Interesting March 2007 Headlines

There is a little over a week left in March, but I had to recap some of the exciting and interesting new tidbits that alert us to the past, present, and possible future of the world and mankind. In this article, we will explore an ancient lizard discovery, as well as further depressing changes occurring on Earth that could threaten the existence of the planet.


Ancient Discovery: A Lizard With Wings?


Appearing in the March 19th issue of the journal attached to the National Academy of Sciences, it was revealed that an ancient “arboreal lizard” that possessed a wing-like membrane attached to its elongated ribs once soared through the air using this body modifications that no longer exist today. All of this comes from the discovery of a new fossil. This lizard finding has been dubbed “the gliding lizard,” which once thrived during the Early Cretaceous period. The creature was once part of the historical record around 150 million years. For such a big discovery, this specimen only measures 6 inches long. Its features also suggest that the lizard was quite young when it died.


So, where does such a fossil reside? The gliding lizard was found in the Liaoning Province, which is situated in the northeastern part of China. Throughout the years, an assortment of feathered dinos and early bird specimens has been uncovered in this region. Additional features of this find include curved claws for making life in the treetops much easier to bear. It is from this position high in the air that the creature was able to leap down. Researchers say that once in the air, the small lizard had the ability to glide farther than any of its close cousins. Experts calculate it could probably have covered as much as half of a football field.


In Danger of Losing Our Rivers?


As more and more changes in the climate take place, pollution plaguing the air, and the loss of vital natural water resources, what is the world coming to? To make matters worse, the conservation group WWF has announced that increased development and the overuse of water will kill off some of the most famous rivers that the world has ever known. Leading the list of bodies of waters that may never be able to recover includes the Ganges situated in India, the Yangtze in China, and the Nile, which can be found in Africa.


A new report that has achieved global attention, the threat of these majestic rivers drying out is spelled out in the titled publication, ” World’s Top 10 Rivers at Risk.” The results could be catastrophic with millions of people and many heralded marine species falling prey to the dreaded outcome. This is because when the rivers go, the many different species calling the waters their homes will have no where to go. Inhabitants living by the rivers, which may even rely on them for their livelihood will suffer from the destruction of surrounding biodiversity. Fresh water will become scarce and agricultural aspects of the land will succumb.


It’s ironic that the report was delivered to the public just in time to beat World Water Day, which was held on Thursday. Additional rivers that seem in need of protection and action include the Rio Grande in the United States, La Plata in South America, the Indus and the Mekong in Asia, and the Danube in Europe.