Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nature's News

More Dinosaurs Waiting to be Discovered

According to a new statistical study, we have only uncovered 1/3 of the dinosaur skeletons which are waiting to be discovered. There are many which we have probably never seen or heard of. "It's a safe bet that a child born today could expect a very fruitful career in dinosaur paleontology," said Penn paleontologist Peter Dodson.

However, this is merely a statistical analysis and it must assume that skeletons / dinosaur matter are scattered about the earth and not concentrated in certain areas. They also must make the assumption that new discoveries are not an aberration but are representative of what is left to be found. Both assumptions could be false.

And yet, I have always loved dinosaurs and it gives me hope that the romance of discovery will continue for many years to come.

Crocodile Hunter's Death

As you know, Steve Irwin was unexpectedly killed in a freak stingray accident yesterday. The latest reports say that his death was actually caught on video tape, and will be reviewed by the coroner. There will also be an autopsy.

Steve was following a school of stingrays, when one suddenly turned and stung him. The long, poisonous barb pierced the wall of his chest and entered his heart. Steve pulled it out before losing consciousness and dying almost immediately.

Aussies had mixed feelings about him. He was a cheeseball at times, and some of them felt he was an embarassment. But as time went by, and he continued to ride a wave of popularity in America, most of those Aussies reluctantly embraced him as the charasmatic money-generator that he was.

Although Steve occasionally made some idiotic mistakes (such as taking his infant son into an alligator pen during feeding time), I adored him from the moment I saw him. Steve's enthusiasm and energy was larger than life and highly contagious. He captured our hearts. God speed, Steve Irwin. You will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


R2K said...

I hate to talk in a critical manner about a person when he has just died. But in my mind, it was just a matter of time. All of these guys feel pressure to be more extreme, to do more dangerous things with more animals to draw viewers. It is just strange that a gator or croc didnt do it.

While they clearly have the animals in mind, these guys often wind up simply bugging them. I find this both dangerous, and disrespectful. They should know that animals are not here to entertain us. And also, that no animal is ever wholly predictable.

FruitfulSpirit said...

My prayers too got out to his young family! But yes he did test the limits in all he did. My son has enjoyed this mans antics from day one and I followed along with him. He wll be missed!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to find new dinosaurs! I so love them. I have to say I was shocked when I say how small they were when I went to the Smithsonian and looked at the bones there!

Ed Abbey said...

Jack Hanna said it best when he said playing with wild animals is like having a loaded gun around that can go off at any time. For Irwin, it went off.

I've fed sardines to stingrays from my bare hands in Orlando once and nobody there mentioned that I could have been stung by one. I'm sure they "declaw" them but still...

Edge said...

And so I'll ask this question, if given the choice to know the methos of your death, would you want to know? "Mr. Thunderfish, you'll be sat on by an elephant." Really, do people want to know that kind of stuff?


mal said...

Steve Irwin was the victim of his own risk taking. As entertaining as some considered him, I am not sure he was justified in taking himself from his family at a time when he was needed. So be it.

I have watched Rays swimming and they are beautiful in motion. I also knew enough to stay away from them.

What amazes me about paleontology is just how much evidence is left after more that 65 million years. It makes me wonder what will be left after we are gone

EmmaSometimes said...

Amen, Saur.

I found him just as amazing to watch as his featured animal de jour. His zeal was contagious and his passion was unmistakable.

Stingrays are dangerous due to their barbed venomous tail but for him to be struck by one in the heart of all places is such a freak accident.

You could say that oil field employees, loggers or cell tower workers are victims of their own risk taking but nobody blames them for doing the same for a paycheck. At least Mr. Irwin was passionate for what he believed in.

I will certainly miss his work.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The Crocodile Hunter did A LOT for conservation. He used his popularity and his TV show to CONSTANTLY stump for wildlife conservation and raise awareness about how we can live with "dangerous" animals. So long as we give them room.

The Auzzies could see that the cheeseball was not just doing it for show. He used a good deal of his TV show money to put back into his zoo. He also donated large sums to preserve nature in Austrailia. For that, the people forgave him for saying "Crikey".

Almost nobody is killed by a stingray "attack". And "attack" is the WRONG word to use when talking about rays. They attack about as much as a housefly. Their barb is 100% defensive, and used ONLY AFTER they try to swim away. Or when you step on them.

The Lazy Iguana said...

By the way, if the Earth is only 6,000 years old (FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE believe this) then all those "dinosaur bones" were put in the ground by Satan, in an attempt to confuse man into thinking that the Earth is actually many hundreds of millions of years old. Billions of years old even.

Unless of course you also believe that dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark. Far too many people believe this as well. Scary huh?

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I don't allow digging in my backyard. I wonder how many dinosaur bones are there? I know of one cat....

EmmaSometimes said...

Lazy Iguana,

Well said about his contribution to the world.

I read on that only one other sting ray caused death had been recorded in Australia.

I'm just feeling for his family.

K, done now. :o)

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Steve Irwin's sudden death has been most upsetting. He was a giant to so many children, and did so much to increase awareness of animals. My son saw him when he studied abroad in Australia, and we used to watch his show. He died as he lived, doing what he loved.

May his memory be blessed. He will be truly misssed.

Senor Caiman said...


If only he had shuffled his feet.

I've always wondered if dinosaurs were alive today which humans would they fine most tasty.

Bryan said...

My daughter grew up watching Irwin's program. As a matter of fact, she and I would spend many countless hours over the years watching it together. I was saddened and shocked to hear the news.

I would never have imagined it would have been a Stingray that did him in. A Croc, yes. But not a Stingray.

My first thought was also to pray for surviving family members. What a loss they must be feeling.

Ellen said...

It was rather odd to flip through the stations on cable and run across Irwin's show just hours after the news services told of his death. I ran across one show where his wife was telling of her first encounter with the croc-hunter, and how it was instant love between the two. Apparently, Irwin caught the eye of Terri, forgot where he was for a moment, and was almost fodder for an animal he was handling at the time.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ellen, how very sweet. I had no idea. Thanks for letting us know that little factoid.

Everyone, thank you so much for your contributions today. It's been very interesting. Most of what you said reflects what I was thinking.

Mr. Gator, You made me chuckle. What a typically Gatorish thing to say.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Re: dinosaurs - I wonder how many of those not-yet-discovered dino's have been xformed into crude oil?

Re: Steve Irwin - It is too bad. It wasn't surprising, but I did like watching his shows. Prayers to Terri, his wife.

Excellent post, as always!

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Steve Irwin did a lot for conservation. His enthusiasm captured the hearts of people everywhere. While his antics were sometimes a bit cheesy, he might not have been able to forward his cause without them. Nowadays people need to be entertained.

He will be sorely missed...