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Thu06222017

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Evolution

Black piranha, megapiranha have most powerful bites of fish living or extinct, researcher finds

New research finds that the black piranha (shown above) and the extinct giant piranha, or megapiranha, have the most powerful bites of carnivorous fishes, living or extinct, once body size is taken into account. (Credit: Courtesy of Guillermo Orti)

 The black piranha and the extinct giant piranha, or megapiranha, have the most powerful bites of carnivorous fishes, living or extinct, once body size is taken into account, find researchers in a paper recently published in Scientific Reports. The research paper, "Mega-Bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas," highlights the piranhas' specialized jaw morphology, which allows them to attack and bite chunks out of much larger prey.

Guillermo Ortí, the George...

Major source of evolutionary differences among species uncovered

Wild Chimpanzee. (Credit: © UryadnikovS / Fotolia)

Dec. 20, 2012 — University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine researchers have uncovered a genetic basis for fundamental differences between humans and other vertebrates that could also help explain why humans are susceptible to diseases not found in other species.

Scientists have wondered why vertebrate species, which look and behave very differently from one another, nevertheless share very similar repertoires of genes. For...

Origin of life: Hypothesis traces first protocells back to emergence of cell membrane bioenergetics

A major new hypothesis outlines a coherent pathway that starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells. (Credit: iStockphoto/Henrik Jonsson)

A coherent pathway -- which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells -- has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this...

Inside the head of a dinosaur: Research reveals new information on the evolution of dinosaur senses

Fossil skull of the Cretaceous therizinosaur Erlikosaurus andrewsi (Credit: Image by Emily Rayfield, University of Bristol)

An international team of scientists, including PhD student Stephan Lautenschlager and Dr Emily Rayfield of the University of Bristol, found that the senses of smell, hearing and balance were well developed in therizinosaurs and might have affected or benefited from an enlarged forebrain. These findings came as a surprise to the researchers as exceptional sensory...

New study sheds light on dinosaur size

Frequency distribution of species body size for eight different animal groups: (a) extinct dinosaurs; (b) extant birds; (c) extant reptiles; (d) extant amphibians; (e) extant fish; (f) extant mammals; (g) extinct pterosaurs; and (h) Cenozoic mammals. Note that all distributions are positively-skewed except for dinosaurs, which are markedly negatively-skewed (see Table 2). A combination of kernel density estimation and smoothed bootstrap resampling was used to test for optimum modality of...

Prehistoric ghosts revealing new details: Synchrotron helps identify previously unseen anatomy preserved in fossils

Scientists at The University of Manchester have used synchrotron-based imaging techniques to identify previously unseen anatomy preserved in fossils. 

 

Their work on a 50-million-year-old lizard skin identified the presence of teeth (invisible to visible light), demonstrating for the first time that this fossil animal was more than just a skin moult. This was only possible using some of the brightest light in the universe, X-rays generated by a synchrotron. 

Dr...

Who's zooming who? Frogs, fractals and the tree of life

A biologist has developed a revolutionary way of visualising the tree of life. (Credit: OneZoom, copyright James Rosindell)

Dec. 18, 2012 — As ecologists assemble ever larger parts of the tree of life, whose evolutionary branches connect the millions of species on Earth, they need better ways of presenting and organising information. Now, biologist Dr James Rosindell of Imperial College London has developed a revolutionary way of visualising the tree of life. He will demonstrate his...

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Fossils 

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...