In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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16 May 2019
Giant Beavers

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7016057/ ... giant beavers once roamed North America, alongside woolly mammoths and giant sloths. They all disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene. These beavers did not munch and crunch on wood (trees and saplings) but thier diet, instead, consisted of aquatic plants. We might wonder if these aquatic plants were themselves giants in order to accommodate giant diets. It is thought their food source would have disappeared at the end of the Ice Age (as the climate of North America became warmer).

16 May 2019
A Big Crocodile

The story comes from https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/05/remains-of-rare-preh... ... the remains of a prehistoric crocodile, known as a Thoracosauros, has been found inside a block of chalk. This was a marine, or sea swimming crocodile, able to forage at the edge of the oceans. One may wonder how the remains of a crocodile ended up encased in chalk if chalk was down down over 60 to 90 million years and more, by the accumulation of the shells of ocean algae on the sea bed.

16 May 2019
Trapped in Amber

Another imponderable. Lots of things get trapped in amber but most are land mased animals and insects - or freshwater (from a wetland environment). One can think of dragonflies for example. Now, a Chinese researcher has found the first known ammonite trapped in amber - and ammonites are deep sea animals. It came from the Myanmar amber bed (in Burma). These amber beds also include sea snails and sea slaters ... all marine species. At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/05/coastal-organisms-tr... ...

16 May 2019
The Quaking and Shrinking Moon

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7023841/ ... the Moon has earthquakes - and is shrinking. Moonquakes occur because the Moon is tectonically active - and they cause it to wrinkle like a dried grape (a raisin). Its internal parts are thought to be cooling which cause its surface to contract - or that is the explanation. The brittle surface at the crust cracks and forms step like cliffs or scarps.

14 May 2019
Telescopes in Space

At https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/run-tis050619.php .... the first image of a black hole has led to the next challenge - how to take sharper images in order to further test Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. ESA astronomers are putting together plans to launch radio telescopes in space (see Astronomy and Astrophysics May 2019). The idea is to place satellites into orbit in order to observe what is thought to be black holes. Sharper images of a black hole will provide better information in order to test Relativity (or that is the thinking).

13 May 2019
Anglo Saxon Burial

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/05/anglo-saxon-princely... ... (see also https://phys.org/news/2019-05-britain-king-tut-tomb-roadside.html) ... a small bump on a patch of grass in Essex, situated between a road and a railway line, has yielded the grave of an Anglo Saxon prince which shows influence of Christianity in around 600AD, when England was supposedly thoroughly pagan. It was spotted as a potential archaeological site as early as 2003 - but things move slowly in archaeological circles.

13 May 2019
Footprint in Patagonia

At https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213572 ... a human footprint that seems to shatter the peopling of the Americas mainstream song sheet. A sedimentary structure at Osome in southern Chile which is strongly associated with megafauna bones, as well as unifacial lithic tools, has what is said to be a Late Pleistocene footprint by a member of the Homo sapiens family. It is intimated that it is an hominid rather than a modern human footprint.

10 May 2019
Fossilising Processes

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2019/05/the-fossilization-... ... a bone bed in Spain from the Lower Cretaceous is offering up fossilised remains of dinosaurs, mammals, crocodiles, pterosaurs, lizards, tortoises, and fish, which all date back 130 million years ago - at roughly the transition from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous (or thereabouts).

10 May 2019
Galaxy, Jets and Ionisation

At https://phys.org/news/2019-05-jets-galaxy-cores-common.html ... we are told astronomers have a rough understanding of how galaxies emit jets from their cores (presumably a reference to the jets emerging from what is assumed to be a black hole at the galactic core) but they also blow out winds of ionised gas - another word for plasma. There is currently no explanation for this. A study in Astronomy and Astrophysics (May 2019) starts by saying astronomers suspect every galaxy harbours a supermassive black hole.

10 May 2019
Gulf of Mexico Geology

At https://phys.org/news/2019-05-complex-geology-contributed-deepwater-hori... ...  a research paper in Scientific Reports (May 7th 2019) says that complex geology in the Gulf of Mexico contributed to the Deepwater Horizin disaster. Most commentators have, to date, concentrated on the engineering decisions that led to the bow out or the ecological consequences of the oil spill.