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Ancient Bird from age of Dinosaurs probably Sounded like Duck, say Scientists

The team of scientists says the “Vegavis Iaai” bird that lived in Antarctica's Vega Island more than 70 million years ago probably sounded like a modern-day duck

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A recently discovered fossil of the “Vegavis Iaai” bird that lived in Antarctica’s Vega Island more than 70 million years ago is placed on silhouette and a model of the bird, on a desk before a conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 12, 2016. VOA
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Scientists for years have known what birds living at the end of the age of dinosaurs looked like. Now, they say they might know what one sounded like: quack!

The team of scientists says the “Vegavis Iaai” bird that lived in Antarctica’s Vega Island more than 70 million years ago probably sounded like a modern-day duck. They based their findings on unearthed fossils of the bird’s sound-producing vocal organ known as the syrinx.

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“We can now say that it’s most probable that this bird… imitated a sound that can be compared to its living relatives, ducks and geese,” Argentine paleontologist Fernando Novas said at a news conference in Buenos Aires on Wednesday after the team published their conclusions in the journal Nature.

“The importance of this discovery is that it lets us ascertain how the dinosaurs, including birds, evolved in the way they communicated with each other and how this organ that was capable of emitting sound, permitted brain development.”

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The fossils of the bird from the Cretaceus-age were first found in 1992 by members of Argentina’s Antarctic institute and were detailed as a new species in a 2005 study that linked them to modern ducks and geese. The study was also published in Nature and led by Julia Clarke, a professor of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Texas at Austin. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Clarke noticed the rings of the syrinx through a micro-computed tomography of the fossil.

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“The most exciting aspects of the study to me are – that the voice box of a bird can fossilize in 3-dimensional detail. This opens a whole new field of inquiry in the sounds of dinosaurs, Clarke said.

“Imagining oneself in the Late Cretaceous forests of Antarctica and elsewhere and thinking it is at this time that for the first time there are familiar sounds – not the trills of song birds but honks, quacks, whistles.” (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)