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Keyword: cretaceous

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  • Frozen in time Ancient insects trapped in amber at the precise moment they hatched from their eggs

    12/26/2018 8:57:45 AM PST · by ETL · 21 replies
    The Sun ^ | Dec 20, 2018 | Harry Pettit, Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter
    The rare fossils are helping scientists understand how ancient bugs hatched from their eggs The insects became trapped in the sticky resin 130million years ago, shortly after bursting through the shell – and scientists aren't sure how the creatures met their grisly fate. The amazing fossils are helping researchers understand how ancient bugs hatched and took their first steps in the ancient world. Like many modern animals, the insects used a tool known as an egg-burster to smash through the egg shell. "The structures that make hatching possible tend to disappear quickly once egg-laying animals hatch, so obtaining fossil evidence...
  • Study shows huge armored dinosaurs battled overheating with nasal air-conditioning

    12/19/2018 11:52:43 AM PST · by ETL · 16 replies
    Phys.org ^ | Dec 19, 2018 | Ohio University
    Being a gigantic dinosaur presented some challenges, such as overheating in the Cretaceous sun and frying your brain. Researchers from Ohio University and NYITCOM at Arkansas State show in a new article in PLOS ONE that the heavily armored, club-tailed ankylosaurs had a built-in air conditioner in their snouts. "The huge bodies that we see in most dinosaurs must have gotten really hot in warm Mesozoic climates," said Jason Bourke, Assistant Professor at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State and lead author of the study. "Brains don't like that, so we wanted to...
  • New horned dinosaur species discovered in Arizona wows paleontologists

    12/18/2018 8:49:20 AM PST · by ETL · 36 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Jennifer Earl | Fox News
    A team of paleontologists recently announced the discovery of a new horned dinosaur — a "cousin" of the Triceratops — in southern Arizona. The new species, Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii, was named after the rock formation the fossils were buried under (Fort Crittenden Formation) as well as the late amateur scientist Stan Krzyzanowski, who first found the fossils. The bones of the dinosaur were uncovered underneath 73-million-year-old rocks about 20 years ago southeast of Tucson, but a team from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNH) recently studied the specimen and determined it was a new species. Their findings were published in NMMNH's bulletin. ..." The...
  • New giant dinosaur discovered in Russia

    12/15/2018 9:33:21 AM PST · by ETL · 28 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | Dec 15, 2018 | Walt Bonner | Fox News
    A new kind of giant dinosaur has been described in Russia. Dubbed Volgatitan, the herbivore belonged to a family of long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods. It weighed 17 tons and walked the earth 200 million to 65 million years ago. The enormous dinosaur was identified from seven of its vertebrae, which had been stuck in a cliff for 130 million years until they were discovered on the banks of the Volga river near Ulyanovsk in 1982. ..." The bones sat for 20 years until they were re-examined by Averianov. ..." “[After] checking the literature when I returned home, [I] confirmed that...
  • Ancient bird fossils have ‘the weirdest feathers I have ever seen’

    12/14/2018 2:52:50 PM PST · by ETL · 15 replies
    ScienceMag.org ^ | Dec 14, 2018 | John Pickerell
    One hundred million years ago, the sky was filled with birds unlike those seen today, many with long, streamerlike tail feathers. Now, paleontologists have found examples of these paired feathers preserved in exquisite detail in 31 pieces of Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. The rare 3D preservation reveals the feathers’ structure is completely different from that of modern feathers—and hints that they may have been defensive decoys to foil predators. Such tail streamers—in some cases longer than the bodies—have been observed in early bird fossils from China for several decades, in particular, the 125-million-year-old Confuciusornis sanctus. They may also be present...
  • Newly-Discovered Cretaceous Bird Lived Among Dinosaurs, Was Strong Flier

    11/13/2018 9:14:47 AM PST · by ETL · 20 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 13, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    All birds evolved from feathered theropods — the two-legged dinosaurs like T. rex — beginning about 150 million years ago, and developed into many lineages in the Cretaceous period, between 146 and 65 million years ago. But after the cataclysm that wiped out most of the dinosaurs, only one group of birds remained: the ancestors of the birds we see today.Why did only one family survive the mass extinction? The newly-discovered fossil from one of those extinct bird groups, enantiornithines, deepens that mystery. ..." Mirarce eatoni’s breast bone or sternum, where flight muscles attach, is more deeply keeled than other...
  • We Finally Know How Much the Dino-Killing Asteroid Reshaped Earth

    03/22/2016 10:32:51 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 60 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | 2/25/2016 | Jane Palmer
    More than 65 million years ago, a six-mile wide asteroid smashed into Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, triggering earthquakes, tsunamis and an explosion of debris that blanketed the Earth in layers of dust and sediment. Now analysis of commercial oil drilling data—denied to the academic community until recently—offers the first detailed look at how the Chicxulub impact reshaped the Gulf of Mexico. Figuring out what happened after these types of impacts gives researchers a better idea of how they redistribute geological material around the world. It also gives scientists an idea of what to expect if another such impact were to occur...
  • 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...