Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Illustration by Luci Betti-Nash / Associated Press
I love that name. Really cool name for the worlds largest known toad. Unfortunately it's extinct, because I agree with PZ Meyers, I want one as a pet. Probably just as well. Fang, Attack Rabbit is probably just the right size for a nice snack. The females got up to 10 lbs and 16 inches long. They are related to the currently popular Pac-Man frog, and Kenneth Chang of the New York Times quoted discoverer Dr. David Krause as saying that the female Beelzebufos were “lady Pac-Man frogs, on steroids.”

I read several articles about it, but this quote from a story in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye:

“Krause, along with Susan Evans and Marc Jones of the research department of cell and developmental biology at University College in London, painstakingly removed Beelzebufo's fossilized parts, like an ancient jigsaw puzzle, from deep sediment that dates to the late Cretaceous period, 65 million to 70 million years ago.

That was the time of the dinosaurs, and Earth was a young -- and very different -- place.”

The Earth was young?? The Earth is about 4.54 billion years old plus or minus 1%. Seventy million years ago, it was still ~4,470,000,000 ± 45,000,000. In other words, the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old now, and 70 million years ago, the Earth was about...4.5 billion years old. Sixty-five or 70 million years is a drop in the bucket, geologically speaking. I’ll give them “very different.”

As one of my coworkers said when I pointed this out, "Another confirmation that our science education in the US sucks..."

This blog post was continually interrupted by a total eclipse of the moon! I had to run outside every five minutes. Unfortunately, I don't own a camera that could take a picture of it.


Mr Farty said...

At least you saw the eclipse. We were clouded over. And it started at 3am.


Laurie said...

It was surprisingly crystal clear here. I called my son in northern California and my parents in the midwest (and my brother Phil (no answer), and my ex-husband (oops, it was his birthday, and I forgot), etc.), and it was clear for them, too. Standing in the middle of the road in front of the house on my cellphone, looking up, I was really lucky I didn't get run over.

Deep croak.