Israel: The Nazi Secret Lurking Inside Tel Aviv

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

The Nazi secret lurking inside some of Tel Aviv’s most beautiful buildings

Discoveries made in Leibling House, a recently renovated cultural center, reveal the German foundations of much of Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus-inflected 1930s construction

  • German-made Villeroy & Boch tiles uncovered at Beit Leibling, part of the transfer agreement payments made before World War II (Courtesy Yael Schmidt)
    German-made Villeroy & Boch tiles uncovered at Beit Leibling, part of the transfer agreement payments made before World War II (Courtesy Yael Schmidt)
  • From washers to door handles, German-made construction materials were imported to pre-state Palestine as part of transfer agreement payments (Courtesy Yael Schmidt)
    From washers to door handles, German-made construction materials were imported to pre-state Palestine as part of transfer agreement payments (Courtesy Yael Schmidt)
  • German door handles imported to pre-state Palestine as part of transfer agreement payments (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)
    German door handles imported to pre-state Palestine as part of transfer agreement payments (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)
  • German bathroom fittings imported to pre-state Palestine (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)
    German bathroom fittings imported to pre-state Palestine (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)

A single sand-colored tile almost fell on Sharon Golan-Yaron in the lobby of 29 Idelson Street a few years ago, while she and a team were busy converting the modernist Tel Aviv apartment building into a cultural center.

“It landed in the palm of my hand,” Golan-Yaron recalls in the book accompanying “Transferumbau: Liebling,” an inaugural exhibition celebrating the Bauhaus building’s recent reopening as the Liebling Haus. “I felt as though it was communicating with me, whispering ‘take me,’ to finally reveal an old, dark secret locked between tile, wall, and builder.”

The terrazzo tile, made in Germany by renowned ceramic manufacturer Villeroy & Boch, had a story to tell and sparked a project uncovering the history of its building and others like it that cropped up in Tel Aviv during the 1930s. What the team of artists who collaborated on Transferumbau ultimately unearthed was an uncomfortable record: during one of its formative decades, Tel Aviv was built upon some considerable Nazi foundations.

The Nazis first began shaping Tel Aviv’s built environment in 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler started his role as chancellor. At the time, they cordoned off the Bauhaus art school in Berlin and gave its administration an ultimatum: it could either change its avant-garde approach, or close. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, then acting as Bauhaus director, chose the latter. His decision launched the school’s community into a worldwide diaspora, where they spread their alma mater’s love of streamlined minimalism.

Unloading a container at Tel Aviv Port in 1939 (Rudi Weissenstein, https://www.thephotohouse.co.il/)

Over 20 Bauhaus students emigrated from Germany to British Mandatory Palestine, including four architects: Arieh Sharon, Munio Gitai-Weinraub, Shlomo Bernstein and Shmuel Mestiechkin. These Bauhaus alumni planned only a small number of Tel Aviv buildings, but helped mold the design language of the city, which was then experiencing a population and construction boom.

“Modernist architecture became emblematic of a new modern Jewish society, which, uniquely adopted the Bauhaus concept,” notes Claudia Perren, director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, in the Transferumbau book.

Of the roughly 4,000 buildings that have earned Tel Aviv its UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site status for an extraordinarily high concentration of modernist architecture, around a quarter were constructed in the 1930s. Compounding Hitler’s influence on this developing Hebrew city was the fact that – as shown at the Liebling Haus – many of these landmark Bauhaus-inspired buildings were built with supplies manufactured in Nazi Germany.

The tale of how German materials like tiles, door handles, window hinges, metal beams, glass panes, drainage pipes, faucets, building blocks, lamps, sockets, and heating systems ended up in Jewish-owned buildings in Palestine is another Tel Aviv chapter that began in 1933, the same year as the Bauhaus’s forced closure.

At the time, German Jews wanted to leave the country but could not liquidate their assets due to foreign currency regulations. The Nazi party, which was eager to both expel Jews and strengthen the German economy, signed a transfer agreement with Zionist organizations to facilitate the departure of Jews from Germany, cash (sort of) in hand.

German bathroom fittings imported to pre-state Palestine (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)

The agreement lasted six years and helped German Jews extract a certain amount of their wealth. They could sell their property and deposit funds into specially designated bank accounts, which entitled them to receive British-issued visas to Palestine (that deviated from the normal British quota for Jewish immigrants). Meanwhile, the deposited funds were used to buy German-made construction materials imported to and sold in Palestine. Proceeds from the sale of these goods (minus certain fees and commissions) were then returned to the original Jewish depositors.

“People are shocked about this agreement,” explains Micha Gross, co-founder of Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv, who singles out German materials brought over via the transfer agreement on his center’s walking tours. “I think most of the people today are in favor of it. During the 1930s, the situation was different.”

German door handles imported to pre-state Palestine as part of transfer agreement payments (Courtesy Liebling Haus/Yael Schmidt)

The agreement was controversial for many reasons, one of which was the fact that American Jews were simultaneously promoting a German boycott. While Jews in the United States refused to buy anything from Nazi Germany, the Jewish Agency signed off on purchasing German goods in bulk in an effort to save Jewish lives.

Over 50,000 German Jews came to Palestine through the agreement, boosting the population of the burgeoning Jewish community in Palestine and importing around 150 million Reichsmark.

An interior of Beit Leibling in Tel Aviv (Courtesy Yael Schmidt)

“It’s a complicated story, and that’s why it’s not often told. This is the historical story, these are the archival materials,” says Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, curator of Transferumbau, who has spent three years studying the transfer agreement alongside the artists in the exhibition – Ilit Azoulay, Nir Shauloff, Jonathan Touitou and Lou Moria.

“The goal of the project wasn’t to shake a finger and say, how could you sign an agreement with the Nazis?” Cohen-Schneiderman adds. “The goal was to say, look, this is what happened here, this is how it worked, this was the web of interests that needed to be addressed, and let’s talk about it.”

As the years progressed, the agreement became more elaborate and the rights of German Jewish expatriates deteriorated. Dr. Eitan Burstein, historian emeritus of Bank Leumi (formerly the Anglo-Palestine Bank, which handled the transfer of funds), said that immigrants sometimes received only around 25 percent of the original sum they deposited in Germany.

By 1935, even the Jewish Agency was questioning whether the agreement was beneficial. Eliezer Kaplan, then Jewish Agency treasurer, said, “We must ask ourselves again whether and to what extent we would like to go in this direction.”

The agreement was in effect until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Regardless of the Nazis’ intentions for the Jews of Europe, they had already inadvertently helped construct a Jewish metropolis in Tel Aviv.

“I don’t think the Nazis bothered to ask themselves if they were building a future country or not,” says Cohen-Schneiderman. “But it’s very ironic and a twist of fate that ideologies that the Nazis tried to extinguish in Germany found a very powerful and interesting manifestation here, to the point of turning Tel Aviv into a World Heritage site for its International Style architecture.”

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Mummified Pup Died in Siberia 18,000 Years Ago

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF LIVE SCIENCE)

 

Mummified Pup Died in Siberia 18,000 Years Ago … And Might Be a Wolf (or Something Else)

The pup still had its milk teeth, suggesting it was under 2 months old when it died.

The pup still had its milk teeth, suggesting it was under 2 months old when it died.
(Image: © Sergey Fedorov/The Siberian Times)

A young pup that spent 18,000 years buried in Siberian permafrost looks remarkably lifelike and pettable — for a freeze-dried mummy. From its frozen tomb, the Ice Age canine’s body emerged in near-perfect condition, retaining even the pads and nails on its small feet and plenty of hair, down to its tiny eyelashes and delicate whiskers.

The pup still had its milk teeth, suggesting it was under 2 months old when it died; The body is so well preserved that its resemblance to a wolf is clearly visible, The Siberian Times recently reported.

But is the youngster a wolf … or a dog?

Dogs are descended from wolves, and their lineage may have split from their lupine ancestors’ as early as 40,000 years ago, according to ancient DNA evidence. Scientists at the University of Stockholm’s Centre for Palaeogenetics conducted genetic tests on the Siberian pup’s remains, but they were unable to determine if the mummy represented a dog or a wolf, the Times reported.

Related: Photos: Is Ice Age Cat Mummy a Lion or a Lynx?

DNA analysis did tell the scientists that the pup was a male. They named it “Dogor” — “friend” in the Yakut language — though in English, the name references the mummy’s uncertain status: dog or … something else, according to the Times.

The scientists named the pup "Dogor" — "friend" in the Yakut language.

The scientists named the pup “Dogor” — “friend” in the Yakut language. (Image credit: Sergey Fedorov/The Siberian Times)

Researchers discovered the mummified pup during the summer of 2018 near the Indigirka River in Yakutia, in the northeastern part of Russia. The oldest known fossil of a domesticated dog dates to 14,700 years ago, though remains of dog-like canines are known from 35,000 years ago, another research team reported in 2017 in the journal Nature. In the study, the scientists suggested that dogs diverged genetically from their wolf ancestors between 36,900 and 41,500 years ago.

What does this mean for the Siberian pup? A mummified canine dating to 18,000 years ago could be a dog, a wolf or possibly even a transitional form — an animal with traits of both species, the Times reported.

“This is intriguing,” said Sergey Fedorov, a researcher with the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia, and one of the scientists investigating the puppy. “We can’t wait to get results from further tests,” he told the Times.

Preserved in ice

After spending 18,000 years buried in Siberian permafrost, this pup looks pretty good.

After spending 18,000 years buried in Siberian permafrost, this pup looks pretty good. (Image credit: Sergey Fedorov/The Siberian Times)

Over the past several years in Siberia, melting permafrost has released some astonishingly well-preserved examples of ancient animals. In 2017, paleontologists unearthed an astonishing mummy of a young horse from a crater in Yakutia; the 2-month-old foal lived 30,000 to 40,000 years ago and its body was whole and undamaged, with its skin and hooves intact. And in 2018, a man searching for mammoth tusks discovered the mummy of a young Ice Age feline. Like the newfound puppy, the wild kitten’s species was hard to pin down, and experts suspect it could be a cave lion or a Eurasian lynx.

Then in June, a man walking by a river in Yakutia in Russia spied the enormous, severed head of an Ice Age wolf, dating to more than 40,000 years ago.

The frozen Siberian wilderness also recently revealed something more gruesome than ancient animal remains: a bag containing 54 severed human hands, buried in snow on a river island and found in 2018. Unlike the Ice Age mummies, the hands were modern in origin and were likely discarded illegally by a nearby forensic lab, according to Russian authorities.

Originally published on Live Science.

Germany: Jewelry of ‘immeasurable worth’ stolen in dramatic Dresden museum heist

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK GUARDIAN NEWS)

 

Jewelry of ‘immeasurable worth’ stolen in dramatic Dresden museum heist

German police say thieves on the run after ‘cultural treasures’ stolen from Green Vault

The Jewel Room at the Green Vault in Dresden
 The Jewel Room at the Green Vault in Dresden’s Royal Palace. Photograph: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

Thieves in the German city of Dresden have broken into one of Europe’s largest collections of art treasures, making off with three sets of 18th-century jewelry of “immeasurable worth” in what German media has described as the biggest such theft since the second world war.

The dramatic heist took place at dawn on Monday, after a fire broke out at an electrical distribution point nearby, deactivating the museum’s alarm and plunging the area into darkness.

Despite the power cut, a surveillance camera filmed two men breaking into the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) at Dresden’s Royal Palace.

Volker Lange, the head of Dresden police, said the thieves smashed a window and cut through a fence before approaching and breaking open a display cabinet in the Grünes Gewölbe’s Jewel Room in “a targeted manner”.

Officers were at the scene within minutes of being alerted to the robbery shortly before 5 am local time, but the suspects had escaped. A burning car found in Dresden early on Monday may have been the getaway vehicle, police said. They have set up roadblocks on motorway approach roads around the city in an attempt to prevent the suspects from leaving. But the close proximity of the gallery to the autobahn is likely to have helped the thieves’ speedy escape, police said.

German media reported the losses from the burglary could run into the high hundreds of millions of euros, but the director of Dresden’s state art collections, Marion Ackermann, said it was impossible to estimate the value of the items.

“We cannot give a value because it is impossible to sell,” she said, appealing to the thieves not to break the collections into pieces. “The material value doesn’t reflect the historic meaning.”

Ackermann said the stolen items included three “priceless” sets of diamonds, including brilliant-cut diamonds which belonged to an 18th-century collection of jewelry assembled by the museum’s founder.

Created by Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony, in 1723, the Grünes Gewölbe is one of 12 museums which make up the famous Dresden state art collections. It got its name because some rooms were decorated with malachite-green paint.

One of the oldest museums in Europe, the Grünes Gewölbe holds treasures including a 63.8 cm figure of a Moor studded with emeralds and a 547.71-carat sapphire gifted by Tsar Peter I of Russia.

The museum is now made up of two sections, one historic and a newer part. It was the historic section, which contains around three-quarters of the museum’s treasures, that was broken into on Monday.

Entrance to the historic vault must be reserved in advance, and there is a strict limit on the number of daily visitors. Exhibits are arranged into nine rooms, including an ivory room, a silver gilt room and the central Hall of Treasures.

Michael Kretschmer, the leader of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital, said he was devastated by the losses. “Not only the gallery has been robbed, but also the Saxonians,” he said. “You cannot understand the history of our country, or the free state of Saxony, without the Grünes Gewölbe and the state art collections of Saxony.”

Historic Grape Cups were among the treasures on display in the Green Vault, where burglars carried out a heist.
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 Historic Grape Cups were among the treasures on display in the Green Vault, where burglars carried out a heist. Photograph: Ralf Hirschberger/EPA

The Grünes Gewölbe alone consists of 10 rooms teeming with about 3,000 items of jewelry and other masterpieces. The building was heavily damaged during the second world war but has been successfully restored, reopening to great international fanfare in 2006. It has been a tourist magnet since 1724, when it first opened to the public.

One of the museum’s most famous and precious treasures, the Dresden Green Diamond, is currently on loan with other valuable pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for an exhibition.

Saxony’s interior minister, Roland Wöller, said: “This is a bitter day for the cultural heritage of Saxony. The thieves stole cultural treasures of immeasurable worth – that is not only the material worth but also the intangible worth to the state of Saxony, which is impossible to estimate.”

Wöller said police had already set up a special team of investigators to pursue the case. “We will do everything in our power not only to bring the cultural treasures back, but to capture the perpetrators,” he said.

Leading international theft experts speculated about the thieves’ motives.

The Dutch “art detective” Arthur Brand, who made headlines earlier this month after uncovering a long-lost gold ring belonging to the writer Oscar Wilde, said the objects might have been stolen by people hoping to sell them, who would soon realise there was little hope of doing so.

“But the second and worst scenario would be professional robbers who just want the objects for their material value, the melted down gold or silver, who would take out the diamonds and sell them separately,” he told Der Spiegel. “But as soon as the works are destroyed, they are of course lost forever.”

Police in Dresden are investigating how thieves broke into the Green Vault.
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 Police in Dresden are investigating how thieves broke into the Green Vault. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Bernhard Pacher, manager of the art auction house Hermann Historica, told the tabloid Bild that if the objects stolen had a value of a billion euros, as initially estimated by police, “even when they are broken down and melted they can still deliver a 100-200 million euro return, which still makes it worth stealing them.”

Ackermann said that security at the state collections would now undergo a thorough review after what appeared to have been a meticulously planned heist.

“An incident like this naturally raises the question as to what can be improved, what can be done differently in future,” she said. “But there’s no such thing as 100% security.”

The theft is the second high-profile heist in Germany in recent years, after a 100kg, 24-carat gold coin was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

World’s biggest heists

  1. £100m diamond ‘heist of the century’In 2003, £100m in diamonds were stolen from the Diamond Centre in Antwerp, Belgium. Some of the diamonds have since been recovered.
  2. £90.5m Cannes film-like robberyA thief in Cannes made off with over £90m in jewels in a 2013 smash and grab at a temporary exhibition in the Carlton Hotel, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed To Catch a Thief. The jewels have yet to be found.
  3. £58m airport heistIn 2005, a £58m diamond theft took place at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport. Though the police have recovered some, £43m worth of diamonds are still unaccounted for.
  4. £56m Paris theftIn 2008, Harry Winston’s boutique near Paris’ Champs-Elysees was raided by a group of men in make-up, who lifted £56m of gems and watches.
  5. £40m Mayfair robberyIn 2009, Graff’s Diamond Store in Mayfair was stripped of its rings and diamonds worth more than £40m. It is likely that the jewels have been broken down and sold onto unregulated international markets. Oliver Taylor
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Scientists drill out 2 million-year-old ice and make a major discovery

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)

 

Antarctica shock: Scientists drill out 2 million-year-old ice and make a major discovery

ANTARCTICA researchers drilling out ice cores dating back two million years into Earth’s past have made incredible discoveries about the planet’s climate.

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The Antarctic discovery is touted as the “first direct observation” of the planet’s ancient  conditions. Researchers led by Princeton University in the US extracted two million-year-old samples ice in the remote Allan Hills of Antarctica. The Antarctic core samples contain pristine samples of trapped greenhouse gases – prehistoric bubbles of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

The researchers are convinced the ice cores represent untouched snapshots of the Earth’s climate from a time before man ruled the world.

According to Dr Yuzhen Yan, who led the Antarctic study, the discovery paints an overall picture of changes in the climate.

He said: “You don’t get a sense of how things changed continually, but you get an idea of big changes over time.”

The discovery was presented in the journal Nature this month.

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Antarctica news: Scientists drilling ice cores

Antarctica news: Researchers have drilled 2 million-year-old ice cores (Image: GETTY)

Antarctica news: Scientists in Antarctica

Antarctica news: The discovery reveals the Earth’s prehistoric climate (Image: SEAN MACKAY/BOSTON UNIVERSITY)

According to Dr Yan, ice core samples from Antarctica show a continuous record of the climate dating back to about 800,000 years in the past.

But because of the way ice flows and compresses over time, samples dating even farther into the past show more widely distributed patterns.

The two million-year-old cores were drilled in the Allan Hills region by Princeton associate professor John Higgins.

Professor Higgins previously drilled out one million-year-old ice cores, which at the time were the oldest ever recovered.

The researchers dated the ice cores by analysing isotopes of argon gas trapped in the ice.

Now, the newly recovered older ice cores have helped researchers better understand how the planet’s glacial cycle took shape.

You get an idea of big changes over time

Dr Yuzhen Yan, Princeton University

Dr Yan said: “The ability to measure atmospheric composition directly is one of the biggest advantages of ice cores.

“That’s why people spend years and years in the most isolated places getting them.”

Up until about 1.2 million years ago, the planet’s glaciers were thinner and smaller.

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Antarctica news: Scientists drilling in Antarctica

Antarctica news: Atmospheric carbon dioxide is at unprecedented levels (Image: SEAN MACKAY/BOSTON UNIVERSITY)

Antarctica news: Scientists drilling in Antarctica

Antarctica news: Ice cores show a record of Earth’s changing climate (Image: SEAN MACKAY/BOSTON UNIVERSITY)

The glaciers most likely formed and melted away over a 40,000-year-long cycle.

But after the so-called Mid-Pleistocene Transition between 1.2 million 700,000 years ago, the glacial cycle became considerably longer.

The planet was much colder than it is today and glaciers formed and melted over cycles 100,000-years-long.

Although atmospheric CO2 is not to blame for the prehistoric transition, the research has found the planet is experiencing unprecedented levels of the atmospheric gas today.

According to space agency NASA, levels of atmospheric CO2 stand around 408.53 parts per million (ppm) as of October 2019.

Dr Yan said: “We’re seeing carbon dioxide levels not seen in two million years.

“While our data suggest that long-term carbon dioxide decline was not the decisive factor in the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, it does not mean that carbon dioxide does not have the capability to bring about global-scale changes.

“We’re in a different situation now — carbon dioxide is the major player in our current world.

“If we want to look into the geologic past for an analogy of what’s going on in our world today, we need to go beyond two million years to find it.”

Pharaohs Mastered Linen Cultivation, Weaving Million Years ago

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-SWAT)

 

Pharaohs Mastered Linen Cultivation, Weaving Million Years ago

Wednesday, 27 November, 2019 – 10:30
Luxor- Asharq Al-Awsat
Weaving and knitting were among the most important industries in ancient Egypt. The kenaf was the only material used by the pharaohs to make their clothes. Leather and woven fibers were rarely used in their clothing.

Ancient Egyptian left inscriptions and drawings on their tombs explaining how they grew and harvest linseed and grains, said Dr. Mansour al-Nubi, former dean of the Faculty of Antiquities in the historic city of Luxor, in Upper Egypt.

The oldest types of loom were made to weave linen in a simple way that developed later in the era of the New Kingdom. Pharaohs excelled in weaving, and mastered the use of natural dyes to color fabric and yarns. “The people of Ancient Egypt weaved textiles and clothing with simple tools. Archeologists found spinners and pieces of textiles from the Neolithic era in Egypt,” Nubi told German News Agency dpa.

Pharaohs used linen to make clothes, bedding, medical laces, and even shrouds. In 550 BC, King Ahmose II introduced a collection of ornamented and colorful clothing, decorated with cotton to Greek temples. It was the first use of cotton in history.

The “Petri Museum” of Egyptian antiquities in London displays the oldest garment found among the remains of ancient Egyptian clothes. According to Egyptologists, this dress is the oldest surviving garment in the world. It is made of linen and features some pleats. The garment, which was discovered in Faiyum in 1977, is made for a big child, and dates back to 2800 BC.

Among the collectibles of the Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK, a baby blanket belonging to King Tutankhamun, featuring the date of the seventh year of King Akhenaten’s reign. It is made of fine linen yarns, and its texture is uniform, colored in pure white, and archaeologists say it took nine months.

Since the emergence of the so-called Egyptology, clothing in ancient Egypt, and the associated industries and crafts have been of great interest to archaeologists and Egyptologists.

When did the dinosaurs roam Earth?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

When did the dinosaurs roam Earth?

The age of the dinosaurs has fascinated the modern imagination for centuries. Often, we are tempted to think of the era as an ancient time when all our favorite dinosaurs squared off against one another in a battle of survival.

However, dinosaurs ruled Earth for a period spanning hundreds of millions of years, during which world-ending events occurred, and the planet changed in ways that are almost difficult to imagine. Here is a guide to the different time periods during which the dinosaurs roamed the planet.

Mesozoic Era

Illustration of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era
Credit: CoreyFord/ iStock

The overall time period in which the dinosaurs lived was known as the Mesozoic Era. The Mesozoic Era lasted 180 million years, from 248 million years ago to 65 million years ago. It was preceded by the Paleozoic era, during which life began to take shape, and was followed by the Cenozoic Era, in which we live.

The Mesozoic Era is divided into three distinct time periods:

  • The Triassic Period – 248 million to 206 million years ago
  • The Jurassic Period – 206 million to 146 million years ago
  • The Cretaceous Period – 146 million to 65 million years ago

During the Mesozoic Era, mountains rose, climates shifted, and life reshaped itself multiple times.

Triassic period

Fossil of a pterosaur
Credit: AKKHARAT JARUSILAWONG/ Shutterstock

The first period of the Mesozoic era was the Triassic period. During this time, all the continents were still connected in one giant super continent, known as Pangaea. Temperatures were warmer and there were no polar ice caps.

The oceans teemed with life during this period. Turtles and fish were common, and the corals developed alongside mollusks and ammonites. Large marine reptiles were present as well, such as the plesiosaurus and ichthyosaurus.

On land, early dinosaurs and mammals evolved, and the first flying reptiles, the pterosaurs, took to the skies. There were no flowering plants or grass present during the Triassic period, but cycads, ferns and ginkgoes grew near water sources such as rivers or streams. Small forests of conifers grew in some parts of Pangaea, but for the most part, inland areas were arid deserts with little or no plant or animal life.

Jurassic period

Illustration of Brachiosaurs
Credit: Orla/ iStock

The Triassic period came to an end with a mass extinction that wiped out over 90 percent of the species on Earth. The animals that survived this event began to repopulate the planet and usher in the Jurassic period.

The Jurassic period was marked by the slow break-up of Pangaea into two smaller landmasses known as Laurasia and Gondwana. When the supercontinent split, new mountains arose in the sea, pushing the sea level up and creating a much wetter, more humid environment.

Ferns and mosses covered much of the ground while the small coniferous forest of the Triassic period expanded to cover wide swaths of the two continents.

Giant dinosaurs ruled the land, the largest of which was the plant-eating Brachiosaurs, which scientists believe could grow to be 80 feet long and 50 feet tall. These large herbivores were hunted by massive carnivores such as the Allosaurus.

The Jurassic period also saw the first birds diverge from the reptile family, and the Archaeopteryx flew above these massive dinosaurs.

Cretaceous period

Skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex
Credit: DavidHCoder/ iStock

During the Cretaceous period, the continents continued to drift apart and end in the locations that we know them today. The climate became both wetter and cooler, resulting in the emergence of the polar ice caps and setting the stage for the glaciers that covered large parts of North America, Europe, and Asia in the following era.

The drifting continents resulted in increased specialization and many new types of dinosaurs. Triceratops and Iguanodon traveled in herds, feasting on the ancestors of the flowers, herbs and broad-leaved trees that populate Earth today.

These massive plant-eating animals were hunted by the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Snakes first developed during this time period, as well as crocodiles and turtles. Insects and pterosaurs flew in the air, and the first mammals scurried across the ground.

Despite the proliferation of life during this period, another mass extinction followed a natural disaster at the end of the Cretaceous period. While both reptiles and mammals survived in small numbers, the age of the dinosaurs came to an end.

What’s next?

Earth as viewed from space
Credit: dem10/ iStock

In light of this vast history, do you ever wonder what lies ahead for both Earth and us?

(History/Poem): Spearfish South Dakota

Spearfish South Dakota

 

What an odd name, ye may think of me

But for a lack of luck ye all would know me

Maybe my name would be steeped in lore

In our Country’s Great Plains fabled stories

 

Black Hills Dakota, land of the Great Sioux Nation, gold, and blood

Deadwood you know, Bill Hickok dying in his blood with his famous hand

Crazy Horse, an outcast child because he cried when bees peppered his skin

Custer and the Seventh etched in history, paying for their genocidal sins

 

I’m in the center of timber and gold

All around me is glory and fame

The great mighty Sioux Nation

And the tears that they paid

 

Now only grade school books tell my story

Come visit the Little Big Horn, Custer’s Last Stand

Rapid City now a main gate to the great northwest

Four faces carved in stone, a true monument

 

I stand true to the blood of those who bore me

 Shrouded in the famous Black Hills golden history

Sturgis’ freedom now rumbles right next to me

Spearfish South Dakota, God’s paradise, has always been

(Poem) The Wild Horse

The Wild Horse

 

Wild horse etched upon a cave’s back wall

What an honor for all who get to see you

Six thousand or so odd years so long ago

Encased within God’s handmade stall

Yet the fury of the steed still shows proudly

The fire in your eyes and the furrow of brow

Your chest and abs all taut with anticipation

Lightning flashing from your hooves of glory

 

 

To be brought out into the Lord’s bright light

Now to be seen for the first time of clear sight

As well as for you to be given sight to first see

For whom is more thankful the seer or the seen

Once only graced by the eyes of a French magnet

Now even us surfs your beauty we now get to see

You are in my dreams, bare back and bridled only

The stars together for the first time together we see

 

 

I honor the hand which with thee did draw

I honor the fury which you contain within

Folklore from long ago drawn so very well

Wild horses, wild women, and strong whiskey

These the things which make a life fully lived

In my dreams we ride across the Mediterranean sand

Though you were just sketched upon a cave’s back wall

No force can stop China from growing stronger: Chinese state councilor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

No force can stop China from growing stronger: Chinese state councilor

Xinhua
No force can stop China from growing stronger: Chinese state councilor

Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya, Japan on November 23, 2019.

China’s development and growth is an irreversible trend of history and no force can stop it, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

Wang made the remarks during a meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

The United States, engaging in unilateralism and protectionism while undermining multilateralism and the multilateral trading system, has become the biggest source of global instability, Wang said.

Washington used its state power to suppress law-abiding Chinese enterprises over groundless allegations to serve its own political purposes, which is a downright act of bullying, he said.

Some US politicians smeared China all around the world without providing any factual basis, and with such acts, the United States has not only lost the manner of a big country, but also damaged its own credibility, Wang said.

The United States, making use of its domestic law, wantonly interfered in China’s internal affairs and attempted to undermine the “one country, two systems” and the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, violating the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, he said.

The United States, as the only superpower in the world today, should shoulder international responsibilities, abide by international rules and fulfill international obligations, Wang said.

He stressed that China’s development and growth is an irreversible trend of history, and no force can stop it. There is no way out for the United States to engage in zero-sum games, he said, adding win-win cooperation between Beijing and Washington is the right way forward.

3 Areas Where the Most Dinosaur Bones Have Been Found

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Areas Where the Most Dinosaur Bones Have Been Found

It’s hard even to fathom what it was like when dinosaurs were the chief inhabitants of the world. Fossils, of course, bring us a connection to these times, and they provide scientists with a way to theorize about what the world was like. If you nerd out about fossils and dinosaurs like we do, read on to learn about the three places where the most dinosaur bones have been found.

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North America

North America

Credit: piyaphun/ iStock

While humans find dinosaur bones all over the world, there certainly are hot spots where a higher density of these ancient treasures reside. North America is one of them. The different kinds of fossils are as numerous as you can imagine. But here are some examples of fossils in North America and where you can go to see them for yourself.

The Precambrian Period is the first period we recognize, and there are plenty of Precambrian fossils in North America, according to the Smithsonian. This era of Earth’s history involved a lot of microorganisms, algae, and soft-bodied species such as worms and jellyfish. A great place to see Precambrian fossils in the U.S. is at the Grand Canyon. There you can see algae fossils that are over one billion years old. Glacier National Park in Montana also has fossilized evidence of cyanobacteria dating back 1.5 billion years, as well as stromatolites.

Ancient multi-celled organisms are cool, but you might be wondering where you can see some actual dinosaur bones. Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas is a great place to see fish-like fossils and the predecessors to snails from the Permian Period. From the age of mammals — the Cenozoic period — you can spot ancient crocodiles and an animal similar to our modern-day hyenas at the John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon. And the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado have one of the most diverse displays in all the world. There, you can find a prehistoric rhinoceros and the first-ever discovered fossilized butterfly.

Argentina

Argentina

Credit: xeni4ka/ iStock

The vast collection of fossils found in Argentina is one of the country’s claims to fame. One example is Saltasaurus Loricatus, a small sauropod from the Late Cretaceous Period. This discovery, made in 1980, was a big deal in the world of paleontology because it was the first evidence of hard bone plates on the back. These plates operated like an armor of sorts. This dinosaur was an herbivore that was about 12 meters long. Scientists propose it could stand on its hind legs to eat leaves higher up in the trees.

Other treasures from Argentina include the fossils of Noasaurus Leali. This dinosaur looked like a small velociraptor similar to the ones found in North American and China, although it’s an entirely different species. It had sharp talons and teeth — which are definitely the characteristics of a carnivore. A rancher discovered these bones in San Juan in 1958, in what is now known as the Ischigualasto Formation.

For those wanting to travel to Argentina and see fossils for themselves, the Ischigualasto Formation is a great place to start. It’s now a regional park, and visitors can see the fossils still in the ground. Argentinians have also done a great job of providing fossil experiences in a museum setting that still feels authentic. One example is the Ernesto Bachmann Dinosaur Museum in El Chocón. This museum has replicas of fossils as they were found in the ground. They also have tools used by paleontologists on display so visitors can see what archaeological digs are like. There are other museums and parks in Argentina, as well, that educate visitors about the impressive fossils found in this country.

China

China

Credit: Mark Brandon/ Shutterstock

China is a massive country, and there have been fantastic fossil finds throughout the land. One of these places is the Qingjiang River, where paleontologists have found evidence of 101 different species along the river banks, and over half of those were new to science. The site was first discovered in 2007, but paleontologists have been busy exploring it ever since. They’ve found species as old as the first animals in the Cambrian Period. Chinese paleontologists and scientists around the globe are hoping Qingjiang will become a UNESCO World Heritage Site to protect these incredible findings.

A fossil hotspot in China that is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Chengjiang Fossil Site. Chengjiang is located in the Yunnan Province and also has a vast collection of Cambrian Fossils. While there were many mining operations near the site, they’ve been shut down. The sites are starting to be rehabilitated so that further fossil records don’t get destroyed.

The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region is another place in China rich with fossils. It’s even known as “Dinosaur Town,” and it has an abundance of Ankylosaurus and Ceratopsian fossils. Something unique about these fossils is that there’s evidence of all ages of creatures, from newborns to mature adults. Scientists in China are constantly discovering new fossil areas that are in urgent need of excavation.