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Limalok is a guyot, an undersea volcanic mountain with a flat top, in the southeastern Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Located at a depth of 1,255 metres (4,117 ft) with a 636-square-kilometre (246 sq mi) summit platform, it is joined to Mili Atoll and Knox Atoll through a volcanic ridge. Limalok probably started as a shield volcano built up from basaltic rocks; the Macdonald, Rarotonga, Rurutu and Society hotspots may have been involved in its formation. A period of erosion and flattening began around 56 million years ago. During the Paleocene and Eocene, a carbonate platform (mostly red algae) supported an atoll, or an atoll-like structure with reefs. The platform sank below sea level roughly 46–50 million years ago during the Eocene, perhaps because the equatorial area it moved through was too hot or nutrient-rich to support the growth of a coral reef. Thermal subsidence lowered the drowned seamount to its present depth. ( Full article... )

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Elizabeth Richards Tilton

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SMS Scharnhorst, c. 1908

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December 10 : Human Rights Day ; Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, Sweden

Calbraith Perry Rodgers

Nikephoros III Botaneiates (d. 1081) · Caroline Mehitable Fisher Sawyer (b. 1812) · Abdullah Yusuf Ali (d. 1953)

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The snowy egret (Egretta thula) is a small member of the heron family, Ardeidae, native to the Americas, where it has a widespread distribution. The bird forages for fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects and worms in marshes and shallow water habitats, applying various techniques to persuade the prey to reveal itself. A sociable species, it often forages in mixed species groups, and nests in the company of other herons and egrets. The bill is specially adapted for probing and stabbing.

This picture shows a snowy egret photographed at Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds, near San Rafael, California.

Photograph credit: Frank Schulenburg