Biology news

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).

Soft Tissue Dinosaur Fossils

At https://phys.org/print460957896.html ... the discovery of what looks very much like soft tissue of dinosaurs preserved in rocks in recent years has obviously perplexed scientists as they have now come up with an explanation that seems to have a lot of merit. Hard tissue such as bones, eggs, teeth and enamel scales are able to survive the process of fossilisation but soft tissue such as blood vessels, cells, and nerves, which are located inside hard tissue, are more delicate and should degrade and decay rapidly after death.

Super Lungs

Remaining on the subject of dinosaurs and birds we have a really interesting post at https://phys.org/print459590617.html ... biologists have speculated that birds descend from one branch of the dinosaurs. Not all dinosaurs are related to birds - but some are. This is the theory. It seems birds have a unique respiratory system which enables powered flight. The question is being asked - did dinosaurs have a similar respiratory system (allowing them to run like Velociraptor). Unlike mammals, including humans, whose lungs expand and contract with effort, bird lungs are rigid.