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Paleontology

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Science

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Dinosaurs, Plesiosaurs, flippers, Robots, hydrodynamic efficiency, Hydrodynamics, Thrust, Engineering, Propulsion, Swimming, Fossils

Study Uses Robot to Probe Mystery of Prehistoric Sea Creature’s Swimming Style

A new study led by the University of Southampton has shed light on the swimming style of plesiosaurs by creating a robot to mimic its movements.

Science

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Woolly Rhino, Woolly Mammoth, Paleontology, Extinct Species

Woolly Rhino Neck Ribs Provide Clues About Their Decline and Eventual Extinction

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Researchers from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden examined woolly rhino and modern rhino neck vertebrae from several European and American museum collections and noticed that the remains of woolly rhinos from the North Sea often possess a ‘cervical’ (neck) rib—in contrast to modern rhinos. The study, published in the open access journal PeerJ today, reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical vertebrae in woolly rhinos. Given the considerable birth defects that are associated with this condition, the researchers argue it is very possible that developmental abnormalities contributed towards the eventual extinction of these late Pleistocene rhinos.

Science

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Siobhán Cooke, Evolution, Fossils, Extinct Species

Understanding Caribbean Mammal Extinctions of the Past Spurs Renewed Focus on Conservation

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A Johns Hopkins paleontologist and her collaborative team of scientists report they have clear evidence that the arrival of humans and subsequent human activity throughout the islands of the Caribbean were likely the primary causes of the extinction of native mammal species there. The evidence, they say, highlights the need for urgent human intervention to protect the native mammal species still inhabiting the region.

Science

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whale conservation, Paleontology, Ecology

A Potential Breeding Site of a Miocene Era Baleen Whale

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Baleen whales are amongst the largest animals to have ever lived and yet very little is known about their breeding habits. One researcher’s second look at previously found baleen whale fossils from Japan provides new evidence of a now long-gone breeding ground of the extinct baleen whale Parietobalaena yamaokai dating back over 15 million years.

Science

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Paleontology, Imaging, X-Ray, neutron imaging, CT imaging

Unique Imaging of a Dinosaur’s Skull Tells Evolutionary Tale

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Researchers using Los Alamos’ unique neutron-imaging and high-energy X-ray capabilities have exposed the inner structures of the fossil skull of a 74-million-year-old tyrannosauroid dinosaur nicknamed the Bisti Beast in the highest-resolution scan of tyrannosaur skull ever done.

Science

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Evolution, Paleontology, Mammals, Fossils

First Winged Mammals From the Jurassic Period Discovered

Two 160 million-year-old mammal fossils discovered in China show that the forerunners of mammals in the Jurassic Period evolved to glide and live in trees. With long limbs, long hand and foot fingers, and wing-like membranes for tree-to-tree gliding, Maiopatagium furculiferum and Vilevolodon diplomylos are the oldest known gliders in the long history of early mammals.

Science

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Neolithic, Cattle, Grazing, Arbon Bleiche 3

Analysis of Animal Teeth Suggests Neolithic Cattle Grazed at Home and Away

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An international team of researchers has shown in unprecedented detail that prehistoric farmers took their animals away from permanent settlements to graze in more fertile areas – probably because of high demand for land locally.

Science

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Stegomastodon, Palentology, Fossil, gompothere, anthropological dig

Experts Dig Up Las Cruces Boy’s Million-Year-Old Fossil Find

Ten-year Jude Sparks’s accidental discovery in the Las Cruces desert led a New Mexico State University professor to a rare, mostly intact 1.2 million year-old stegomastodon skull. NMSU biology professor Peter Houde put together a team that worked for about a week to carefully unearth the skull.

Science

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Paleontology, Evolution Biology, Crocodilians, T. rex, Madagascar, Jurassic

Gigantic Crocodile with T. Rex Teeth Was a Top Land Predator of the Jurassic in Madagascar

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Little is known about the origin and early evolution of the Notosuchia, hitherto unknown in the Jurassic period. New research on fossils from Madagascar, published in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ by Italian and French paleontologists, begin to fill the gap in a million-year-long ghost lineage.

Life

Arts and Humanities

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Acoustics, cave paintings, acoustic study, Resonance, reverberation, Paleolithic, cave art, David Lubman, Acoustics ’17 Boston

Acoustic Scientist Sounds Off About the Location of Cave Paintings

One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves. The originators of the theory reported a causal connection between the “points of resonance” in three French caves and the position of Paleolithic cave paintings. David Lubman, an acoustic scientist and fellow of ASA, will share some of the insights from his research during Acoustics ’17 Boston, held June 25-29, in Boston, Massachusetts.







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