From today's featured article
Acamptonectes is a genus of ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaur, a type of dolphin-like marine reptile that lived during the Early Cretaceous around 130 million years ago. The first specimen—a partial adult skeleton—was discovered in Speeton, England, in 1958, but it was not formally described until 2012. Acamptonectes had unusual adaptations that made its trunk rigid, including tightly-fitting bones in the occiput (back and lower part of the skull) and interlocking vertebral centra, likely allowing it to swim at high speeds with a tuna-like form of locomotion. Other distinguishing characteristics include an extremely slender snout and unique ridges on the basioccipital bone of the braincase. As an ichthyosaur, Acamptonectes had large eye sockets and a tail fluke. Its teeth, which were slender and textured with longitudinal ridges, were probably adapted for impaling prey such as squid and fleshy fish. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that Sally Fox found a picture of a French sculptor and decided to create a picture collection (example pictured) of thousands of other women?
- ... that the Protestant Church in Borgholzhausen features a 1501 carved stone altar with scenes from the Passion of Jesus?
- ... that while Allen Hutt was a Communist journalist who became a Royal Designer for Industry for newspaper design, his son Sam is a doctor and country and western singer under the stage name Hank Wangford?
- ... that the jumping spider Plexippus petersi is widely admired for its prowess in hunting pest insects in homes?
- ... that the name of the Noises, a group of islands in New Zealand, is a corrupted version of Les Noisettes ("the Hazelnuts")?
- ... that an army commanded by Hannibal's father was saved from defeat when part of the enemy force deserted and fought alongside him?
- ... that Dawn Hastings-Williams was the first indigenous Minister of State of Guyana?
- ... that the Pompey stone was believed to date to the early 1500s for over 70 years before it was revealed to be a hoax in 1894?
In the news
- SpaceX launches Inspiration4, the first all-civilian orbital spaceflight.
- British tennis player Emma Raducanu (pictured) wins the US Open, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.
- In Gaelic football, Tyrone win the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, defeating Mayo in the final.
- The National Rally of Independents, led by Aziz Akhannouch wins the most seats in the Moroccan general election.
- A prison fire in Tangerang, Indonesia, kills at least 46 inmates and injures 75 others.
On this day
- 324 – Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire and ending the Tetrarchy.
- 1879 – The Blackpool Illuminations (example pictured) in the English seaside town of Blackpool were switched on for the first time.
- 1948 – The Australian cricket team's Invincibles tour of England concluded; they had played 34 matches, including five Tests, without defeat.
- 1961 – En route to negotiate a ceasefire between Katanga troops and United Nations forces, the plane carrying United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld crashed under mysterious circumstances near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia, resulting in the deaths of Hammarskjöld and 15 others on board.
- 2001 – Five letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to various media outlets in the United States.