Category Archive 'Madagascar'

23 Sep 2017



Gizmodo reports that scientists have concluded that the (happily) extinct Beelzobufo ampinga from Madagascar probably ate baby dinosaurs.

70 million years ago, things were different. Extinct species of frogs like the Beelzebufo ampinga grew to be ten pounds in size. Maybe they even ate the weakest dinosaurs.

A team of British, Australian and American scientists realized that these days, frogs generally aren’t known for their jaw strength. But one species of South American horned frogs, Ceratophrys cranwelli, is especially aggressive and can eat animals its own size. So, thought the researchers, using the C. cranwelli frog as a model, maybe they could estimate how strong of a bite the extinct Beelzebufo had. If you’re not familiar with the Beelzebufo, or “devil frog,” it lived in Madagascar around 65 to 70 million years ago, and it was huge, according to a Nat Geo fact sheet. Scientists already thought that it ate some crazy stuff based on its size.


03 Oct 2009

Wearable Spider Silk

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Spider cloth displayed at the American Museum of Natural History


“To produce this unique golden cloth, 70 people spent four years collecting golden orb spiders from telephone poles in Madagascar, while another dozen workers carefully extracted about 80 feet of silk filament from each of the arachnids. The resulting 11-foot by 4-foot textile is the only large piece of cloth made from natural spider silk existing in the world today.”

The project was modeled on the work of a Victorian-era French missionary, Jacob Paul Camboué, who invented a machine to extract silk from up to 24 spiders at a time.

AMNH 3:29 video

Golden silk orb-weavers (Nephila madagascariensis)

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

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