Science Round-Up: Long in the tooth, but still cutting it - The Post

Science Round-Up: Long in the tooth, but still cutting it

Prehistoric crocodile tooth and a giant bluefin tuna among the stunning finds that have been making headlines this week

Strong enough to break a turtle’s shell, the museum claims (photo: Geomuseum Faxe)
October 3rd, 2019 10:59 am| by Ben Hamilton

Geomuseum Faxe has confirmed that a 11-year-old from Gentofte found the fossil of a prehistoric crocodile in Faxe Kalkbrud back in August – of a breed never before detected on Danish soil.

Not a shark
At first, it was thought it might be a shark tooth, but the museum’s expert Amanda McKeever ruled that Mads Hyldager’s find was not flat enough.

The tooth is cone-shaped with a circular cross section and clear streaks on the enamel, and McKeever has ruled out the possibility that it once belonged to a thoracosaurus, a fish-eating croc.

READ ALSO: Sensational archaeological discovery in Denmark

More like an alligator
She contends that it is more like the tooth of a modern day alligator – with far more biting power than the thoracosaurus.

And it interesting to note that marks matching the find have been found before on a turtle’s shell in the area, but never before the probable tooth that caused them.

Not bad Mads! (photo: Geomuseum Faxe)

Students from Aarhus invent machine that can stitch together wounds
A handheld machine that can sew wounds together, which was released as a prototype by two medical students from Aarhus last year, will soon be released worldwide – to initially be used on animals. Christine Aarenstrup Daugaard and Mads Esmann have signed a contract with US veterinary company Kruuse to release ‘Stitcher’ globally in 2021. A version that can be used on humans is expected in 2023. The students invented the machine after they got the idea during an internship at a hospital.

Aarhus University launches initiative to save the Gulf of California porpoise
Academics from Aarhus University and the Greenland Institute of Nature are behind a new initiative to save a rare type of marine mammal, the Gulf of California porpoise. Known in Danish as the ‘golfmarsvinet’ or ‘vaquitaen’, there are believed to be only 30 left in the world – entirely in the northern Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico. With support from the Mexican Environment Ministry, the scientists hope to fight its imminent extinction by halting net fishing in the area and to track them using military dolphins supplied by the US Navy.

Government to ban civilian rocket launches
The government looks set to ban large civilian rocket launches like the ones carried out by Copenhagen Suborbitals (CS), as a commissioned report “was unable to identify areas in Denmark where major launch activities can occur without compromising/potential endangering maritime traffic and airspace traffic over Denmark”. The safety of the human population was also cited. CS, which was co-founded by convicted murderer Peter Madsen in 2008, last year sent a 292 kilo rocket, the Nexø II, some 1,514 metres up into the air, and it is believed CS harboured ambitions to send a Danish amateur astronaut into space via a Spica rocket, which can reach an altitude of 105 km. Now it will need to rethink and find another country to launch from. Smaller rocket launches, however, will still be permitted.

Regularly drinking soft drinks can reduce your life expectancy – study
A study of the life-long drinking habits of 450,000 Europeans, which included Danish subjects, indicates that a high intake of fizzy soft drinks, such as cola, will shorten your life expectancy – regardless of the sugar content. The limit would appear to be two glasses or cans a day, as regular soda drinkers were found to be 17 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who rarely partake. The study’s authors are concerned as young people today tend to drink far more soft drinks than the generation that came of age during the 1990s.

Gilleleje fisherman catch an absolute beast of a tuna
Herring fishermen from Gilleleje caught a giant bluefin tuna on Monday night. Weighing 280 kilos and is 263 cm in length, the beast of a fish was caught in the waters off Anholt. Locals say it’s the biggest fish they’ve seen since 1971. Officially the herring fishermen aren’t allowed to catch tuna, but its dead-on-arrival status qualified it as by-catch. Had it been alive, they would have had to throw it overboard again. The fishermen elected to sell the tuna at a fish auction and it fetched around 35,000 kroner.

Anyone for lunch? (photo: Henrik Tækker Facebook page)