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Keyword: eocene

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  • Eocene Fossil of Hummingbird-Swift Relative Found in Wyoming

    05/05/2013 12:37:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Thursday, May 2, 2013 | unattributed
    First collected in southwestern Wyoming in a fossil site known as the Green River Formation, Eocypselus rowei lived about 50 million years ago. It was a small creature about 12 cm long (from head to tail), and weighed less than an ounce... The fossil is unusual in having exceptionally well-preserved feathers, which allowed the researchers to reconstruct the size and shape of the bird’s wings in ways not possible with bones alone. Feathers account for more than half of the bird’s total wing length... The analysis suggests that the bird was an evolutionary precursor to the group that includes today’s...
  • Ancient Warming Shrunk Horses to Housecat Size

    02/23/2012 11:33:29 AM PST · by Free ThinkerNY · 67 replies
    Yahoo/LiveScience.com ^ | Feb. 23, 2012 | Stephanie Pappas
    An ancient global warming event shrunk the earliest horses down to the size of scrawny housecats, according to new research that could have implications for what mammals might look like in a future warming world. During what's known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, about 56 million years ago, a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans boosted average global temperatures by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) over 175,000 years. Mammals responded to this climate change by shrinking, with about one-third of species getting smaller. Now, new research reveals that these changes occurred in lockstep...
  • Palm trees 'grew on Antarctica' (in the early Eocene period, about 53 million years ago.)

    08/02/2012 1:05:45 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 24 replies
    BBC News ^ | 8/2/12 | Jason Palmer
    Scientists drilling deep into the edge of modern Antarctica have pulled up proof that palm trees once grew there. Analyses of pollen and spores and the remains of tiny creatures have given a climatic picture of the early Eocene period, about 53 million years ago. The study in Nature suggests Antarctic winter temperatures exceeded 10C, while summers may have reached 25C. Better knowledge of past "greenhouse" conditions will enhance guesses about the effects of increasing CO2 today. The early Eocene - often referred to as the Eocene greenhouse - has been a subject of increasing interest in recent years as...
  • Significant Role of Oceans in Onset of Ancient Global Cooling

    05/26/2011 1:27:37 PM PDT · by decimon · 17 replies
    National Science Foundation ^ | May 26, 2011 | Unknown
    Thirty-eight million years ago, tropical jungles thrived in what are now the cornfields of the American Midwest and furry marsupials wandered temperate forests in what is now the frozen Antarctic. The temperature differences of that era, known as the late Eocene, between the equator and Antarctica were half what they are today. A debate has been ongoing in the scientific community about what changes in our global climate system led to such a major shift from the more tropical, greenhouse climate of the Eocene to modern and much cooler climates. New research results published in this week's issue of the...
  • Geochemical Evidence for a Comet Shower in the Late Eocene

    03/26/2009 5:34:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies · 306+ views
    Science ^ | May 22, 1998 | K. A. Farley, A. Montanari, E. M. Shoemaker, C. S. Shoemaker
    Analyses of pelagic limestones indicate that the flux of extraterrestrial helium-3 to Earth was increased for a 2.5-million year (My) period in the late Eocene. The enhancement began ~1 My before and ended ~1.5 My after the major impact events that produced the large Popigai and Chesapeake Bay craters ~36 million years ago. The correlation between increased concentrations of helium-3, a tracer of fine-grained interplanetary dust, and large impacts indicates that the abundance of Earth-crossing objects and dustiness in the inner solar system were simultaneously but only briefly enhanced. These observations provide evidence for a comet shower triggered by an...
  • Global Warming Can Trigger Extreme Ocean, Climate Changes

    01/18/2006 10:18:38 AM PST · by cogitator · 16 replies · 364+ views
    SpaceRef ^ | 01/15/2006 | National Science Foundation
    Scientists use deep ocean historical records to find an abrupt ocean circulation reversalNewly published research results provide evidence that global climate change may have quickly disrupted ocean processes and lead to drastic shifts in environments around the world. Although the events described unfolded millions of years ago and spanned thousands of years, the researchers, affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, say they provide one of the few historical analogs for warming-induced changes in the large-scale sea circulation, and thus may help to illuminate the potential long-term impacts of today's climate warming. Writing in this week's issue of the journal...