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Thursday, June 14, 200730 Different ways To tie Your Shoe
A gigantic bird-like dinosaur weighing as much as a car towered over its relatives about 70 million years ago, a new finding suggests.
The unearthed beaked dinosaur was not full-grown, yet it tipped the scales at more than 3,000 pounds. Paleontologists who discovered its remains estimate the behemoth was just 11 years old when it perished.
Chinese scientists unearthed the skeletal remains of the dinosaur, now named Gigantoraptor erlianensis, in the Erlian Basin of Inner Mongolia, China.
At up to 16 feet tall and 26 feet long, Gigantoraptor dwarfed its relatives, a group of small, feathered theropods called Oviraptorosaurs. The hefty dinosaur weighed 35 times more than other Oviraptorosaurs.
“It’s one thing to find a big dinosaur,” said Matthew Lamanna, assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, “but it’s another thing to find a big dinosaur from a lineage that was thought to be small.” Lamanna was not involved in the discovery.
In addition to its size, Gigantoraptor sported several bird-like features, such as a longer arm and more avian-like leg, not present in its relatives. The scientists say this finding sheds light on theropod (two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs) evolution leading to the emergence of birds.
Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Lin Tan of the Long Hao Institute in China, as well as their colleagues, discuss the finding in the June 14 issue of the journal Nature.
Gigantoraptor was also much ganglier than other dinosaurs. Typically, larger dinosaurs had proportionally stouter limbs and shorter lower legs than their smaller relatives. Relative to its size, Gigantoraptor had unusually slender limbs and lengthy legs.
“It increases our conception of the diversity of dinosaurs,” Lamanna told LiveScience.
A woman who ripped off her ex-boyfriend's testicle with her bare hands has been sent to prison.
Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage when Geoffrey Jones, 37, rejected her advances at the end of a house party, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
She pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it, before spitting it out. A friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying: "That's yours."
Monti admitted wounding and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Sentencing Monti, Judge Charles James said it was "a very serious injury" and that Monti was not acting in self defence.
The court heard that Mr Jones had ended his long-term but "open relationship" with Monti towards the end of May last year.
The pair remained on good terms and on 30 May she picked him up from a party in Crosby and went back for drinks with friends at Mr Jones's house.
An argument ensued and Mr Jones said there was a struggle between them.
In his statement, Mr Jones said she grabbed his genitals and "pulled hard".
I am in no way a violent person
He added: "That caused my underpants to come off and I found I was completely naked and in excruciating pain."
The court heard that a friend saw Monti put Mr Jones's testicle into her mouth and try to swallow it.
The skeletons of two dozen children killed in an ancient mass sacrifice have been found in a tomb at a construction site in Mexico.
The find reveals new details about the ancient Toltec civilization and adds to an ongoing debate over ritualistic killing in historic Mesoamerica.
Construction crews unearthed the burial chamber this spring near the town of Tula, the ancient Toltec capital, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Mexico City (see Mexico map).
The chamber contained 24 skeletons of children believed to have been sacrificed between A.D. 950 and 1150, according to Luis Gamboa, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
All but one of the children were between 5 to 15 years of age, and they were likely killed as an offering to the Toltec rain god Tlaloc, Gamboa said.
The Toltec, a pre-Aztec civilization that thrived from the 10th to 12th centuries, had not been previously thought to have sacrificed children.
But the ritualistic placement of the skeletons, cut marks on bones, and the presence of a figurine of Tlaloc led Gamboa to conclude the children had been sacrificed to bring rain.
"To try and explain why there are 24 bodies grouped in the same place, well, the only way is to think that there was a human sacrifice," Gamboa told the Reuters news agency.
"You can see evidence of incisions, which make us think they possibly used sharp-edged instruments to decapitate them."
The skeletons were each found in a seated position looking east to face the sunrise, Gamboa said.
Several artifacts were also found around the bodies, some of which suggest that the children had been brought in from another region, he added.
Thailand's first female boxing world champion was released from jail Wednesday as reward for winning the world light-flyweight title.
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images
Samson Sor Siriporn, left, won a title bout at the infamous "Bangkok Hilton" prison.
Siriporn Thaweesuk was released on parole from the women's prison in Pathum Thani province, 20 miles north of Bangkok, three years before the end of her seven-year sentence for selling amphetamines.
Siriporn -- or Samson Sor Siriporn as she is known in the ring -- defeated Japan's Ayaka Miyano for the title in a prison yard bout in April amid cheers from other inmates and prison guards.
The decision by prison authorities to grant her parole for winning the title was not without controversy, but the boxing champion shrugged off the criticism as she left prison.
"Thanks for those who supported a convict like me," Siriporn said at a press conference after her release. "Some may not agree but I don't care. I am happy that there are people willing to support me. I like to thank all the officials as well."
A first-time offender, Siriporn grew up in a poor family in the Thai capital of Bangkok, where her family made a living by selling clothes on the roadside.
After her release, Siriporn will continue to train on the prison grounds and live in a house provided by the prison authorities in a nearby compound. She will be required to report to the director of the women's prison once a month.
The victory was her first since losing the WBC Straw-weight title to Japan's Nanako Kikuchi last year.
Siriporn's first bout to defend her title is set for late July.