3 million Monday?

October 8, 2011

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub may have its 3 millionth reader on Monday, October 10.  At present rates, Tuesday for sure.

Thank you, readers.

Amazing film – Flight of the eagle owl

October 8, 2011

Imagine for a moment that you are a wee little mousie, sitting on a tuft of grass nibbling on a seed. You think you feel a breath of a breeze from in back of you and you turn around to see this beautiful thing

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Amazing nature – The Eagle Owl, posted with vodpod

Beautiful, but terrible, too.

Owls fly silently. Their feathers have evolved to move without rustles, to let the wind slip through them without making a whish. Owls demonstrate evolution at its mightiest, and nature, as the poets note, “red in tooth and claw.”

Filmed at 1000 frames per second, according to Dogworks.com.  According to Vurtrunner at YouTube, filmed with a
Photron Full HD High Speed Camera SA2.

I’d like to know more about this film.  Trained owl?  Wild owl enticed by what kind of bait?  Longer movie about eagle owls?  I’m not familiar with them.  So many little mysteries on the internet.


Update:  From YouTube’s account of SloMoHighSpeed:

New Photron SA-2 High Definition High Speed Camera. Shot of ‘Checkers’ the eagle owl, 1000fps 1920×1080 resolution. Shot by SlowMo (www.slowmo.co.uk). See the owl and other birds of prey at www.turbarywoods.co.uk.

From Wikipedia

The Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Europe and Asia. It is also one of the largest types of owls.

*   *   *   *   *   *

The Eagle Owl is a large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. It is sometimes referred to as the world’s largest owl, but this is actually the Blakiston’s Fish Owl, which is slightly bigger on average.[2][3] The Eagle Owl has a wingspan of 138–200 cm (55–79 in) and measures 58–75 cm (23–30 in) long. Females weigh 1.75-4.5 kg (3.9-10 lbs) and males weigh 1.5-3.2 kg (3.3-7 lbs).[4][5][6] In comparison, the Barn Owl weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lbs).

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathryn.

Evidence of evolution: Giraffe’s laryngeal nerve

October 8, 2011

One of my favorite examples of evolution and how we can see it in living things today:  The laryngeal nerve of the giraffe, linking larynx to brain, a few inches away — but because of evolutionary developments, instead dropping from the brain all the way down the neck to the heart, and then back up to the larynx.  In giraffes the nerve can be as much as 15 feet long, to make a connection a few inches away.  Richard Dawkins explains:

All mammals have the nerve, and as a result of our fishy ancestry, in all mammals, the nerve goes down the neck, through a heart blood vessel loop, and back up.  In fish, of course, the distance is shorter — fish have no necks.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Pharyngula’s Sciblogs site.

Yes, the laryngeal nerve is sometimes called the vagus nerve, because it originates off of the vagus nerve.

Giraffe's laryngeal nerve, easily explained by evolution; paints of picture of an evil, joker designer otherwise.

Giraffe’s laryngeal nerve, easily explained by evolution; paints picture of an evil, joker designer otherwise.

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