Thursday, October 28, 2010

trouble again in Indonesia

The Christian Science Monitor has a decent summary article today of the twin natural hazards that have struck Indonesia within the last week.  Monday, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck the west coast, generating a tsunami.  On Tuesday, Mt. Merapi erupted.  The total who have perished so far is reported at 131.  The volcano seems poised to continue erupting as it is for a while.  Unfortunately, the recent earthquake is not believed by seismologists to have eased the stress that has been building along the fault line, and another, potentially 8.5 magnitude superquake, remains a possibility.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GIANT pterosaurs could fly 10,000 miles

Ok, it's been a long break for us hear at E-l P, but let's jump back into the Earth science news.

A fascinating story today over at National Geographic, reporting on a recent scientific investigation that suggests that some Pterosaurs could have flown for 10,000 miles without stopping.  But only the largest of these great beasts would have been able to make those distances: Quetzalcoatlus is thought to have had a wingspan of ~35 feet, and when on the ground (the walked on all 4's), would have been as tall as a giraffe.  In the process of such a long flight, they would have  burned up about 160 lbs. of fat!  Pterosaurs are a group of reptiles that lived in the Mesozoic Period, during the time of the dinosaurs (but technically they themselves are not dinosaurs).    They have at times been better known as Pterodactyls or Pternodons in the public eye.  Reminds me of Swoop from back in 1985.

Thank you for flying AirPterosaur, we hope you enjoyed your non-stop flight half-way around the world.  Please place your seats in an upright position, and enjoy the rest of your day.