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New Delhi: Historic Trail of Khirki Village is likely to be back in focus

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw

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Tomb & mosque near Khirki. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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The historic significance of Khirki village will be back in focus on Wednesday, July 20, with a triple treat of art, poetry, and food at the Khoj Studios.

The highlight of the evening will be an architectural walk through Khirki village by artists, giving a glimpse of its historicity, which used to be the crown of the Tughlaq city of Jahanpanah in the 14th century.

The ‘Decoding Khirki’ walkthrough will be conducted by Polish artists Simone De Iacobis and Malgorzata Kuciewicz, collaborators, and fellows at Khoj studio.

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“Khirki is a sample of reality, a village among other villages, a fluid urban context. It contains an array of well-known, formal, informal and formalized solutions that are representative of Delhi as a whole. Once you get past the visual spectacle, it offers ‘jugaad’ and the aesthetics of urban decay, the district offers room for a thorough observation of pure architectural elements,” said Kuciewicz.

“Jaali panels, space frame structures, chaajja roofs and ‘shade step tectonics’ are just some of the features we are going to explore in an hour-long tour over the low rise-high density structure of Khirki”, added De Iacobis, a member of the Centrala design group.

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org
Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org

While the walkthrough will take place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the evening will also host an exhibition by Iranian artist Hoora Soleimani and Indian-Iranian artist Soghra Khurasani, which will highlight issues of human and individual freedom.

“I’m working on three projects during my residency. First is about what I’ve been doing in Iran about absurd weights, I’m going to go through people’s mental weights in a video-based approach. Second is a photography-based cultural and religious comparison of women’s freedom in the two countries. The third one will be a drawing and interview-based study of labourers in Delhi”, said Soleimani.

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For Khurasani, her work brings memories from Iran. “Young Iranians are not eager to remember their recent past. The country has gone through the revolution, war, and a religious takeover, because of which today’s youth faces restrictions from their own government in many circumstances. I am working on some objects and memories I brought from Iran; by showing them in my own ideology I will try to decode present situations by reading the past”, she said.

The third element of the evening, not but the least, will be a poetry reading session by upcoming poet Akhil Katyal. Brought together by Rustom’s Cafe and Bakery, it will bring poetry and food together for the aficionados. (IANS)

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A Significant Find By Archaeologists Hint At Piranha Like Fish In Jurassic Era

The new fish is a most interesting example of convergent evolution

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Fossil Fish
A new piranha-like fish from Jurassic seas with sharp, pointed teeth that probably fed on the fins of other fishes is seen in this artist's reconstruction of a fossil which was discovered in southern Germany in this image released from Eichstaett, Bavaria, Germany. VOA

You can call it a prehistoric prequel.

Scientists said on Thursday they have unearthed in southern Germany the fossil of a fish that, with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, strongly resembled today’s piranhas, the stars of more than their fair share of Hollywood horror films. But this one lived during the Jurassic Period 152 million years ago.

Named Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, it is the earliest known example of a bony fish — as opposed to cartilaginous fish like sharks — able to slice flesh rather than simply swallowing prey, enabling it to attack victims larger than itself as piranhas can.

Piranhamesodon, about 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) long, lived in the sponge and coral reefs of the Solnhofen archipelago, a shallow tropical sea in what is now Bavaria. Piranhas are freshwater fish that inhabit rivers and lakes in South America.

Fossil Fish
A new piranha-like fish fossil from Jurassic seas with sharp, pointed teeth that probably fed on the fins of other fishes, discovered in southern Germany from the time of dinosaurs and from the same deposits that contained Archaeopteryx, is seen in this image released from Eichstaett, Bavaria, Germany on October 18, 2018

Piranhamesodon was small, but its mouth was worthy of a scary movie. It boasted long, pointed, dagger-like teeth along the outer edge of its upper jaw and at the front of its lower jaw. It also had triangular teeth with serrated cutting edges on the side of its lower jaw.

“We were stunned that this fish had teeth which are capable of slicing flesh. It comes from a group of fishes, the pycnodontids, that are famous for their crushing teeth,” said paleontologist Martina Kölbl-Ebert of the Jura-Museum Eichstätt in Germany, who led the research published in the journal Current Biology.

“It is like finding a sheep with a snarl like a wolf,” Kölbl-Ebert added.

The fossil came from the same Bavarian limestone deposits as Archaeopteryx, the earliest-known bird.

“From the same quarry, we also have a number of other fish which may have been the victims of Piranhamesodon. They show injuries to their fins and fin bases, some freshly wounded before they died and got fossilized, whereas others show completely healed injuries with regeneration of the fin,” Kölbl-Ebert said.

Fossil Fish
With Piranha-Like Teeth, This Prehistoric Predator Never Bit Off More Than It Could Chew.

While it shares traits with piranhas, Piranhamesodon was neither their long-ago ancestor nor related to them at all. The oldest-known piranhas lived around 15 million years ago.

Piranhamesodon is an example of a phenomenon called convergent evolution in which organisms independently acquire similar characteristics as a result of adapting to similar ecological niches or environments.

Also Read: Fossils of 400 Year Old Invertebrate Marine Species Found in China

“The new fish is a most interesting example of convergent evolution, evolving — for bony fish then — a completely new way of life,” Kölbl-Ebert said. (VOA)