Category Archives: Animals

Ancient puppy paw prints found on Roman tiles

Ancient puppy paw prints found on Roman tiles

A dog pushed its paws into this ancient Roman tile before it could dry.Adam Slater, Wardell Armstrong Archaeology

The paw prints and hoof prints of a few meddlesome animals have been preserved for posterity on ancient Roman tiles recently discovered by archaeologists in England.

“They are beautiful finds, as they represent a snapshot, a single moment in history,” said Nick Daffern, a senior project manager with Wardell Armstrong Archaeology. “It is lovely to imagine some irate person chasing a dog or some other animal away from their freshly made tiles.”

 The artifacts, which could be nearly 2,000 years old,were found in the Blackfriars area of Leicester, the English city where the long-lost bones of King Richard III were discovered under a parking lot in 2012. Wardell Armstrong Archaeology was brought in to dig at a site where a construction company plans to build student housing.

Photos: Animal prints on ancient Roman tiles

At least one of the tiles is tainted with dog paw prints, and one is marked with the hoof prints of a sheep or a goat that trampled on the clay before it was dry.

“My initial thought was that it must have been very difficult being a Roman tile manufacturer with these animal incursions going on all the time,” Philip Briggs, another Wardell Armstrong archaeologist, told Live Science in an email.

The tiles were found in layers of rubble that had been laid down as a hard base for subsequent floors, but the artifacts’ original context is unclear, Daffern said.

“We don’t know if the tiles were originally part of an earlier building or were bought in from elsewhere specifically to raise and stabilize ground,” Daffern told Live Science in an email.

Leicester was the stronghold of an Iron Age group known as the Corieltauvi tribe, and it remained an important city after the Roman conquest of Britain in the first century A.D., as it was located along the Fosse Way, a Roman road that connected southwestern England with the East Midlands.

The excavators say that, in addition to the animal-printed tiles, they’ve uncovered Roman tweezers, brooches, coins and painted wall plaster. They’ve also unearthed traces of a large Roman building perhaps a basilica, with a peristyle, or columned porch that was largely robbed of its masonry during the medieval era for other construction projects.

The archaeologists even discovered late Iron Age artifacts, such as several fragments of clay molds that the Corieltauvi tribe likely used to make coins before the Roman rule. Daffern said it’s rare to find sites with coin molds, given how closely managed coin production would have been during the Iron Age.

“I think the excavation thus far has significantly multiplied the number of coin mold fragments recovered from Leicester, probably by approximately tenfold,” Daffern said in an email.

The excavation is funded by construction company Watkin Jones. The archaeologists are providing updates on Wardell Armstrong Archaeology’s blog.

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Bizarre Creatures Found in the Mariana Trench

Bizarre Creatures Found in the Mariana Trench.


Footballfish are deep-sea anglers that live in the Mariana Trench. They look like a football, thus the name. The lure on the top of their heads is what attracts their prey, which they then quickly snap up with their fierce jaws.


Hatchetfish are deep-sea fish that are not exclusive to the Mariana Trench, but are still odd-looking. The hatchetfish are special creatures because they are capable of producing their own light, which helps them escape from predators. At those depths, a built-in flashlight is handy to have!

Frilled Shark

Frilled sharks are one of the oldest species around and they lurk in the depths of the Mariana Trench. They’re hard to spot, which makes them terrifying to prey when they use their snake-like bodies to sneak around.


If for some reason you find yourself at the depths of the Mariana Trench, you’ll spot the dragonfish thanks to its own bio-luminescence. Their distinctive flashing chin barbell helps lure both prey and potential mates, so beware.


Ew! You’ll be surprised to know that when the blobfish is in water, it looks nothing like this gelatinous blob. It’s a deep-sea fish that lives in the deep waters and has been spotted in the Mariana Trench.


Barreleyes get their name from their barrel-shaped eyes that are directed upwards to detect their prey. They’re been found at depths of 2,000 feet and have highly sensitive eyes.

Goblin Shark

This shark is down-right terrifying, if you couldn’t tell from the .gif. They measure up to 13 feet long and can weigh up to 463 pounds. These scary sharks can pretty much swallow anything whole. Yikes.

Ping-Pong Tree Sponge

This sponge may look harmless, but it’s actually a carnivorous sponge. Its entire body is covered in tiny hairs that can hook any small creature that passes by. Once caught, the cells in the sponge move towards the prey and digest it. Creepy.

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Cute Dog Pictures for Your Monday

Cute dogs to improve your day back at work.

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Do Vegetarians Die Earlier?

There are so many conflicting studies in healthcare.  Recent studies show that vegetarians actually die earlier than their meat eating counterparts.  Here are some recent story links:

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I think in general, studies which say you are going to die from this or that just create fear and anxiety.  There should be a study that determines people who read medical studies have higher stress and die earlier.

Here is what I know to be true:

1) Being healthy is the slowest way to die.  You will still die.

2)  Eating a variety of foods in reasonable portions is healthy.

3) Reducing stress is very important.

4)  Regular exercise is very important.

5) Regular healthy sleep is important.

6)  Being positive is important.

7)  Having a pet adds years to your life.


8) Being married adds years to your life (though some say at too high a cost…)

9)  Drinking one ounce of alcohol per day is healthy.  (just like other medicines, you can’t take the whole week’s worth on Saturday night.)

Ignore negative studies, live your life, be happy.  You want to eat meat or not eat meat, have at it.




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Cute Dogs For Your Monday Blues!

Cute dogs to cheer up your Monday.

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Cute Dogs to Start Your Week

Cute dogs for the start of your week at work…

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A Dog and His Blanket

One of my dogs, Barclay, the playful Shi-Tzu can make a game of anything.  His favorite toy right now is his red blanket.  He lays on it like a pillow like most dogs, but he also makes it into a fort draping it over the couch and coffee table.  He also covers himself and has you fight with him while he can’t see.  You tap his paws or face and he bites at the hidden intruder.  My favorite though is when he plays Little Red Blanky Hood.

Barclay wears his red blanket like a hooded cloak.  He could be a Jedi knight, a superhero, little red riding hood, whatever.  I am not sure what goes through his mind, but he loves it.  He is at this very moment fighting with my wife under his blanky.  Here is a picture, and no, it is not posed.  He does this himself…


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Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues

Cute dog pictures to cheer up your Monday…

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Cute Dog Humor for Your Monday Blues

In this edition, I put in dog humor.  Please pardon me that some of the language is profane.

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Reptile death match: Snake devours crocodile

Reptile death match: Snake devours crocodile

By Megan Gannon

Published March 05, 2014

  • snake-eating-croc

    A python was caught on camera as it swallowed a crocodile whole in northern Australia in March 2014. (YouTube | Barcroft TV)

A python was caught on camera devouring a crocodile after an epic battle on the shores of an Australian lake.

Amazing footage of the incident shows the snake constricting its prey and slowly stretching its mouth over the crocodile’s scaly body during the course of five hours.The reptile death match captured the attention of people at Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa in the state of Queensland, over the weekend.

“You could see the crocodile in the snake’s belly which I think was probably the more remarkable thing,” local resident Tiffany Corlis told Australia’s ABC News.”You could actually see its legs and see its scales and everything, it was just amazing.” [Beastly Feasts: See Other Amazing Animals Devouring Prey]

Though the stomach-turning meal may look incredible, some animal experts say the incident isn’t all that uncommon.

‘You could see the crocodile in the snake’s belly, which I think was probably the more remarkable thing.’

- local resident Tiffany Corlis

“The big eat the smaller,” Lindsey Hord, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), wrote in an email to Live Science, noting that big snakes regularly eat crocodile relatives known as caiman in South America.

The combatants in this case are thought to be an olive python and a freshwater Johnston’s crocodile, both native to northern Australia. Terry Phillip, of South Dakota’s Reptile Gardens, told National Geographic that olive snakes are “known for being phenomenally powerful, pound for pound, and for feeding on large food items.”

Phillip added that snakes regularly swallow prey 75 to 100 percent their size. But footage of their amazing eating abilities continues to astound.

A sensational YouTube video from 2012 showed an anaconda regurgitating the carcass of a goat. And an engorged Burmese python was picked up in the Florida Everglades in 2011 after it had swallowed a 76-lb. deer. But sometimes snakes can bite off more than they can chew. Back in 2005, pictures circulated of another python that burst after it apparently tried to eat an American alligator in Florida.

Snakes don’t “unhinge” their jaw to eat; rather their two lower jaws are not actually connected so they can move independently of one another while the snakes eat their large prey. Scientists recently decoded the genome of Burmese pythons and found the snakes’ impressive snacking skills arise from a genetic capacity to alter their metabolism and their organs (which sometimes double in size) after a meal. That research was published in December in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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