Giant Fleas, Tiny Old Horses, and Other News of the Week

We start off this week’s batch of science news with a story that has my cat Cozy digging furiously at his ear. Dinosaurs may have been covered in giant fleas. Ick ick ick. My daughter and her eight-and-a-half pound Sifrhippus friend are glad all those giant fleas died out some 100 million years before her Sifrhippus and his incredible shrinking horse family came on the scene.

In other ancient beastie news comes word that scientists have reconstructed an extinct giant penguin which roamed New Zealand’s rocky shore some 26 million years ago. At four feet two inches and 132 pounds, the Kairuku would have stood a foot taller and weighed 50% more than the modern emperor penguin. There’s an emperor needs new clothes joke in here somewhere, but The Four-Year-Old has gotten up far too early for me to find it.

Finally, a look at the history of the leap year, in case you share The Four-Year-Old’s curiosity about that crazy day we call February 29th. Happy birthday, all you leap year babies out there.

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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