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Elon Musk said Thursday that he was helping combat falling birth rates after it was reported that he had twins last year with an executive at one of his companies.
"Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis," tweeted the billionaire tech entrepreneur, who has fathered 10 children.
"A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far," Musk added.
He posted another tweet that read: "I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!"
The comments came a day after online outlet Insider reported that Musk had twins with 36-year-old Canadian Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink, Musk's brain-implant maker.
She has also worked at other Musk companies including OpenAI and electric car manufacturer Tesla, Insider said.
In April, Zilis and Musk filed a petition with a Texas court for the children to "have their father's last name and contain their mother's last name as part of their middle name," Insider reported, referring to court documents obtained by the publication.
The petition was granted in May, the site said.
The babies, which Insider says were born in November, arrived just weeks before Musk, 51, and music artist Grimes had their second child via surrogate.
They welcomed a baby girl named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk -- although the parents will mostly call her Y.
In total, the chief of Tesla and SpaceX has fathered 10 children, one of whom died shortly after birth.
In May, Musk tweeted a graphic from the Wall Street Journal showing that the average number of babies a US woman has in her lifetime fell from more than 3.5 in 1960 to a little over 1.5 in 2021.
He noted that it was below the 2.1 level that is needed for a generation to replace itself.
"USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for ~50 years," Musk wrote alongside.
Last month, one of his children who recently turned 18 filed a petition in a California court to change her name and gender identity to female.
She cited "the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form" as one of the reasons for the name change, according to the court document.
Ons Jabeur became the first African woman in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam singles final on Thursday when she defeated close friend Tatjana Maria in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The 27-year-old world number two from Tunisia triumphed 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and will face either 2019 champion Simona Halep or Elena Rybakina in Saturday's championship match.
"I'm a proud Tunisian woman standing here," said Jabeur, who was the first Arab player to make a Slam semi-final.
Before Thursday, South Africans Irene Bowder Peacock, at the 1927 French Open, and Renee Schuurman, in the 1959 Australian Open, were the only African women to have reached a Slam singles final.
"It's a dream come true from years of work and sacrifice. I'm happy that's paid off and I'll continue for one more match," said Jabeur.
"Physically, Tatjana is a beast, she doesn't give up -- I thought she would give up -- her touch, her serve and everything on the court is impressive. I hope she continues this way. Let's not play again, I'm good for now.
"I know in Tunisia they are going crazy right now. I want to see more Arab and African players on the tour. I love the game and I want to share the experience with them."
Jabeur coasted through the first set against mother-of-two Maria with breaks in the third and seventh games.
The Tunisian fired 15 winners to her opponent's six in the first set while not facing a single break point.
However, Maria, described by Jabeur as her "barbecue buddy", did manage to finally break through for 3-1 in the second set off the back of a series of delicate slices.
Jabeur's 17 unforced errors in the second set compared to the six of the more accurate German, who leveled the contest.
But there was to be no upset win as the 103rd-ranked Maria's challenge was quashed.
Jabeur secured a double break for a 5-0 advantage before securing her place in history on a second match point.
'I feel for Russians'
Moscow-born Rybakina will attempt to reach a first Wimbledon final, counting her blessings that she escaped the tournament ban handed out to her Russian compatriots.
Rybakina switched her nationality to Kazakhstan in 2018 to take advantage of greater financial help.
She now finds herself in the semi-finals at the same tournament from which Russian and Belarusian players were banned following the invasion of Ukraine.
"Everybody wants to compete," said the 23-year-old Rybakina, the first player representing Kazakhstan to make the last four of a Slam.
"They were not choosing where they born. Of course, I feel for them."
She admitted she was fortunate to have switched to representing Kazakhstan.
"I think it was very good timing because Kazakhstan were looking for players. I was looking for some help. They believed in me. So I think it was very good combination."
Standing at 6 feet (1.84 meters), world number 23 Rybakina is the big-hitting star of the women's tournament, firing an event-leading 44 aces over five rounds so far.
On Thursday, she faces Halep, who hopes to recreate the "perfect match" that delivered the 2019 Wimbledon title.
The former world number one from Romania collected her second Grand Slam crown at the All England Club three years ago.
Her first was at the French Open in 2018.
However, a calf injury last year forced a three-month lay-off, ruling her out of Wimbledon.
"That was the perfect match of my life," said 30-year-old Halep as she reflected on the 2019 Wimbledon final, when she defeated Serena Williams for the loss of just four games.
"Now I'm playing really well. I'm feeling confident that I feel the game the way I felt back then. Yeah, only positive things, good memories."
© 2022 AFP
Paleontologists said Thursday they had discovered a new giant carnivorous dinosaur species that had a massive head and tiny arms, just like Tyrannosaurus rex.
The researchers' findings, published in the journal Current Biology, suggest that small forelimbs were no evolutionary accident, but rather gave apex predators of the time certain survival advantages.
Meraxes gigas -- named after a fictional dragon in the Game of Thrones book series -- was dug up over the course of four years during field expeditions in the northern Patagonia region of Argentina, starting with the skull which was found in 2012.
"We won the lottery and found it literally on the first morning," senior author Peter Makovicky from the University of Minnesota told AFP.
The fossilized remains were remarkably well preserved. The skull is just over four feet long (127 centimeters), while the entire animal would have been some 36 feet long, and weighed four metric tons.
Its arms were two feet long, "so it's literally half the length of the skull and the animal would not have been able to reach its mouth," said Makovicky.
T. rex didn't get its tiny arms from M. gigas. The latter went extinct 20 million years before the former arose, and the two species were far apart on the evolutionary tree.
Instead, the authors believe the fact that tyrannosaurids, carcharodontosaurids -- the group Meraxes belonged to -- and a third giant predator species called abelisaurids all evolved tiny arms points to certain benefits.
Makovicky believes that as their heads grew larger, it became the dominant tool of their predatory arsenal, taking on the function that forelimbs would have had in smaller species.
His co-author Juan Canale, the project lead at Ernesto Bachmann Paleontological Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, went further in suggesting other advantages.
Mating and movement support
"I'm convinced that those proportionally tiny arms had some sort of function. The skeleton shows large muscle insertions and fully developed pectoral girdles, so the arm had strong muscles," he said in a statement.
"They may have used the arms for reproductive behavior such as holding the female during mating or support themselves to stand back up after a break or a fall."
Meraxes roamed the Earth between 90 to 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous, at a time when the region was wetter, more forested, and much closer to the sea, said Makovicky.
They would have preyed on a menagerie of contemporary sauropods -- some of whom were discovered at the same site.
The individual lived to around 40 years -- a ripe old age for dinosaurs -- and its skull was replete with crests, furrows, bumps and small hornlets.
"It certainly would have looked very imposing and gargoyle like," said Makovicky.
"Those are the kinds of features that in living animals are often under sexual selection," speculating the species used their massive skulls as "billboards" for advertising to would-be mates.