northeastern brazil

(Bothrops jararaca) jararaca
Venom Data
Specific data are lacking; reportedly an important cause of snakebite in many parts of its range (tropical deciduous (broadleaf) forests & semitropical upland forests in southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina & northeastern Paraguay). Bothrops venom is primarily hemotoxic & often contains cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

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Four-legged fossil snake is a world first

By Anastasia Christakou

The first four-legged fossil snake ever found is forcing scientists to rethink how snakes evolved from lizards.

Although it has four legs, Tetrapodophis amplectus has other features that clearly mark it as a snake, says Nick Longrich, a palaeontologist at the University of Bath, UK, and one of the authors of a paper describing the animal in Science1.

The creature’s limbs were probably not used for locomotion, the researchers say, but rather for grasping prey, or perhaps for holding on to mating partners. Such speculation inspired the snake’s name, which loosely translates as ‘four-legged hugging snake’.

Tetrapodophis was originally found in the fossil-rich Crato Formation in northeastern Brazil several decades ago. But its legs can be difficult to see at first glance, and it languished in a private collection after its discovery, assumed to be unremarkable.

“I was confident it might be a snake,” says David Martill, a palaeobiologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who came across the find in 2012. “It was only after getting the specimen under the microscope and looking at it in detail that my confidence grew. We had gone to see Archaeopteryx, the missing link between birds and dinosaurs, and discovered Tetrapodophis, the missing link between snakes and lizards.”

Continue Reading.

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Four-legged fossil snake is a world first

The first four-legged fossil snake ever found is forcing scientists to rethink how snakes evolved from lizards.

Although it has four legs, Tetrapodophis amplectus has other features that clearly mark it as a snake, says Nick Longrich, a palaeontologist at the University of Bath, UK, and one of the authors of a paper describing the animal in Science.

Tetrapodophis was originally found in the fossil-rich Crato Formation in northeastern Brazil several decades ago. But its legs can be difficult to see at first glance, and it languished in a private collection after its discovery, assumed to be unremarkable.  Read more

For more fossil news, photos and links be sure to follow the Fossil Porn Tumblr Blog.

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Violaceous Euphonia (Euphonia violacea)

…a small species of true finch (Fringillidae) which is a resident breeder from Trinidad, Tobago and eastern Venezuela south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina, and northern Brazil. Violaceous euphonia are known to occur in forests, cocoa/citrus plantation and second growth forests. Like other members of the genus Euphonia, Violaceous euphonia are social birds which feed mainly on small fruit and insects. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Passeriformes-Fringillidae-Euphonia-E. violacea

Image(s): Dario Sanches

Killer cannibal reveals he cooked women in stews and pies and says it’s the same as eating beef

The prisoner opposite me licks his lips after every other word.

It’s particularly off-putting because the man across the table is cannibal Jorge Beltrao Negromonte, who made meat pasties from his victims’ flesh.

The former university professor also ate it sauteed with onions and oregano or made into a stew with vegetables.

Negromonte, 54, even butchered one woman in front of her 18-month-old daughter, then fed the toddler pieces of her dead mother for lunch the next day.

He says he sees no difference between eating human flesh and tucking into some beef, and stuffed plenty of the former into the pasties known as empadas he sold on the streets close to his home in Garanhuns, northeastern Brazil.

The serial killer has not savoured the “succulent” taste of human flesh for at least three years – and I’m about to spend the next four hours alone in a cell with him.

But despite his shaved head and cold stare – and that distracting lip-licking habit – when he starts to talk he is far from the bloodthirsty monster I expected.

The karate black belt says: “For people to be safe, I need to be in here. If I were let out as I am today, I could kill another one. Human meat, for me, is no different to beef.”

Negromonte, his wife Isabel Cristina Pires, 54, and mistress Bruna Cristina da Silva, 24, formed a religious sect together and ate the women believing it would cleanse the victim of their “sins”.

The gang were convinced the girls would give birth to “thieves and lowlifes”, and together they practised what they called “population control”, luring young women to their home and murdering them.

Negromonte says: “The women would prepare the meat. I can’t remember if we ever fried it like a steak. I did buy a mincing machine for Bruna, but I’m not sure if she used it.

“The meat would last for three or four days. We would have it for lunch and dinner until it was all gone.”

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Long stretches of the unfinished TransNordestina railway in northeastern Brazil, begun in 2006, lie deserted. The project has dislocated villagers, who have not been paid for their destroyed land. 

Daniel Berehulak

The New York Times

White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus mystaceus)

…a small species of tyrant flycatcher (Tyrannidae) which breeds from Costa Rica through South America to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northeastern Argentina. It also known to occur in Trinidad and Tobago as well. White-throated spadebills typically inhabit secondary forests with thick tangled undergrowth and medium-sized trees. To feed they move rapidly through the undergrowth, feeding on a range of small arthropods. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Passeriformes-Tyrannidae-Platyrinchus-P. mystaceus

Image: Dario Sanches

July 6, 2015 - Sun Conure or Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis)

Requested by: emilythebird

These parrots are found in a small area around northeastern Brazil and southern Guyana. They feed on grains, fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, and sometimes insects. In the wild, they often congregate in large groups of up to 30 birds. They are quite loud for a bird their size and can be heard calling at high volume in the mornings and evenings. Some of their wild breeding habits are unknown, but they probably nest in palm cavities. The female incubates the eggs and the male is often seen sitting nearby. Although these birds are popular in captivity, capture for the pet trade has severely reduced their range and population. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN.