Feeds

Enormous Paleozoic flesh-eaters created in lab

Luckless undergrads used to feed hyperoxic horrors

New hybrid storage solutions

Updated Crazed boffins in the USA say they have successfully carried out a Jurassic Park-style project in which enormous flesh-eating creatures from the remote prehistoric past have been successfully bred in the laboratory. Incomprehensibly this laboratory is not located on a remote island.

As many readers will doubtless be aware, during the late Paleozoic era the Earth was, if not exactly ruled or terrorised, at the least very seriously bothered by swarms of gigantic dragonflies with wingspans around 70cm across. The monster insects will have been all the more troublesome as dragonflies "need to hunt live prey", according to experts.

One such expert is Dr John VandenBrooks, who has after a lengthy struggle managed to breed such much-enlarged dragonflies in his Arizona laboratory. The large size was achieved by enhancing atmospheric oxygen levels to 31 per cent, as seen in the Paleozoic (today's air is only about 20 per cent O2).

The hard bit, according to the prof, was not the creation of this artificially enriched (or "hyperoxic") atmosphere but the actual care and feeding of the monstrous, prehistoric winged flesh-eaters.

"Dragonflies are notoriously difficult to rear," boasts VandenBrooks. "We are one of the only groups to successfully rear them to adulthood under laboratory conditions."

According to a statement issued by the Geological Society of America:

There is no such thing as dragonfly chow. As juveniles they need to hunt live prey and in fact undergraduate students Elyse Muñoz and Michael Weed working with Dr VandenBrooks had to resort to hand feeding the dragonflies.

It's to be hoped that the unfortunate undergrads escaped from the hyperoxia chambers with their hands and other body parts intact. Plenty more where they came from, no doubt.

Not content with his creation of huge flesh-eating Paleozoic hyper-dragonflies, VandenBrooks also sought to breed greatly enlarged cockroaches and other horrors using similar hypercharged breeding pens. However this time the experiments were a failure, even once the hyper-roaches had been blasted with incredibly powerful energy rays at a handy atom-smasher.

The disappointed prof, perhaps assisted by surviving members of his team, is to reveal details of his accomplishments at a convention in Colorado later today. ®

Updated to Add

Dr VandenBrooks writes in to say:

The dragonflies that we reared in the lab did not have 70 cm wingspans, that is how big they were 300 million years ago. Our dragonflies were only 15% larger than normal, hardly enormous, huge or much-enlarged. Just thought I would inform you of what the results actually were.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.