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Ancient species of mayfly had short, tragic life

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1000pa (June 26, 2011) — About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem.

Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong. She got stuck in some oozing tree sap and died, preserved for all time in the magic of amber. There would be ho hatchlings.

It was a pretty rude ending...

1000pa (June 26, 2011) — About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem.

Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong...

Fossil of giant ancient sea predator discovered

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1000pa (May 26, 2011) — Paleontologists have discovered that a group of remarkable ancient sea creatures existed for much longer and grew to much larger sizes than previously thought, thanks to extraordinarily well-preserved fossils discovered in Morocco.

The creatures, known as anomalocaridids, were already thought to be the largest animals of the Cambrian period, known for the "Cambrian Explosion" that saw the sudden appearance of all the...

1000pa (May 26, 2011) — Paleontologists have...

Imaging technology reveals intricate details of 49-million-year-old spider

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1000pa (May 18, 2011) — Scientists have used the latest computer-imaging technology to produce stunning three-dimensional pictures of a 49 million-year-old spider trapped inside an opaque piece of fossilized amber resin.

University of Manchester researchers, working with colleagues in Germany, created the intricate images using X-ray computed tomography to study the remarkable spider, which can barely be seen under the microscope in the old...

1000pa (May 18, 2011) — Scientists have used...

Oceanic land crab extinction linked to colonization of Hawaii

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1000pa (May 23, 2011) — University of Florida researchers have described a new species of land crab that documents the first crab extinction during the human era.

The loss of the crab likely greatly impacted the ecology of the Hawaiian Islands, as land crabs are major predators, control litter decomposition and help in nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. Their disappearance was caused by the arrival of humans to the islands and resulted in...

1000pa (May 23, 2011) — University of Florida...

Anthropologist discovers new fossil primate species in West Texas

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1000pa (May 17, 2011) — Physical anthropologist Chris Kirk has announced the discovery of a previously unknown species of fossil primate, Mescalerolemur horneri, in the Devil's Graveyard badlands of West Texas.

Mescalerolemur lived during the Eocene Epoch about 43 million years ago, and would have most closely resembled a small present-day lemur. Mescalerolemur is a member of an extinct primate group -- the adapiforms -- that were found...

1000pa (May 17, 2011) — Physical anthropologist...

Reptile 'cousins' shed new light on end-Permian extinction

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1000pa (May 5, 2011) — The end-Permian extinction, by far the most dramatic biological crisis to affect life on Earth, may not have been as catastrophic for some creatures as previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Bristol.

An international team of researchers studied the parareptiles, a diverse group of bizarre-looking terrestrial vertebrates which varied in shape and size. Some were small, slender, agile and...

1000pa (May 5, 2011) — The end-Permian...

Horsetail plant developed successful set of tools for extreme environments -- for millions of years

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1000pa (May 5, 2011) — Over 100 million years ago, the understory of late Mesozoic forests was dominated by a diverse group of plants of the class Equisetopsida. Today, only one genus from this group, Equisetum (also known as horsetail or scouring rush), exists -- one of the oldest extant genera of land plants.

There is some debate as to the evolutionary beginnings of the genus Equisetum. Molecular dating places the divergence of the 15...

1000pa (May 5, 2011) — Over 100 million years...

First rainforests arose when plants solved plumbing problem

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1000pa (May 4, 2011) — A team of scientists, including several from the Smithsonian Institution, discovered that leaves of flowering plants in the world's first rainforests had more veins per unit area than leaves ever had before. They suggest that this increased the amount of water available to the leaves, making it possible for plants to capture more carbon and grow larger. A better plumbing system may also have radically altered water...

1000pa (May 4, 2011) — A team of scientists...

Winners of mass extinction: With predators gone, prey thrive

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1000pa (May 3, 2011) — In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in the population of prey species. For the first time, scientists have observed the same dynamics in the fossil record, thanks to a mass extinction that decimated ocean life 360 million years ago.

What was bad for fish was good for the fish's food, according to a paper published May 1 in Proceedings of the National...

1000pa (May 3, 2011) — In modern ecology, the...

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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...