‘Godzilla’ lizard found climbing on Florida home’s window

Sept. 22 (UPI) — A Central Florida family captured video when they had an unusual visitor — a large monitor lizard climbing on a window.

Jocelyn Penson, who posted the video to Facebook, said the footage was filmed at the home of her son, Frank Crowder, in Apopka, Fla.

The video shows the lizard climbing on the window in an apparent attempt to find its way into the house. The reptile ends up flopping off the window and down to the ground.

“Looks like Godzilla to me!” Penson wrote.

Penson’s family initially said the animal appeared to be a tegu lizard, but Ron Magill, a wildlife expert with Zoo Miami, said the reptile is a water monitor lizard from Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It’s a lizard that could be anywhere between 3 and 5 feet, generally speaking,” he told WSVN-TV.

Magill said the lizard was likely a former pet that either escaped or was abandoned into the wild by its owner.

Mega Shark

The extinct superpredator megalodon was big enough to eat orcas, scientists say

This illustration depicts a 52-foot Otodus megalodon shark predating on a 26-foot Balaenoptera whale in the Pliocene epoch, between 5.4 to 2.4 million years ago.

This illustration depicts a 52-foot Otodus megalodon shark predating on a 26-foot Balaenoptera whale in the Pliocene epoch, between 5.4 to 2.4 million years ago.

(CNN)Faster than any shark alive today and big enough to eat an orca in just five bites: A new study suggests the extinct shark known as a megalodon was an even more impressive superpredator than scientists realized before.

The Otodus megalodon, the inspiration behind the 2018 film “The Meg,” lived more than 23 million years ago. Fossils of the extinct giant are hard to come by: While there are plenty of fossilized shark teeth, their bodies mainly consist of cartilage rather than bones, and are rarely preserved.

A research team led by Jack Cooper, a paleobiologist at Swansea University, set out to use 3D modeling from a rare and exceptionally well-preserved megalodon spinal column to extrapolate information about the shark’s movement and behavior. Their research was published in Science Advances Wednesday.

“We estimate that an adult O. megalodon could cruise at faster absolute speeds than any shark species today and fully consume prey the size of modern apex predators,” wrote the researchers.

Most of what we know about megalodons come from scientific inferences: Scientists have estimated the extinct sharks could be as long as 65 feet through a comparison with great white sharks, thought of as their “best available ecological analog,” since they both occupy the top rung in the food chain, according to the article.

The researchers used a megalodon vertebral column from Belgium, a tooth from the United States, and the chondrocranium — the cartilaginous equivalent of a skull — from a great white shark to build their 3D skeleton. Then they used a full-body scan of a great white shark to estimate how flesh would sit on the megalodon’s skeleton.

With a complete 3D rendering, they came up with estimates for the volume and body mass of the shark’s whole body. By comparing the figures to the size of modern sharks, they estimated the shark’s swimming speed, stomach value, calorie needs, and prey encounter rates.

The megalodon they modeled would have been almost 16 meters, or 52 feet, long. It weighed around 61,560 kilograms, or 135,717 pounds, according to their estimates.

They estimated the megalodon would have been able to devour prey the size of orca whales — which can be up to 26 feet long and weigh over 8,000 pounds — in just five bites.

Prey the size of a modern humpback whale would have been too big for a megalodon to eat in full, according to the researchers. Eating large prey may have given the megalodon a competitive edge over other predators. Eating large amounts at a time would have also allowed them to travel great distances without eating again, much like modern great white sharks.

An adult megalodon would have needed to eat a whopping 98,175 calories per day, 20 times higher than an adult great white shark. They could have met their energetic needs by eating around 31.9 kilograms of shark muscle, according to the researchers’ estimates.
The megalodon was also faster than any shark alive, with a theoretical average cruising speed of around 3.1 mph. This speed would have allowed it to encounter more prey, helping it meet its massive caloric demands.
Overall, the data extrapolated from the 3D model paints the portrait of a “transoceanic superpredator,” say the researchers.
Luckily, today’s orcas don’t have to worry about running into the massive shark. The megalodon went extinct around 3.6 million years ago, according to the United Kingdom’s Natural History Museum, for reasons scientists are still trying to understand.

“The Meg” 2018 movie.

Donald Trump Stars In Classic Horror Movie Scenes

Donald Trump Stars In Classic Horror Movie Scenes

Talented creatives from DesignCrowd’s global community have designed a series of scary mock-ups featuring former US president Donald Trump.

The DesignCrowd.com contest generated fantastic Photoshop artworks, which morphed Trump into scenes from horror movies such as Scream, An American Werewolf in London, Silence of the Lambs, and Alien.

Here’s Donald

donald

The Shining Twins

donald1

Hannibal the Dealmaker

donald2

Freddy

donald3

This is just horrid!

donald4

Scream

donald5 scream

The Beast of the East

donald6

Didn’t last long as an Exorcist, not enough money.

donald7

As the bodiless droid in Alien

donald8 alien

More Alien

donald9
donald10

The mean-spirited reprobate won’t go away. But he is fading. God help us all that he fades away into oblivion before 2024.

Whitby Dracula gathering smashes vampire fancy dress world record

Whitby vampire record
Image caption,The event was organised to mark 125 years since Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s was published in 1897

A new world record has been set for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires.

A total of 1,369 people attended Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire dressed as the ghoulish character, breaking the previous record of 1,039 set in 2011.

The event was organised to mark 125 years since Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was published in 1897.

The Gothic horror tale was said to have been inspired by Stoker’s trip to Whitby in 1890.

Man dressed as a vampire
Image caption,The previous record stood at 1,039 vampires set at Doswell in Virginia, USA in 2011

Out for the count

The event was organised by English Heritage as part of a year of special events in honour of the book.

The previous record stood at 1,039 vampires set at Doswell in Virginia, USA in 2011.

The “vampires” needed to stand together in the same place for five minutes to break the record.

And shortly after 21:00 BST on Thursday, confirmation came that the record had been broken.

Ahead of the record attempt, the abbey’s manager Mark Williamson said the event had attracted interest from all over the world, including participants who had travelled to the North Yorkshire resort from California.

The event also featured music from local band Westernra and a performance of excerpts of Dracula by theatre group Time Will Tell.

People dressed as vampires
There was a lot at stake for participants in the record attempt
World record Dracula event
The event had strict rules – including an official costume
World record Dracula event
Fangs were de rigeur….
Whitby vampire record
no matter the age of the participant

Jack Brookbank, official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, said: “We are quite strict about the official costume that is allowed.

“It must include black shoes, black trousers or dress, waistcoat, shirt, black cape or collared overcoat and fangs on the top set of teeth.”

Jack Brookbank, official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, said: “We are quite strict about the official costume that is allowed.

“It must include black shoes, black trousers or dress, waistcoat, shirt, black cape or collared overcoat and fangs on the top set of teeth.”

World record Dracula event
Image caption,Dracula fans attend Whitby in large numbers ever year
Whitby vampire record
The reputed romantic powers of vampires were put to the test

Hundreds of Dracula fans descend on Whitby every year, with many visitors to the resort asking where Dracula’s grave is located, forgetting he is a fictional character.

Last year, staff at St Mary’s Church posted a note on the door telling tourists not to ask.

Sign on church door
Staff at St Mary’s Church posted this note on the door

The house where Bram Stoker stayed, and where much of the book was researched, still stands and a plaque marks his time there.

BBC

A Yeti head and Bigfoot’s prints will be on display at new Bangor shop

Loren Coleman, owner of the new International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore on Hammond Street, sits under Frosty, a custom-made Yeti head. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

The International Cryptozoology Museum just opened its new Bangor outpost on Hammond Street this week, after first announcing the bookstore and gift shop last fall, and Bigfoot hunters, paranormal enthusiasts and the merely curious have already stopped by to visit.

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, executive director of the nonprofit that runs the flagship museum in Portland and now the Bangor location, has packed the shop with artifacts, specimens and curiosities, alongside books and gifts and an archive full of Coleman’s thousands of books on cryptozoology and associated topics, which people will be able to visit by appointment and which will open later this year. 

A selection of books available at the newly opened International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore on Hammond Street in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

“We’d hoped to have been open by Halloween of last year, but we really wanted to get things right and find some really unique items for Bangor,” Coleman said. “We wanted to find artifacts that really spoke to this area.”

Some of the more eye-popping things on display at the shop include Frosty, a huge sculpture of a Yeti head that’s mounted on the wall, and a replica of the Minnesota Iceman — a six-foot, hairy hominid originally believed to have been found in Vietnam — whose supposedly frozen body was displayed around the country throughout the 1960s.

There’s also a Fiji Mermaid, a hoax cryptid popularized by P.T. Barnum, a selection of taxidermied animals, and many smaller items, like casts of supposed footprints from Bigfoot, and even a tiny version of the Cherryfield Goatman, a half-human, half-goat wearing a flannel shirt, who was supposedly spotted in the Washington County town in the 1950s.

Top; A replica of the Minnesota Iceman is on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore on Hammond Street in Bangor; Bottom; Frosty, a large custom made Yeti head, is mounted on a wall; Middle; A book on the mysterious Bigfoot. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

Coleman has studied cryptids, the term for an animal whose existence is unsubstantiated, for close to five decades. He’s written more than 40 books on various cryptozoological topics, and has served as a consultant and been interviewed for movies, TV shows and documentaries.

He opened his first museum in Portland in 2003. Since then, it has expanded twice, first onto Congress Street and then to a much larger space at the Thompson’s Point development on the Fore River in 2016. Last year, Coleman purchased the building at 585 Hammond St. in Bangor, and also bought a house on Bangor’s West Side, where he and his wife moved earlier this year after selling their Portland house.

Now that Coleman and his wife, Jennifer, are newly minted Bangor residents, he’s eager to get more involved in the community. The shop has already partnered with Bangor’s SK Tours, the Stephen King-themed tours of Bangor run by Jamie Tinker, to bring tour guests to the shop when it’s open.

Chuck Seger of Holden takes a picture inside the International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore on Hammond Street in Bangor on Friday. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

“We’ve already seen a lot of folks who are interested in what we do here come out of the woodwork,” he said. “I’m excited to meet more people in the community.”

The shop will only be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays for the month of April so staff have time to add a few more details to the space, but starting in May Coleman plans to extend the hours throughout the weekend.