- Science/Dinosaurs and Fossils
- 2017-02-17 17:58:40Z
U.S. Senator John McCain said on Friday that the resignation of President Donald Trump's security adviser Michael Flynn over his contacts with the Russian ambassador in Washington showed that Trump's administration was in "disarray". "I think that the Flynn issue obviously is something that shows that in many respects this administration is in disarray and they've got a lot of work to do," said McCain, a Republican who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fossils including sharks, sea reptiles and squid-like creatures dug up in Idaho reveal a marine ecosystem thriving relatively soon after Earth's worst mass extinction, contradicting the long-held notion life was slow to recover from the calamity. Scientists on Wednesday described the surprising fossil discovery showing creatures flourishing in the aftermath of the worldwide die-off at the end of the Permian Period about 252 million years ago that erased roughly 90 percent of species.
(Reuters) - Fossil Group Inc's shares plunged 20 percent to an eight-year low on Wednesday after the watchmaker's grim full-year forecast indicated that the company's push into smartwatch business would weigh on its margins. Fossil, which also sells watches under Skagen and Burberry brands, has been investing aggressively after entering the smartwatch market in 2015 to catch up with industry leaders Fitbit Inc and Apple Inc . "The one category that is growing is margin dilutive and its ultimate scalability remains unproven, at the same time management is suggesting it will drop price to move units," Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel wrote in a note.
A newfound amoeba species whose funnel-shaped shell resembles a wizard's hat has been named after one of the most famous warlocks: Gandalf, of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. "New amoeba species are very rarely discovered because they're so tiny and not widely studied," study principal investigator Daniel J. G. Lahr, an assistant professor of zoology at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, said in a statement. Most amoebae are single-celled organisms that sort of crawl to get around.
The specimens - seven in all - were discovered in the late 2000s by Mohamed 'Ou Said' Ben Moula, a self-taught fossil collector who has uncovered hundreds, if not thousands, of specimens with fossilized soft tissues in Morocco's Fezouata Biota. Ben Moula has a working relationship with paleontologists at Yale University, and shipped the fossils to Yale, in Connecticut, so they could be studied. "I describe them as an armored, spiny slug with one single shell at the head end," said the study's co-lead researcher, Luke Parry, a doctoral student in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in England.
Long before European settlers arrived in the Americas in 1492, the Amazon rainforest was transformed for thousands of years by indigenous people who carved mysterious circles into the landscape, researchers said Monday. Modern deforestation -- coupled with aerial photographs of the landscape -- helped reveal some 450 of these geoglyphs in Acre state in the western Brazilian Amazon. "The fact that these sites lay hidden for centuries beneath mature rainforest really challenges the idea that Amazonian forests are 'pristine ecosystems,'" said lead author Jennifer Watling, a post-doctoral researcher at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, University of Sao Paulo.
During the dinosaur era, pterosaurs would swoop down and snap up wriggly fish and buzzing insects with their spiky teeth, with the exception of one odd group - pterosaurs that ate their meals like modern-day flamingos do: by filter feeding. Now, researchers have found the earliest filter-feeding pterosaur on record. The specimen, which was discovered in northeast China's Liaoning province, is 160 million years old, and dates to the Jurassic period (199.6 million to 145.5 million years ago), according to a new study.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Board of Education on Wednesday voted preliminarily to ease - but not completely eliminate - state high school science curriculum requirements that experts argue cast doubt on the theory of evolution.
The rib of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 195 million years ago has yielded what may be the oldest remains of soft tissue ever recovered, scientists said Tuesday. The find promises a chance to extract rare clues about the biology and evolution of long-extinct animals, a team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. Such information is mostly missing from preserved hard skeletons, which form the bulk of the fossil record.
Startlingly well-preserved fossils of the tiny beast, dubbed Saccorhytus, were discovered in central China's Shaanxi province, they reported in the journal Nature. "This may represent the primitive beginnings of a very diverse range of species, including ourselves," said co-author Simon Conway Morris, a professor at Britain's University of Cambridge. Saccorhytus belongs to a broad category of organisms called deuterostomes, and is the most ancient specimen unearthed so far.
The 100-million-year-old remains of an alien-looking female insect - complete with a triangular head and bulging eyes - have been discovered encased in a glob of hardened resin called amber.
Many meteorites found on Earth are remnants of one titanic solar-system collision that took place more than 460 million years ago. By sifting through the minuscule remnants of those ancient solar-system crashes, called micrometeorites, the researchers found that the most common types of meteorites today used to be quite rare - and the rarest ones used to be common. Understanding the makeup of asteroids provides insight into the history of solar-system collisions and the evolution of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists say.
A fearsome, wolf-size otter with a large head and a powerful jaw once swam around the shallow, swampy waters of ancient China, likely hunting for clams and other shellfish, a new study finds. At 110 lbs. (50 kilograms), the animal would have been about twice the size of the modern-day South American giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and about four times the size of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), the researchers said. "This extinct otter is larger than all living otters," said study lead researcher Xiaoming Wang, a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California.