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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 20 THE IETHBKIDGE HERAID Friday, October 22, 1971 FRIDAY, OCT. 22 Your birthday iixliiy: Or- ganization is your channel of life expression. This Is the year in which you draw to- gether in n more coherent pattern the many diverse ac- tivities of your life. Today's natives have some obvious mission to achieve in whatever level of society they are born into. ARIES (March 22 April Call on stronger, more authori- tative people for comment and assistance. Be willing to revise so as to accept their views. TAURUS (April 20 May There's news of emotional meaning to you. Old scores are settled abruptly, with little no- tice. The subtleties dawn sub- sequently, a little at a time. GEMINI (May 21 June Be earlv to work and the first to quit for tic day. Do the best you can at tlie moment for a once-only action. CANCER (.lime 21 July Give while it's the thing lo do in return all that is rea sonable without delay or quib- ble. LEO (July 23 Aug. Rise with your sense of humor on top and in use for a very complex and lively day. Taking yourself too seriously might spoil every- thing. VIHGO (Aug. 23 Sept. Strive to keep arrangements on an even keel. Temptations for all changes. LIBRA (Sept. 23 Oct. Fresh distractions turn out to be something more. At least the sailing is clearer than in old familiar muddles. Snake species Andy sends a complete 20- volume set oE the World Book Encyclopedia to Edgar Gib- eaut, age 12. of Ottawa, On- tario, for his question; How many snake species arc there? Somehow the snakes manage to make a vivid impression on everybody, either favorably or unfavorably. Perhaps this is why most people think that there are many more species than there are. Actually, the dan is rather small. We tend to think of the creatures as lowly and limited- though this opinion has been re-evaluated. Scientists took a new look, de- cided that the snakes are very successful critters, and explain- ed why. About snake species have been identified and classi- fied. But chances are a few more will be found and added to the list. Most likely those still in hiding are sea snakes, inhabiting secluded ocean Of all the known spec- ies, about 50 are sea snakes and all these are poisonous. About eight per cent of all species are dangerous to hu- man beings. These menaces in- clude a few muscular boa con- strictors and an assortment equipped Kith venomous fangs. Compared with most living finimals. the snakes have rath- er a short history. They began to appear about 100 million years ago, when the famous dinosaurs were still in resi- dence. Their ancestors were reptiles, triugh it is not cer- tain that all snakes descended from the same reptiles. But all the original ancestors had four Btubby legs. Scientists suspect that they were lizards who took up burrowing habits no doubt to avoid being stomped by their bulky dinosaur relatives. These secretive burrowing liz- ards had not much use for legs. It is suspected that this is why, after numerous genera- tions, the legs of their offspring grew smaller and finally dis- appeared. Several different families may have taken this route from ancient lizards to mcdern snakes. However, all of them also changed in other ways. All modern snakes have a lower jaw in two halves, join- ed with a stretchable elastic ligament. Their transparent eyelids are sealed shut and they have no breastbones. But a few species still have internal rem- nants of ancestoral hip and even leg bones. The most amazing feature of the snakes is that long, supple spine. We now learn that this feature accounts for their suc- cess and makes them far more secure than most of us thought Our rather stiff spines have no more than 33 bendabie vertebrae and a dozen pairs of slightly expandable ribs. A snake may have up to 300 or more pairs of very pliable ribs, each pair attached to a verte- bra. His vertebrae are short and wide, which makes it easy to switch from side to side and weave over bumpy ground. This super-supple spine is man- euvered by countless smooth muscles and is slightly raised to give them plenty of leeway. Apparently it was worth trad- ing legs to get tliis superior spine. Certainly it enables a snake to catch himself plenty of frogs, rodents and other ani- mals who travel on four old- fashioned legs- Snakes may travel well, but few of them travel far from home. Since there are not that many species it is no problem to memorize those who share your territory. Most of these are harmless types, toiling to control the rodent population. But be sure to memorize the dangerous ones on your list first and learn every trick to avoid them. Then, and only then, is the safe time to admire the harmless species. Questions assed by cMIflren of Herald readers should be mailed to Ask Andy, P.O. Box 765, Huntington BeacU, California 92648. (Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co. 1971) GOREN ON BRIDGE BY CHARLES H. GOREN 1C BT The Chlaio Trlbmo Neither vulnerable. North deals. NORTH A A 3 1 3 EAST Q J 7 2 K 3 0 10 385 A64 O K6-3 32 WEST 10 6 VJ10875 O742 SOUTH AK85 O AQJ The bidding: North East South West 1 A Pass 2 Pass i