Prehistoric Marine Reptile Died after a Giant Meal

Hundreds of millions of years ago, reptilian predators called ichthyosaurs swam the seas. Their fossils look fearsome. But paleobiologist Ryosuke Motani of U.C. Davis says they may have looked more like friendly dolphins.

“Maybe in life ichthyosaurs would have been cute—at least the smaller ones.”

Motani’s team studied one such specimen found in southwest China. It was 240 million years old—15 feet long. But it seemed to have some extra bones in it—which Motani’s team determined to be the remains of a 13-foot-long thalattosaur, or “sea lizard,” the ichthyosaur had swallowed.

And, spoiler alert, the only reason they were able to see this animal in the belly of the ichthyosaur is that this gigantic meal never got digested. The ichthyosaur died soon after swallowing it.

Motani was careful to say they’re not sure exactly why the ichthyosaur perished. But the specimen has a broken neck. So he gave a speculative

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Relatives remember loved ones who died in Beirut explosion

With a mix of grief and rage, Lebanese nationals all over the world have entered a period of mourning following the powerful blast on August 4, which killed at least 171 people, injured thousands and plunged Lebanon into a deeper political crisis. 

Adding to the trauma, residents of Beirut have taken on much of the cleanup themselves, bandaging their wounds and retrieving what’s left of their homes.

While bereaved family members are grieving their loved ones, others continue frantic searches for the missing. As the death toll from the explosion continues to rise, hopes anyone could have survived so long under the debris are starting to fade. 

Krystel el Adem 

This image shows the funeral for Krystel el Adem. / Credit: Courtesy of Fady Fayad
This image shows the funeral for Krystel el Adem. / Credit: Courtesy of Fady Fayad

Immediately after the explosion, Krystel el Adem, 35, called her father, asking for help. She was inside her apartment alone, stuck under the debris. 


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My Brother Died Of An Overdose. Here’s What I Wish I’d Known That Could Have Saved Him.

The author with her new baby brother in the late '80s (Photo: Courtesy of Jess Keefe)
The author with her new baby brother in the late ’80s (Photo: Courtesy of Jess Keefe)

The evening my brother died was crisp but warm, early October. It was a regular day. People are always struck by the ordinariness of the circumstances when something bad happens.

Matt self-medicated with substances for years before it turned into a full-blown heroin addiction. It started with pill-popping at parties, then morphed into stockpiling syringes in a Café Bustelo can.

When I think back to that October evening, there’s an alternative version of events that I often indulge in. In this version, I still come home to the apartment we shared and find my brother overdosing in his bedroom, his skin blue like it’s covered in crepe paper, his mouth ajar yet unbreathing.

But this time, I don’t stumble and scream. Instead, I calmly uncap a dose of naloxone, the one I always keep

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These Arizona teachers shared a classroom for summer school. All 3 contracted COVID-19. 1 died.

Kids begged to go to Mrs. Byrd’s classroom to do art projects. 

Every year, Mrs. Byrd taught folklórico dance to her first-grade students. 

And though she had once retired, Mrs. Byrd loved teaching so much, she couldn’t help but return to the classroom, her husband, Jesse Byrd, said. 

Now she’s gone. Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd died June 26 after testing positive for COVID-19.

She taught first grade in the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in a small eastern Arizona community. Before she tested positive, Byrd and two other teachers taught a summer school class virtually from the same classroom. All three teachers came down with the virus.

Byrd, 61, was admitted to a hospital and put on a ventilator for more than a dozen days, her condition slowly deteriorating, before she died. Now, the community is grieving for a teacher her colleagues say was ingrained in the fabric of their school

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