
It always ends up looking like evolution trying to make a dinosaur-shape out of a mammal.

mindblowingscience:

Primordial Giant Kangaroos Did Not Hop, They Walked

The large marsupials of the middle Miocene that grazed the planet some 16 million years ago did not resemble the hippity-hoppity kangaroos we think of today. Christine Janis and colleagues at Brown University presented this rendering of the large sthenurine kangaroo, a subfamily member of the marsupial family Macropodidae, in PLoS ONE on October 15.
 
Their portrayal of a now-extinct ancestor of the relatively dainty present-day roo illustrates how this “short-faced” marsupial’s unique body size and bone structure would make hopping on its two legs nearly impossible. Scientists speculated previously that the ancient sthenurine’s specialized forelimbs and a rigid lumbar spine would limit its ability to perform a pentapedal walk, or a low-speed gait that kangaroos commonly use instead of hopping.
 
The modern-day kangaroo propels itself forward by putting all four feet on the ground and using its tail as a sturdy fifth limb. After comparing bone and muscle measurements of the sthenurine with today’s kangaroos, Janis’s team found differences that would suggest this species had a completely different gait altogether.
 
The giant kangaroo, weighing an estimated 240 kilograms, appears to have held itself upright, lacking the specialized features that would allow it to hop rapidly. Its firm ankle joints and large hips and knees were likely strong enough to support its body weight on one leg at a time. Such features suggest that it walked like us, one plodding foot in front of the other, with a bit of a bowlegged gait. This stride may have enabled it to browse shrubs and trees for food without expending a lot of energy hopping from low to haute courses in a meal.
 
Julia Calderone

Modern tree kangaroos sometimes use a similar bipedal gait, as do the unrelated placental pangolins.

It always ends up looking like evolution trying to make a dinosaur-shape out of a mammal.

Filed under reblog paleontology sthenurine kangaroo macropod marsupial australia animal locomotion gait convergent evolution go home evolution you're drunk

59,042 notes

weredrakka:

thatscienceguy:

The Vampire Bat is the only species of bat that has retained its ability to maneuver on land, not only can they walk on land but they can also hop and run at surprisingly fast speeds!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a species of bat in New Zealand that walks? They behave like shrews, if my memory serves…

Whoops, you’re absolutely right!
Mystacina tuberculata, the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat, spends about 30% of its time scurrying around on the forest floor hunting invertebrates, filling a similar niche to mice and shrews. Definitely more terrestrial than the vampire bats.

weredrakka:

thatscienceguy:

The Vampire Bat is the only species of bat that has retained its ability to maneuver on land, not only can they walk on land but they can also hop and run at surprisingly fast speeds!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a species of bat in New Zealand that walks? They behave like shrews, if my memory serves…

Whoops, you’re absolutely right!

Mystacina tuberculata, the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat, spends about 30% of its time scurrying around on the forest floor hunting invertebrates, filling a similar niche to mice and shrews. Definitely more terrestrial than the vampire bats.

(Source: ylatayaeray)

Filed under reblog correction! bats BATS :D weredrakka

755 notes

callisparrow:

weredrakka:

ursulavernon:

heyhaley17:

Fangirl Challenge Top 10 Non Disney Animated Movies 9/10

Secret of Nimh

(The great owl wasn’t terrifying at all)

Ok, can I just say how much this movie INFURIATES me?! Because goddamnit, yes, the owl was great, yes, it would have been great if it wasn’t supposed to be “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” but it was and it took a whole bunch of self-sufficient rats determined not to be parasites and working with science and technology and doing stuff on their own and was all “LET’S GIVE THE MOUSE A MAGIC MCGUFFIN THAT SAVES EVERYTHING!”

Damnit, damnit, damnit. The rats would have hated that. Gaaaah!

Seconding this. I had no idea before today this movie existed. I would have been comfortable not knowing this fact. Mostly because “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” was a MAJOR part of my childhood, and this adaptation does not do the book justice. 

Spoilers follow (for both book and movie).

My first issue comes from the way the rats’ den is displayed. I know this movie was made in 1982, when flashy things were all the rage, but GODDAMMIT. The rosebush entrance is described as being a beautiful, verdant piece of moss, not a technological nightmare of an acid trip. And what the hell’s with the scrying-stone-whatever-the-hell-that-was?! I mean, really. I know it makes a nice little narrative device, but Nicodemus wasn’t an omnipotent creeper (apparently, he and the owl were supposed to be different versions of the same concept in the movie…?). Also, where was the library, lit up and carpeted? Where was that wonderful rat who taught Mrs. Frisby to really read? Where were the food stores, the seed bank, the running water? Those bits were IMPORTANT.

Speaking of important bits, Nicodemus’ explanation of the rats of NIMH was AWFUL. In the book, he provided a whole bunch of context as to why the plan is a thing (remember the house, where he and his cohort read a rich dude’s library? Yeah, that part. The part where Nicodemus rails against capitalism and the rat race; talk about important commentary). He also talked a lot more about the process at NIMH, which was interesting to me, and provided a lot more connection between the rats, and the Frisby family.

Oh, and Jeremy. I am full of anger at what they did to the crow, because DAMN. Yes, he was a little clumsy in the book, but he wasn’t a bloody creeper like he was in the movie! I mean, the scene where he pins Mrs. Brisby (bloody movie name change…) is really fucking creepy/arguably the scariest part of the movie. Like, ‘holy crap, we’ve passed sexual harassment and entered potential rape territory’ kind of creepy/scary. He also wasn’t in EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. Yeah. 

And then there’s the giant, literally-glowing deus-ex-machina at the end. That last gif. Yeah. That’s how they fix everything. By invoking the power of whatever, which is also a gaping plothole because where the hell did the rats get that.

Spoilers end.

So yeah, was not impressed. Would not watch again. Would not recommend, unless you enjoy having your childhood ruined, or unless you enjoy bashing your head into a desk repeatedly.

I remember reading that this movie was full of ridiculous development hell problems. It doesn’t excuse anything, but might sorta explain a few of these screw-ups.

I definitely read this book in elementary school, and I remember loving it! Even if I can’t remember every detail of the story due to poor recall and generally being old. :P I have never seen this animated film. I probably won’t now.

…Haha, wow, other people feel this way about the movie too? <3

The original book was a massive part of my childhood — still one of my favorite stories ever, because massive dork — and while I was vaguely aware there was a movie version I didn’t bother to seek it out until I was in university. I only ever got about 15-ish minutes in, around the point where Jeremy first appears, and had to give up entirely. The piecemeal clips I’ve seen of it here and there since then have not given me any better impression.

(It was also the first book that taught younger-me about the existence of crappy sequels. Sigh.)

Filed under reblog gif mrs. frisby and the rats of nimh secret of nimh don bluth robert c. o'brien nix is a huge dork READ THE BOOK nicodemus what they DO to you? D: