By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half a billion years ago, a peculiar little creature with rows of spikes on its back and delicate, feather-like front limbs to strain bits of food from the water thrived in the primordial seas of what is now China. Scientists on Monday announced the discovery in Yunnan Province of beautifully preserved fossils of one of the stranger animals ever to call Earth home. The creature, Collinsium ciliosum, lived during the Cambrian Period, a time of remarkable evolutionary experimentation when many unusual animals appeared and vanished. "Collinsium is definitely an odd-looking animal, and if one were to bump into one of these during a snorkeling or diving trip nowadays it would be quite shocking," said University of Cambridge paleobiologist Javier Ortega-Hernández, whose research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Despite its startling appearance, some people "may like it and regard it as a 'handsome beast,'" added paleontologist Xi-Guang Zhang of Yunnan University in Kunming, China. Its name means "hairy Collins monster," recognizing its bizarre appearance and the coat of hair-like structures on the front of the animal while honoring Canadian paleontologist Desmond Collins, who decades ago conceptualized a similar creature. Ortega-Hernández said Collinsium, which lived about 515-518 million years ago, is a distant ancestor of today's velvet worms, a group resembling legged worms residing in the world's tropical forests. Collinsium, reaching up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, boasted 72 sharp spikes on its back to ward off predators. It was one of the earliest soft-bodied animals with armor. It had a sausage-shaped body, six pairs of feather-like front legs, nine pairs of rear legs with claws, a bulbous head and downward-facing mouth. It got its dinner by extending its feathery front legs to form feeding basket to capture food particles. Collinsium was a close cousin of another spiky Cambrian creature called Hallucigenia. University of Cambridge paleontologist Martin Smith, whose study offering the most detailed account ever of Hallucigenia was published last week in the journal Nature, said even oddballs like Hallucigenia and Collinsium would have plenty of competition in a "Cambrian weirdest creature contest." "Their compatriots included such beasts as Wiwaxia, a slug covered in leaf-like scales and towering spines; Anomalocaris, resembling a cross between a lobster and a can-opener; Nectocaris, a boggle-eyed two-armed squid, and Opabinia, which looks like a shrimp that swallowed a vacuum cleaner," Smith said. (Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)
A new "Fast 9" trailer teases the return of some characters from "Tokyo Drift" and the bucket list item Helen Mirren has been waiting years to do.
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“The House cannot allow Roeber to simply walk away,” House MInority Leader Crystal Quade said
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Netflix's 'Stranger Things' dethroned Disney's Marvel shows to become this week's top streaming series as buzz builds for season 4
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NASA's InSight Mars lander is going into emergency hibernation. If it can't save its batteries, it could die.
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A BBC team meets the Taliban, a group that clearly sees itself as Afghanistan's government-in-waiting.
- USA TODAY
Norwegian and Carnival cancel more cruises.
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An unsustainable spending “arms race” is occurring among the 130 colleges that belong to the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). It is compromising their integrity and often is at odds with their academic missions. Because of pressure from boosters and fans to remain competitive, the arms race has led to, in just the last year, paying head coaches an average $2.7 million salary and awarding failed coaches buyouts that average nearly $8 million. This is in addition to the seemingly constant construction of new facilities, among other excesses.
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He was on Death Row longer than anyone in the United States
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Lawyers for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began their defense Tuesday by calling an expert witness who testified that the force used on George Floyd was “justified.”
Tom Cruise had to eat chocolate cake for 3 days straight while shooting 'The Outsiders': 'I was vomiting'
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Chris Jackson/GettyHis grandfather’s funeral isn’t until Saturday, but this is shaping up to be, even by his extravagant standards of non-normalcy, a pretty extraordinary week for Prince Harry.As he sits in splendid isolation in Frogmore Cottage, Harry could be forgiven if his head is spinning.The lavishly restored period property into which he and Meghan moved just 24 months ago, and dreamed of making their home, now houses his cousin Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack and their baby. The tenants are still there, and the owner is holed up in what was once intended as Doria Ragland’s (Meghan Markle’s mom) self-contained apartment, The Daily Beast understands.Prince Harry and Prince William’s Feud Rumbles on as They Issue Dueling Statements on Philip’s Death He is literally just a few miles away from Windsor Castle, but if he has spoken to his father or the queen, no-one is saying so. And this despite the fact that, bizarrely, Her Majesty carried out an official duty Tuesday, overseeing the retirement of one of her senior aides, recorded thus by the official court circular: “The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia.” (Was Earl Peel was ordered to leave his wand on the desk on the way out?).We do know, courtesy of the Telegraph’s well-briefed correspondent Camilla Tominey, that Harry has spoken to his brother Prince William on the phone since he landed back in the U.K.This hardly seems like a great triumph in the arena of conflict resolution.We already know from Gayle King that other phone calls between Harry and his brother and father have taken place. King said they were regarded as “not productive.”If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.There is, frankly, no suggestion from royal aides that being in the same time zone has helped mend fences, no sense of joyous white smoke going up from Frogmore or 140 miles north at Anmer Hall, where William and Kate are rather pointedly spending the last days of the Easter holidays with their children, rather than waving at Harry from the garden of Frogmore Cottage like some of us might be inclined to do.Tominey touts Kate as taking on the role of fraternal peacemaker, quoting a source as saying, “Being so close to her own siblings, Pippa and James, and having witnessed first-hand the special bond between William and Harry, [Kate] has found the whole situation difficult and upsetting.”But while hopes of a major reconciliation between Harry and his family are being talked up by commentators, the reality on the ground is that expectations are at rock bottom. Emotions are strained and the wounds inflicted by Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey are still raw. The media may have moved on; the family will never forget what, as they see it, was Harry’s betrayal of them. There are also the unanswered questions over the identity of the royal family member who allegedly questioned the color of the then-unborn Archie’s skin, and who allegedly stopped Meghan being able to access help when she was feeling suicidal.There has been much wishful thinking this week that the death of their grandfather will bring the brothers together. Physically, of course, it will. They will walk side by side behind Philip’s coffin, recreating the tragic cortege they formed behind their mother’s coffin in 1997.This was, coincidentally, at Philip’s urging. The brothers were said to be reluctant to walk behind their mother’s coffin at her funeral but Philip took charge telling them, “I’ll walk if you walk.” Harry said years later that he was grateful for his grandfather’s guidance.But piecing together the tatters of Harry’s relationship with the royal family will be no easy task. Many of the 29 other royals attending the funeral on Saturday will feel the same way as one friend of the family who, The Daily Beast reported, said this week: “Philip was already seriously ill when the interview screened. He was 99, so the fact that he has died is of course very sad, but hardly surprising. His death may put things into perspective, but I’m not sure it really changes anything.”The logistical constraints imposed by the pandemic are unlikely to help; if they are remotely like any other family, one imagines the brothers need to have a frank, face to face discussion at a certain level of decibels to clear the air. But having arrived back in the U.K. on Sunday afternoon, Harry is not likely to be allowed to exit quarantine until the day of the funeral. Harry’s people have made it clear he will be following Covid quarantine rules to the letter.If Harry doesn’t already feel like he has gone through the looking glass, the curious apparent rehabilitation of Prince Andrew should do it.The first sign of this development came when Andrew, who has failed to make himself available to the American authorities for questioning over his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, winkled his way back on to TV screens at the weekend.He told a camera outside church that his mother was feeling a “huge void” in her life; it still hasn’t been established if his intervention was authorized. It seems hard to believe even Andrew would be stupid enough to do something like that if it wasn’t, as some briefing has suggested.Dan Wootton, the journalist who broke the news that Harry and Meghan were leaving the U.K., reported in the Daily Mail that sources had told him: “Prince Andrew might hope that this sad situation changes things, but Prince Charles is adamant there is no way back while allegations hang over him. He spoke on camera in a private capacity because this is a family event. No one can stop him doing that.”Neither the palace nor an advisory firm retained by Prince Andrew responded to inquiries from The Daily Beast on that question.Until today it looked as if Andrew was set to be allowed to wear military uniform to the funeral, the only question being whether he would be in the garb of a three-star vice admiral (his current rank, which was never removed from him when he was fired from the family as a working royal), or actually be promoted by his mother to a four star admiral, an elevation that was due to take place last year but was put on hold. The Daily Mail reported that he was lobbying hard to be awarded his overdue promotion.Harry is the only male member of the family not technically serving, so was thought to be the only male royal attending the funeral not in military uniform. There is nothing more integral to the royal family’s sense of its own legitimacy than its military associations, and Harry’s happiest days were spent in the army. Harry was forced to give up his captaincy of the Royal Marines along with all other military associations when he stepped back from life as a working royal, a defenestration that he has made clear he considers utterly unfair.According to The Sun on Wednesday, to spare Harry's blushes—and lots of embarrassing questions about Andrew—the queen has stipulated that no royals should wear military uniform at Philip’s funeral. A military source told The Sun: “It’s the most eloquent solution to the problem.” Another source confirmed that “current thinking is no uniforms.”Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes declined to comment to The Daily Beast for this article.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Lexington Herald-Leader
It’s more common to see between 10 and 20 meteors an hour.
- The Telegraph
When Prince Andrew suddenly re-appeared in public last weekend, giving an interview outside the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor, the public could understand his grief at losing a father. Yet his appearance also raised an unfortunate question mark. It was 512 days after having last spoken publicly, and it seemed that on Sunday the Duke of York had returned to the frontline of the monarchy – and was speaking on its behalf. Within a day an unceremonious controversy erupted. Prince Andrew had reportedly demanded to wear the uniform of an Admiral at his father’s funeral on Saturday and had gone so far as instructing his tailor to style it with the distinctive three rows of lace and four stars, crossed baton and sword of that rank. The prince was, like his father, tested in war – no doubt a unique bond and a source of pride for the Duke of Edinburgh. As the only one of the generation of royals younger than his father to serve in battle, Prince Andrew certainly deserved to wear a uniform, as Prince Philip did his as honorary Admiral of the Fleet, the navy’s highest rank. But his current rank is Vice-Admiral, not Admiral.
More migrants are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas than Martinez recalls in his 13 years as Val Verde County Sheriff. Last month, he said, a resident fired his gun to scare a group of migrants walking on the outskirts of town; nearby schools were locked down in response. Tensions are rising in Del Rio, a city of 35,000, as the nation once again grapples with an increase in migrants seeking entry into the United States.
According to Lana Condor's stylist, Tara Swennen, they aimed to support the AAPI community with her Prabal Gurung look.
- The Independent
The La Soufriere volcano has erupted multiple times since Friday, and the damage to St Vincent is shocking
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A medical expert called by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s defense team testified Wednesday that carbon monoxide inhaled by George Floyd may have played a role in his death.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Cambridge will not walk shoulder to shoulder with the Duke of Sussex at the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, with the two being separated by Peter Phillips. Seemingly in recognition of ongoing tensions between them, the royal brothers will flank their older cousin as they walk in a procession behind their grandfather's coffin from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to the West Steps of St George's Chapel on Saturday. They will be split up again when they walk to their seats in the Quire of the 15th Century church. Prince William, 38, is then expected to join the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, inside the chapel for the 3pm ceremony. Although the seating plan has not yet been announced, it is thought Prince Harry, 36, will sit next to Mr Phillips, 43, who is attending the funeral alone after separating from his wife, Autumn, in February last year. The pregnant Duchess of Sussex, 39, has not flown over on doctors' advice. Due to Government coronavirus restrictions on indoor worship, royals who do not live with each other will be seated two metres apart for the 50-minute service.
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‘I’m just standing here today with soup for my family,’ the protester says, echoing an odd comment from Donald Trump last summer
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‘Gutfeld! will be back tomorrow,’ news anchor Shannon Bream abruptly announced on Tuesday, just as the comedy show was supposed to begin