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Old October 15th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #1
Atomicus
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Paleontology Thread (non-human)





Quote:
The Sydney Morning Herald

Blood found in 46-million-year-old mosquito

[...]

While the discovery sounds like the plot of the popular sci-fi novel Jurassic Park – where scientists use DNA extracted from an amber-encased mosquito to revive dinosaurs – the female specimen represents the world's first fossil of a blood-engorged mosquito.


As research has shown DNA cannot survive more than 6.8 million years, no genetic material was recovered. The insect, with its visibly extended abdomen, was found trapped in oil shale, a sedimentary rock from an ancient lakebed in north-western Montana.


[...]


Using non-destruction technologies, the team screened the fossil for a range of compounds, including two components of heme, the protein that transports oxygen in red blood cells.
The detection of these components, iron and porphyrin molecules, in the abdomen of the female – only females suck blood – confirmed the iron was from the insect's last meal and not part of the fossilisation process.

[...]

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Old June 7th, 2014, 02:40 AM   #2
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

This is an age-old question but largely a scientific one, and if the egg referred to here is the generic egg, of course the answer is the egg came first.

“In fact, we’ve known the answer to that question for decades. In the evolutionary sense, which is the only meaningful sense in which you can ask this question, the answer is clear: the egg came first. Birds evolved from dinosaurs. Dinosaurs laid eggs. Therefore eggs were around before there were birds, and during the period when birds were evolving from dinosaurs, every creature in that lineage laid eggs. Therefore eggs preceded chickens in evolutionary time. - Professor Jerry Coyne

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress....efore-the-egg/


http://www.popsci.com/science/articl...chicken-or-egg


Now if the egg in the question refers not just to the generic egg but to the “chicken egg” this is a question that scientifically-challenged individuals might think is a valid question. Here Jeff Lewis explains why this is in fact a silly question.

http://www.jefflewis.net/blog/2013/0...chicken_o.html


There is in fact a spate of articles quoting a scientist who claims to have discovered the reason why the chicken came first, and this was widely quoted in the press. This claim is torn to pieces by evolutionary biologists PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne in the links.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2...s-is-no-way-t/


http://phylogenous.wordpress.com/201...en-or-the-egg/

http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/...and-evolution/

(This is a repost from another thread)
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Last edited by GodIsNotGreat; June 7th, 2014 at 03:11 AM. Reason: links not working; re-linked
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Old June 14th, 2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Old June 14th, 2014, 09:24 PM   #4
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Paleontology topics never fails to amaze me. Now I know where we mammals really came from, not just from our parents. Do you guys have an idea how the oldest scientists identify extinct humans and animals in the earliest years? How did they name those oldest species accordingly?
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Old July 7th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #5
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New gigantic bird discovered. Twice the wingspan of a Royal Albatross.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/bi...ssil-1.2698978

Quote:
The biggest flying bird that ever lived had double the wingspan of today's biggest flying bird, the royal albatross.

The royal albatross, with a wingspan of 3.5 metres, is mere pigeon compared to an astonishing extinct bird called Pelagornis sanders, identified by scientists on Monday from fossils unearthed in South Carolina. The bird lived 25 to 28 million years ago and boasted the largest-known avian wingspan in history, about 6.1 to 7.4 meters.

That approaches the wingspans of ultralight airplanes and hang glider, which are in the range of 8.5 to 9 metres.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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But Argentavis magnificens is said to have had a wingspan of 7 meters, and up to 8 meters...
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Old July 8th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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The Magnificent Silverbird is considered second largest to the Sanders' Seabird.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 12:27 AM   #8
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You Can Own The Longest Piece Of Fossilized Feces Ever Sold



From the article:

The fossil is being auctioned by the I. M. Chait gallery in Los Angeles, California. It was uncovered in a formation
in Washington State that dates back to the Miocene and Oligocene epochs, between 33 and 5 million years ago.

Feces become coprolites when they are petrified, or when the organic material is replaced with minerals.
Paleontologists have found coprolites of lots of different animals, including dinosaurs, cats, and even humans.
Typically the petrification process takes a few thousand years, but you can get your hands on this one for an estimated $8,000-$10,000.
Have your credit card ready.


http://www.popsci.com/article/scienc...eces-ever-sold
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Old July 23rd, 2014, 11:40 AM   #9
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Many are unable to grasp the evolution because of Judeo-Christian absolutistic mindset. In their heads there must be the first of something, clear lines of delimitation, beings with monistic existance. Buddhist worldview of flowing existance, no essence that remains when parts of composit entities are removed, and all beings dying and being reborn thousand times every second within themselves, is much better suited for scientific thinking, especially in biology.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 08:54 AM   #10
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Researchers find first sign that tyrannosaurs hunted in packs

The Guardian, Wednesday 23 July 2014 19.36 BST





The collective noun is a terror of tyrannosaurs: a pack of the prehistoric predators, moving and hunting in numbers, for prey that faced the fight of its life.

That tyrannosaurs might have hunted in groups has long been debated by dinosaur experts, but with so little to go on, the prospect has remained firmly in the realm of speculation.

But researchers in Canada now claim to have the strongest evidence yet that the ancient beasts did move around in packs.

At a remote site in the country's northeast, they uncovered the first known tyrannosaur trackways, apparently left by three animals going the same way at the same time.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2...-tracks-canada


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Old July 25th, 2014, 12:14 PM   #11
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'Fluffy and feathery' dinosaurs were widespread

All dinosaurs were covered with feathers or had the potential to grow feathers, a study suggests.

The discovery of 150-million-year-old fossils in Siberia indicates that feathers were much more widespread among dinosaurs than previously thought.

The find "has completely changed our vision of dinosaurs", the lead researcher told BBC News.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28407381


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Old July 28th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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'Bad luck' ensured that asteroid impact wiped out dinosaurs

28 July 2014

Dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact when they were at their most vulnerable, according to a new study.

Dr Steve Brusatte, of Edinburgh University, said sea level rises and volcanic activity had made many species more susceptible to extinction.

They might have survived if the asteroid had hit the Earth a few million years later or earlier, he said, calling it "colossal bad luck".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28488044


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Old August 1st, 2014, 11:46 PM   #13
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:28 PM   #14
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Was Six-Million-Year-Old Turd Auctioned for $10,000 a Faux Poo? Paleontologists skeptical of "possibly the longest example of coprolite" offered at auction.

From the article:

But the alleged fossils don't show any signs of being produced by animals. They are, in fact, pseudo-poo, according to an article in the journal Ichnos by Whitman College paleontologist Patrick Spencer published in 1993.

Spencer collected and cut open hundreds of so-called coprolites from the Wilkes Formation. He was looking for bits of bone, vegetation, or indigestible residue that would confirm their excretory origins. He found only the iron-rich mineral siderite. This is in line with a 2001 study by Western Washington University geologist George Mustoe, who concluded that the weird wads were definitely not coprolites.

Plants and pressure made the coprolite copycats. "We found several pieces of carbonized tree trunks," Spencer says, "and these had the coprolite-looking pieces of siderite injected into them."





http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ossil-auction/
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Old September 4th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #15
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Enormous new dinosaur discovered and given name meaning 'fears nothing'

Weighing 65 tons, and measuring 85-feet long, the 77-million-year-old Dreadnoughtus schrani is easily one of the largest dinosaurs ever found. Its finders say that it currently holds the title for largest dinosaur — at least, largest of any dinosaur that has been scientifically reported and can be properly measured.

Those clarifications are important: two previously detailed dinosaurs — both large titanosaurs, like this one — may have been bigger, but Drexel's researchers say that between those finds' incomplete skeletons and the lack of published research on them, the specifics of the dinosaurs still can't be known for certain. Thus, for now, the Dreadnoughtus has the largest "calculable" weight of any dinosaur.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/4/609...-dreadnoughtus

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Old September 6th, 2014, 02:48 AM   #16
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Size Comparison:



http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/s...-in-hollywood/
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Old September 6th, 2014, 07:09 AM   #17
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Argentine dinosaurs continue to get bigger and bigger
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Old December 7th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guajiro1 View Post
Argentine dinosaurs continue to get bigger and bigger
Tell me about it...



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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodIsNotGreat View Post
This is an old clip of RD, but very instructive.
It helps explain why there really is no first individual of any species, for that matter.

Great video I specially like when he compares evolution to de baby->toddler->child->teenager->adult transition.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 05:44 AM   #20
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Utah's Dinosaur 'Death Trap' Reveals Trove of Giant Predators

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A nine-ton block of sandstone that was pulled from a Utah mountain late last year holds the biggest fossil trove ever found of the giant predatory dinosaur known as Utahraptor. Covered in feathers, with a huge sickle claw on each second toe, Utahraptor looked like a pumped-up version of the Jurassic Park star Velociraptor.

The fossils might help resolve a long-standing debate about whether these predators hunted in groups. In the Jurassic Park films, velociraptors were shown cooperating to chase down prey, an idea based at the time on several predators that had been found alongside an herbivore. The new fossils may help confirm whether the silver screen got it right.

Scientists have found the remains of six Utahraptor dinosaurs in the rock so far, and more may be trapped there.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...h-trap-fossil/
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