Sunday, September 23, 2007

Unusual Horned Beetle

Photo E. Greene
The name of this male unusual stag-horned beetle could be Proagoderus rangifer (or Onthophagus rangifer), which is species in Tribe Onthophagini, Subfamily Scarabaeinae, Family Scarabaeidae. It is about 11 mm length. Closely relative beetles can be found in Europe as well, but dark coloured.

Source: Douglas J. Emlen - Division of Biological Sciences UM, Whyfiles

What is an Ekranoplan

An ekranoplan (Russian: экранопла́н, literally "screen plane") is a vehicle resembling an aircraft but which operates solely on the principle of ground effect. Ground effect vehicles (GEV) fly above any flat surface, with the height above ground dependent upon the size of the vehicle. Ekranoplan design was conceived by Soviet engineer Rostislav Alexeev.

During the Cold War, ekranoplans were sighted for years on the Caspian Sea as huge, fast-moving objects. The name Caspian Sea Monster was given by US intelligence operatives who had spotted the huge vehicle, which looked like an airplane with the outer halves of the wings removed. After the end of the Cold War, the "monster" was revealed to be one of several Soviet military designs meant to fly only a few meters above water, saving energy and staying below enemy radar.

The ekranoplan has a lifting power of 1,000 tonnes, among the largest ever achieved. The KM, as the Caspian Sea Monster was known in the top secret Soviet military development program, was over 100 m long (330 ft), weighed 540 tonnes fully loaded, and could travel over 400 km/h (250 mi/h), mere meters above the surface of the water.

(The video is documentary in Russian)

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Thylacine - video records

The Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Native to Australia and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger (due to its striped back), and also known as the Tasmanian Wolf. The seven film clips above comprise near all of the motion picture footage known to exist of living Thylacines. The last known specimen died in Hobart Zoo 1936. I want to believe that there are still surviving Thylacines in some remote place.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Largest Beetle - part III

The Goliath beetles (Goliathus) are among the largest beetles. In my opinion only 2 or 3 specieses are heavier or larger. There are a lot of claims that Goliathus goliatus, Goliathus orientalis or Goliathus regius are the heaviest beetles or even insects with weight up to 100 gr (3.5 oz), but it is very unlikely, according to University of Florida a large living Goliathus goliatus of approximately 10 cm total length was recently reported to weigh 42 grams (C. Campbell, pers. comm.). The same extrapolation of data would produce a figure of about 45 grams for a living 11 cm Goliathus, that mean 3 or 4 grams fewer than the largest reported Megasoma actaeon – 13.5 cm. On the photo Goliathus regius on men arm.

Source: Wikipedia, Extreme Science, University of Florida, Natural Worlds
See more: The Largest Beetle - part I, The Largest Beetle - part II