Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Information about the Mosasaur

The Mosasaur is often called the T-Rex of the sea, but it was not a dinosaur.  The Mosasaur lived during the late Cretaceous period and rose to become the largest predator of the seas.

There were several subfamilies of Mosasaur, we know of at least four through their fossil evidence.  The largest growing to about 17 meters, or 57 feet, on average.  Their massive jaw was hinged in a snake-like way, so that it could be opened wide to swallow large prey.  It is believed that they used their tail as a propeller pushing them through the water. 

Mosasaur is said to to be the T-Rex of the sea because it was the apex predator at the time.  They were fairly widespread with Mosasaur fossils being found in New Zealand, USA, Denmark, and Canada (a huge find was made recently in Manitoba), as well as in other areas of the world that were once part of the giant sea that covered the planet 85 - 65 million years ago.

We can assume the Mosasaur ate what ever it wanted.  A fossil found in South Dakota showed stomach contents of one Mosasaur containing fish bones, seabird bones, possible shark bones (sharks were alive at this time) and even the remains of an other Mosasaur.  Shark teeth have been found in Mosasaur bones.

photo source

Although Mosasaur was a huge animal, it was not a dinosaur.  Its legs attached to its body at the same angle as those of its nearest living relative today, the monitor lizard, to compare dinosaurs had legs that fit under (or infront) of its body, for example the tyrannosaur had legs that attached in a way we see in most mammals.

It has been suggested that the Mosasaur descended from the prehistoric snakes at the time and is a branch off of the snake classification.

Read More

T-Rex of the Seas Found in Manitoba

Most Prehistoric Animals were Not Dinosaurs

What Animals are Alive Now, and were Alive at the Time of the Dinosaurs

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Myiasis, Pets Being Eaten Alive

In the summer there is a risk to your pets that you may not even be aware of.

If your pets are indoors this is not a common problem, but is a huge risk to outdoor pets, particularly rabbits.

Myiasis is a condition in which fly larvae eat an animal alive, and can kill it.  There are many flies that can cause this problem, the most common being the blowfly.

Myiasis is also called Fly Strike, or Blowfly Strike.

The problem often starts at an open wound, the flies lay their eggs on the flesh, and the larvae hatch out and start eating into the rotting flesh, sometimes feeding on live flesh.  The maggots spread bacteria infection to the bloodstream of the animal and effectively kill it.

In many cases the problem happens around the animals anus (bottom), which when dirty attracts flies even when their is no wound.  The flies lay their eggs on and around the anus of the animal.  The maggots then hatch and start eating the animal while it is still alive.  This is very common in pet rabbits who are kept in outdoor hutches, and in sheep, particularly those in Australia where blowflies are very active in the summer.

You can protect your pet from fly strike by keeping an eye on it, making sure that there are no open sores, and that its rump is always kept clean, and dry.  Cage areas should also be kept clean to prevent flies from being attracted.  People who own pets in areas where blowflies are common can help their pet by keeping it indoors, rabbits in hutches face huge risks.

If you suspect your pet has fly strike veterinarian attention is required immediately to control the bacterial infection from killing the pet.  Maggots can be removed if possible, but this alone is not enough.  In many cases by the time the owner discovers that the pet is infected with Myiasis it is too late.

Further Reading

Fly Strike, a Deadly Killer of Pets
Mulesing, Australias Cruel Way of Dealing with Fly Strike