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Mouse Mummies

28 October 2023

Towering high above sea level, the tops of volcanoes in the Andes are a challenging and difficult place for life  to exist. Temperatures rarely rise above freezing, and the air is thin. It is constantly windy. Yet, life does exist, as live mice and a dozen or so naturally mummified leaf ear mice are testament to that. Why they choose to live there is another matter. Or how long they may have been able to live there. Analysis of their genome suggests they live extended periods in the bleak environment – out of choice. See https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-03282-1 ….

Over at https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dinosaur-feathers-bird-fossils–  … feathered dinosaurs did not fly like modern birds but their feathers appear to have been extraordinarily  similar to bird feathers.

At https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/10/231020145859.htm …. dingoes, it seems, are domesticated dogs that went wild, or so it would seem. This is not necessarily a new idea as dingoes are thought to have arrived with new immigrants around 5000 years ago and have been compared with Indian village dogs that hang around human habitation, hoping for the odd bone and a trifle of meat. Nowadays, the dingo is maligned in modern Australia but clearly this was not true if you went back far enough. Dingoes were buried, and domesticated by at least some groups of Aborigines. In fact, dingoes were buried alongside humans, suggesting a close relationship. Dogs are great in helping humans hunt for their dinner, and were rewarded with some of the prize once it was brought low.

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