Biology news

T. Rex

At https://phys.org/print468672339.html ... Tyrannosaurus Rex had a flexible skull structure. Different bone modules led to a highly flexible muzzle that aided in tearing apart prey animals. The study is published in Scientific Reports (February 2019). The name means something like tyrant lizard - named because of his impressive teeth and head. See DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-37978-8

Eat the Fat not the Greens

At https://phys.org/print468604822.html ... hot on the heels of the UN bleating about cattle and sheep raising as ecologically irresponsible and we should all be going vegan comes along this study which seems to confirm the former hyperventilations were all flannel and no substance. Meat on the bone is lacking in the UN procrastinations but it is the fat within the bone that is the subject of the study. It seems a taste for fat provided early humans with the nutrition to develop bigger brains - see Current Anthropology (February 2019).

Trilobite Riches

At https://phys.org/print466333233.html ... trilobite fossils are common to all parts of the world, northern and southern hemispheres. They dominated the early seas.

Klobiodon - a dinosaur feast

At https://phys.org/print464518768.html ... flying reptiles, such as the klobiodon, once littered the skies of what is now the UK, it is thought, after their fossilised remains (broken and fragmented) were found at Stonefield in Oxon. A new species of pterosaurus was also found - as large as a modern mute swan. The Stonefield slate deposit has long been a source of fossils. It belongs to the Great Oolite limestone formation and is not strictly slate - but frost damaged it formed slate shaped lumps of stone and was used as roof tiles in the Cotswolds.

Flowering Plants

At https://phys.org/print464353666.html ... fossils now indicate flowering plants originated 50m million years earler that thought by consensus science - back in the Early Jurassic era. Researchers were not certain when or how flowers came into existence because it seemed many flowering plants just popped up in the Cretaceous - out of nowhere. Of course, the Jurassic Cretaceous switch must involve an event of some kind - and that is what the geology is telling us.

Dinosaur Footprints in Hastings

The Sussex seaside and fishing town of Hastings is in the news. The mudstone and sandstone cliffs have yielded a dinosaur bonanza - after bad weather early in 2018. These cliffs have previously yielded an Iguanadon fossil back in 1825 and dinosaur brain tissue in 2016. We now have an extensive number of dinosaur footprints - set in mud and preserved so well that skin, scales, and claws, can clearly be seen in the imprints. Go to https://phys.org/print464236129.html ...

Modelling an Extinction

The end of Permian mass extinction event was caused by global warming - see https://phys.org/print463305400.html ... fossils in ancient seafloor rocks dispaly a thriving and diverse marine ecosystem - followed by a swathe of corpses in the next screen shot of the event. Firstly, how did a thriving and diverse ecosystem become fossilised. What is the mechanism for this - as we are talking about deep water environments. What divides the thriving rocks from the rocks full of corpses. Have they realistically defined the situation or are they constructing a theory.

Ichthyosaurs

At https://phys.org/print463211497.html ... concerns the discovery of the soft parts of an ichthyosaur from the Jurassic period. Also the subject of a post at New Scientist - see https://www.newscientist.com/article/2187399-fossil-blubber-shows-ichthy... ... and Robert has also provided a link to a young earth site at https://crev.info/2018/12/two-soft-tissue-fossils-pile-evidence-deep-time/ ... which is really pushing the idea that because soft tissue has survived the fossils themselves must be relatively young.

Enantiarmithines

At https://phys.org/print461316344.html ... fossil birds of the Cretaceous. We don't usually hear much about birds in the dinosaur era - not the size of crows or magpies (or even the size of turkeys). It seems there were several different kind of birds at large in the dinosaur era - but only one type of bird turns up after the K/T boundary event. The fossils in question come from a famous dinosaur site in Utah, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area. However, what we have are the enantiarmithines.

More on Soft Tissue

It seems not everyone is satisfied by the new explanation of why soft dinosaur tissue would survive for 100 million years. Robert sent in a link at https://crev.info/2018/11/dino-soft-tissue-theory-toast/ ... where David Coppedge, an ex Cassini Mission scientist, presents the case for a Young Earth point of view on dinosaurs. This is the opposite angle to that in the research paper at Nature Communications (see earlier post on the subject on November 11th, yesterday).