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What you missed: Upside-down rhinos, a bird that lived 120 million years ago, and more!6 min read

September 26, 2021 5 min read


What you missed: Upside-down rhinos, a bird that lived 120 million years ago, and more!6 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Missed Out is a lowdown on all the wacky, wonderful and sometimes, plain weird, happenings in the world around us. Little videos, facts and tidbits that make for an ideal, fun and educational break.

This week on ‘Missed Out’, we have rhinos, birds, men with incredible strength and surprised in bank accounts. Scroll down to know more!

This Rhino experiment won a spoof Nobel Prize!

Don’t worry, the rhino is perfectly fine. Photo: Namibian Ministry of Environment

With World Rhino Day just a few days away, we thought it was apt that this piece of news reach you real soon. A team of researchers behind an experiment that involved hanging rhinos upside-down, suspended in the air by their feet, has been awarded an ‘Ig Nobel Prize’.

The spoof award borrows its name from, but is not connected with, the world-famous Nobel Prize. Created by the science magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the annual award has been running since 1991. What it does is that it honours curious and imaginative discoveries.

The winning team of researchers, from Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Brazil, the UK and the USA, were attempting to see whether rhinos could be more safely transported when airlifted if they were suspended upside down.

How does this help the rhinos, you ask? Well, conservationists have been trying different ways to transport the super heavy mammal such as by road or by helicopter. This method increases the rhinos blood oxygen level of the animal when it is sedated.

Conquering pain for a record

Daniel Scali in the plank position. Photo: Instagram

Daniel Scali, a 28-year-old from Australia, held a plank position for nine hours, 30 minutes and one second, breaking the men’s world record. This sounds like a horribly painful experience to the rest of us, but Daniel didn’t have it easy either.

Daniel suffers from complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, which causes almost constant pain in his left arm. “If you had decided to tell me five years ago that I would have gone for a record of attempting to go for a plank, there’s no way I would have believed it,” Scali told CNN. He has been dealing with chronic pain since the age of 12 when he fell off a trampoline and broke his arm. 

Millionaires for the day

Residents of a village in rushed formed long queues outside ATMs and banks to check their account statement. The reason? Two schoolchildren suddenly found their accounts laden with crores of rupees overnight. Other villages, hoping for a similar fate, rushed to check if their accounts too!

The two boys have accounts in Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank. They were expecting to get some money under a government scheme to buy school uniforms and other related expenses.

On checking their statement, they were shocked to find crores credited into their accounts. Class 6 student Ashish found over Rs 6.2 crore in his account. Another schoolboy, Guru Charan Vishwas, was surprised to see over Rs 900 crore sitting in his account.

Local reports say the bank is investigating the transactions.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

This is the second such incident this month that has been reported from Bihar. A man in a village in Patna was sent to jail for not returning over ₹5 lakh that was credited into his account by mistake. The man had refused to return the money to the bank, claiming the amount was government aid sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An ancient bird discovery like no other

This bird with fancy feathers lived 120 million years ago! Scientists have uncovered the fossil of the bird that lived 120 million years ago in the Jehol Biota — an ecosystem dating back 133 to 120 million years ago — in northeastern China, with unusually long tail feathers. These flashy feathers probably didn’t help the bird fly, but they might have helped him find a mate, according to new research.

The researchers have dubbed the species Yuanchuavis after Yuanchu, a mythological Chinese bird. The bird was likely comparable in size to a modern blue jay, but its tail reached more than 150% the length of its body.

A sketch of what the bird may have looked like.
Photo: Wang Et Al, The Field Museum

“We’ve never seen this combination of different kinds of tail feathers before in a fossil bird,” said Jingmai O’Connor, study author and a paleontologist at the Field Museum in Chicago.  

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

Birds with elaborate feathers usually tend to be males. Scientists say they don’t make good dads when they have young ones because they are so focused on maintaining their feathers. Flashy feathers also attracts predators towards nests, so it’s the job of the plain coloured females to protect and care for the chicks.  

The perfect example of this is the beautiful couple you see below. This is the male and female Wood Duck. The male has bright feathers and red eyes, while the female is brown and speckled.

Wood Ducks. Photo: Flikr

That’s it for this week! Catch more ‘Missed Outs’, and tell us what kind of content you’d like to see more of! Write to us at hello@owliverpost.com, or comment on this article.

Videos by Malvika Dwarkadas

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