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Keyword: cretaceous

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  • Earthworm's plight is early warning of threat to man

    07/30/2008 5:31:04 AM PDT · by Soliton · 14 replies · 91+ views
    The Times ^ | July 29, 2008 | Mike Wade
    Ironically, Charles Darwin set great store by his study of earthworms, which effectively mix and make most of the soil on Earth, but his successors in evolutionary science have tended to neglect the creatures that live beneath their feet. Instead, Professor Blaxter said, they regard the soil as a kind of test bed - or “black box” - that there is no need to understand. He added that this project would help to redress that issue. “Until the soil collapses, and the ecosystems dies completely, we don't know what's going on. We have to start to get inside the ‘black...
  • Ancient Beetle Discovery Gives Clue to Gymnosperm Pollination

    08/26/2018 1:54:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | Thursday, August 16, 2018 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters
    Plant-insect interactions, one of the critical bedrocks for modern ecosystems, are largely dominated by insect-angiosperm relationships owing to the hegemony enjoyed by flowering plants since the Late Cretaceous. Gymnosperm-insect interactions, on the other hand, are far less well understood, particularly in terms of pollination modes. Insect-mediated pollination in gymnosperms and potentially prior to the rise of flowering plants is critical for understanding not only the complex biology of these plants today but also the ecology of pre-angiospermous ecosystems and the history of pollination specializations on gymnosperms. A new mid-Cretaceous (99-million-year-old) boganiid beetle with specialized pollen feeding adaptations was reported in...
  • Caelestiventus hanseni: Newly-Discovered Triassic Pterosaur Lived in Harsh Desert

    08/19/2018 11:53:24 AM PDT · by ETL · 9 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Aug 14, 2018 | Natali Anderson
    Pterosaurs were giant flying reptiles that flew over the heads of the dinosaurs. Soaring on skin wings supported by a single huge finger, they were the largest animals ever to take wing. Originating in the Late Triassic epoch (around 215 million years ago), they thrived to the end of the Cretaceous period (66 million years ago).Triassic pterosaurs are extraordinarily rare and are known exclusively from marine deposits in the Alps (Italy, Austria and Switzerland), except for Arcticodactylus cromptonellus from fluvial deposits in Greenland.The new Triassic pterosaur is from the Saints & Sinners Quarry near Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.Named Caelestiventus...
  • Cretaceous Alaska Was ‘Superhighway’ for Migrating Dinosaurs, Paleontologists Say

    08/08/2018 12:28:30 PM PDT · by ETL · 37 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Aug 8, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Paleontologists have discovered the first North American co-occurrence of hadrosaur and therizinosaur tracks, providing more evidence that Alaska was the ‘superhighway’ for dinosaurs between Asia and western North America 65-70 million years ago (Late Cretaceous epoch). In 2012-2014, Dr. Anthony Fiorillo from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and colleagues discovered distinct footprints in Denali National Park, central Alaska Range, that they determined to be made by therizinosaurs, unusual predatory dinosaurs thought to have become herbivores. What surprised the team most was the co-occurrence of dozens of hadrosaurs, also known as duck-bill dinosaurs. “Hadrosaurs are very common and found...
  • A surprise find: 99-million-year-old frog encased in amber

    06/15/2018 10:22:59 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 44 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 06/15/18 | Allyson Chiu
    At first glance, the oddly shaped splotches darkening a vibrant yellow piece of amber appear to be amorphous blobs. But upon closer examination, a shape emerges. There are two forelimbs. At the end of each limb are four smaller bones, forming a distinctly handlike shape. Within the largest dark spot, which has a rounded top, eye sockets become distinguishable. It’s a skull. Encased within the smooth chunk of amber is the body of a tiny young tropical frog. Scientists say the diminutive critter, measuring less than an inch long, lived about 99 million years ago before it became entombed in...
  • Jupiter and Venus Change Earth’s Orbit Every 405,000 Years

    05/10/2018 7:28:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 61 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 05/10/2018 | Matt Williams
    Over the course of the past 200 million years, our planet has experienced four major geological periods (the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous and Cenozoic) and one major ice age (the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation), all of which had a drastic impact on plant and animal life, as well as effecting the course of species evolution. For decades, geologists have also understood that these changes are due in part to gradual shifts in the Earth’s orbit, which are caused by Venus and Jupiter, and repeat regularly every 405,000 years. But it was not until recently that a team of geologists and Earth scientists...
  • Remarkable spider with a tail found preserved in amber after 100 million years

    02/05/2018 1:43:42 PM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    phys.org ^ | February 5, 2018 | University of Kansas
    The Cretaceous arachnid Chimerarachne yingi was found trapped in amber after 100 million years. Credit: University of Kansas ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ An extraordinary new species of arachnid, resembling a spider with a tail, has been discovered in amber from Myanmar (formerly Burma), of mid-Cretaceous age, around 100 million years ago. The finding is described in a paper appearing Monday in Nature Ecology & Evolution by an international team including Paul Selden of the Paleontological Institute and Department of Geology at the University of Kansas and colleagues from China, Germany, Virginia and the United Kingdom. "There's been a lot of amber being produced...
  • Ticks Trapped in Amber Were Likely Sucking Dinosaur Blood

    12/12/2017 11:09:48 AM PST · by G Larry · 34 replies
    NYT ^ | 12-12-17 | NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR
    Paleontologists have found entombed in amber a 99-million-year-old tick grasping the feather of a dinosaur, providing the first direct evidence that the tiny pests drank dinosaur blood. Immortalized in the golden gemstone, the bloodsucker’s last supper is remarkable because it is rare to find parasites with their hosts in the fossil record. The finding, which was published Tuesday, gives researchers tantalizing insight into the prehistoric diet of one of today’s most prevalent pests.
  • Ticks That Fed on Dinosaurs Found Trapped in Amber

    12/12/2017 11:08:03 AM PST · by Red Badger · 43 replies
    news.nationalgeographic.com ^ | 12/12/2017 | John Pickrell
    Tiny fossils preserved in Cretaceous resin include one parasite that was engorged when it died. Blood-filled parasites trapped in amber have been igniting imaginations since the 1990s, when the resurrected dinosaurs of Jurassic Park burst out of Michael Crichton’s novels and onto the big screen. Now, scientists say they have found the real deal: chunks of Burmese amber carrying ticks that drank the blood of feathered dinosaurs some 99 million years ago. One of these parasites is tangled up in a possible dinosaur feather found encased in a lump of amber. Another was found in a separate piece of amber...
  • Dinosaur Dung Fertilizes Planet, New Research Shows

    10/28/2017 3:25:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    Science Daily / Science News ^ | October 16, 2017 | Northern Arizona University
    Christopher Doughty, faculty member in the School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University... "Theory suggests that large animals are disproportionately important to the spread of fertility across the planet... What better way to test this than to compare fertility in the world during the Cretaceous period -- where sauropods, the largest herbivores to exist, roamed freely -- to the Carboniferous period -- a time in Earth's history before four-legged erbivores evolved." During these two periods, plants were buried faster than they could decompose. As a result, coal was formed. Doughty gathered coal samples from mines throughout...
  • Amazon River Once Flowed in Opposite Direction

    10/24/2006 9:54:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies · 505+ views
    PhysOrg ^ | October 24, 2006 | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Russell Mapes, a graduate student from Grass Valley, Calif., ...explains that these sediments of eastern origin were washed down from a highland area that formed in the Cretaceous Period, between 65 million and 145 million years ago, when the South American and African tectonic plates separated and passed each other. That highland tilted the river's flow westward, sending sediment as old as 2 billion years toward the center of the continent. A relatively low ridge, called the Purus Arch, which still exists, rose in the middle of the continent, running north and south, dividing the Amazon's flow - eastward toward...
  • The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs almost got us, too

    06/29/2016 10:26:05 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 30 replies
    THE WEEK ^ | June 28, 2016 | Joshua A. Krisch
    The age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago, when an asteroid six miles in diameter crashed into what is now southeastern Mexico. The world went up in flames. Dinosaurs, along with the massive reptiles that ruled the sea and the sky, perished as forest fires raged across the globe, dust blotted out the sun, and Earth experienced intense heat, frigid cooling, and then more heat. Conventional wisdom states that mammalian diversity emerged from the ashes of the mass extinction, ultimately giving rise to our own humble species. But according to a study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology,...
  • New Cretaceous Fossils Shed Light On The Early Evolution Of Ants

    06/18/2016 2:33:15 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | May 30, 2016 | Current Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    The vast majority of Cretaceous ants belong to stem-group Formicidae and comprise workers and reproductives of largely generalized morphologies... recent discoveries from the Cretaceous suggest relatively advanced social levels. Remarkable exceptions to this pattern of generalized morphologies are ants with bizarre mouthparts in which both female castes have modified heads and bladelike mandibles that uniquely move in a horizontal rather than vertical plane... with the mandibles apparently acting as traps triggered by sensory hairs in a way distinct from that of modern trap-jaw ants... some of the most effective predatory ants are solitary hunters with powerful trap jaws... Dr. WANG...
  • 'Trickle of food' helped deep sea creatures survive asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs

    04/25/2016 9:28:28 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | Cardiff University
    Study of fossil shells solves unanswered question of how deep sea creatures survived asteroid strike during immense upheaval of the world's oceans... Like the dinosaurs themselves, giant marine reptiles, invertebrates and microscopic organisms became extinct after the catastrophic asteroid impact in an immense upheaval of the world's oceans, yet deep sea creatures managed to survive. This has puzzled researchers as it is widely believed that the asteroid impact cut off the food supply in the oceans by destroying free-floating algae and bacteria. However, in a study published in the April issue of the journal Geology, a team led by researchers...
  • Unusual 'sail-backed' dinosaur roamed Spain 125 million years ago

    12/16/2015 7:34:46 PM PST · by EveningStar · 37 replies
    Reuters ^ | December 16, 2015 | Will Dunham
    Along a lush river delta in what is now northeastern Spain, a herd of dinosaurs munched on ferns and conifers similar to modern-day cypresses 125 million years ago. These creatures stood out from the others in this Cretaceous Period landscape by virtue of the unusual sail-like structure on their backs, and experts today can only hypothesize about its function.
  • Influence of Earth's history on the dawn of modern birds

    12/13/2015 11:06:28 AM PST · by JimSEA · 25 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 12/11/2015 | American Museum of Natural History
    New research led by the American Museum of Natural History reveals that the evolution of modern birds was greatly shaped by the history of our planet's geography and climate. The DNA-based work, published today in the journal Science Advances, finds that birds arose in what is now South America around 90 million years ago, and radiated extensively around the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs. The new research suggests that birds in South America survived this event and then started moving to other parts of the world via multiple land bridges while diversifying during...
  • Now that really IS a mutant turtle: Archaeologists find bizarre pig snouted created once roamed Utah

    10/22/2015 5:15:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | October 21, 2015 | Mark Prigg
    The extinct turtle was about 2 feet long from head to tail. Its streamlined shell was adapted for living in a riverine environment. When it was alive, 76 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, Southern Utah looked more like present-day Louisiana. The climate was wet and hot, and the landscape was dominated by rivers, bayous and lowland flood plains. It lived alongside tyrannosaurs, armored ankylosaurs, giant duck-billed dinosaurs such as Gryposaurus and Parasaurolophus, and other dinosaurs that left abundant fossil remains in the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Southern Utah. But those fossil beds also hold the remains of...
  • 125-million-year-old mammal fossil reveals the early evolution of hair and spines

    10/20/2015 10:47:15 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 33 replies
    phys.org ^ | October 14, 2015 | Provided by: University of Chicago Medical Center
    Skeleton of the Cretaceous mammal Spinolestes with preserved fur shadows. The outer ear can be seen at the upper edge of the photo (arrow). During preparation, the skeleton was transferred to a plastic matrix. Credit: Georg Oleschinski. With permission of Nature Publishing Group ====================================================================================================================== The discovery of a new 125-million-year-old fossil mammal in Spain has pushed back the earliest record of preserved mammalian hair structures and inner organs by more than 60 million years. The specimen, named Spinolestes xenarthrosus, was fossilized with remarkably intact guard hairs, underfur, tiny hedgehog-like spines and even evidence of a fungal hair infection. The unusually...
  • Dinosaur egg treasure trove found in Japan

    07/15/2015 9:53:12 AM PDT · by ETL · 17 replies
    FoxNews - Science ^ | July 14, 2015 | Walt Bonner
    Researchers have discovered fragments of fossilized dinosaur eggs in Southern Japan, according to a June 29 report in the journal Cretaceous Research. The 90 eggshell fragments once housed five different types of dinosaurs, all of them small. “We know from the eggshells that small dinosaurs were roaming Japan’s landscape in the Cretaceous Period [65 to 145 million years ago],” Darla Zelenitsky, an assistant professor of paleontology at the University of Calgary and study co-author, told Foxnews.com. “Many of the bones known from Japan are from larger dinosaurs, but we now know (from the eggshells) that small dinosaurs were also an...
  • Scientists Have Found An Ancient Fossilized Mosquito Full Of Blood (46 Million Years OLD)

    10/14/2013 8:54:39 PM PDT · by blam · 22 replies
    BI ^ | 10-14-2013 | Jennifer Welsh
    Scientists Have Found An Ancient Fossilized Mosquito Full Of Blood Jennifer Welsh Oct. 14, 2013, 5:37 PMBlood engorged mosquito Researchers have just published an exciting find: a 46-million-year-old mosquito full of blood. Next stop "Jurassic Park"? Not so fast. The find is really interesting because it's the first example of blood-feeding in these ancient insects. We hadn't had clear evidence of when this began until now. They found the mosquito in shale sediments in Montana. They first found the presence of iron in the female mosquito's belly, then used a non-destructive technique to study the molecules inside the find. They...