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Dinosaurs and prehistoric life


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#41
caltrek

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Remains of 'Herculean' parrot that was half the height of a human found in New Zealand

 

https://www.thenatio...ealand-1.895380

 

Introduction:

 

(The National) The remains of a supersized parrot that stood more than half the height of an average human and roamed the earth 19 million years ago have been discovered in New Zealand.

 

Judging by the size of the leg bones, the bird would have stood about one metre tall and weighed up to seven kilograms, a report by an international team of palaeontologists published in the latest edition of Biology Letters, said.

 

"It could have flown but we're putting our money on it being flightless," Paul Scofield, the senior curator of natural history at Canterbury Museum, told AFP on Wednesday.

 

When the bones were found in 2008 no one was certain what they were, and they spent 11 years gathering dust on a shelf until the team looked at them again earlier this year.

 

"The thought they were from a giant parrot did not enter our minds. We thought it could be some type of eagle until we went back and looked at it again," Scofield said.

 

NZEALAND-SCIENCE-ANIMAL-PARROT.jpg?f=16x

 

 

A drawing by Dr Brian Choo featuring the giant-sized Parrot.

AFP / Flinders University / Dr Brian Choo


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#42
Jessica

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Human-sized penguin fossil discovered in New Zealand

New species said to have been four times heavier than emperor penguin

Patrick Barkham
@patrick_barkham
Wed 14 Aug 2019 08.53 EDT

5466973_081419-wabc-giant-penguin-img.jp

An illustration shows the approximate height of a giant penguin next to a woman. Photograph: Canterbury Museum/AP

A giant penguin that stood as tall as a person has been identified from fossil leg bones discovered by an amateur palaeontologist on New Zealand’s South Island.

At 1.6 metres and 80kg (12st), the new species, Crossvallia waiparensis, was four times as heavy and 40cm taller than the emperor penguin, the largest living penguin.

The penguin joins other oversized but extinct New Zealand birds including the world’s largest parrot, an eagle with a three-metre wingspan, 3.6 metre-tall moa birds and other giant penguins.

Enormous penguins are believed to have rapidly evolved in the Palaeocene epoch – between 66 and 56m years ago – after the dinosaurs disappeared and large marine reptiles also vanished from southern hemisphere waters that were much warmer than today.

 


More:
https://www.theguard...-in-new-zealand

CRAZY



#43
Jessica

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Genetic study implicates humans in demise of prehistoric cave bear
AUGUST 15, 2019 / 9:03 AM / 2 DAYS AGO

Will Dunham
3 MIN READ


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Genetic research that reconstructed the past population dynamics of the cave bear, a prominent prehistoric denizen of Europe, implicates Homo sapiens rather than climate cooling in the Ice Age extinction of these brawny plant-loving beasts.

Scientists said on Thursday they obtained genome data from 59 cave bears from bones unearthed at 14 sites in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.

Using this, they detected a population downturn roughly 50,000 years ago coinciding with the arrival of our species in eastern Europe and then a dramatic decline starting about 40,000 years ago coinciding with the spread of Homo sapiens throughout Europe. It ultimately went extinct about 20,000 years ago.

The cave bear (scientific name Ursus spelaeus) was one of the charismatic inhabitants of Ice Age Europe alongside animals like the cave lion, woolly rhino, woolly mammoth and steppe bison. It was as big as a polar bear but strictly herbivorous. Firmly in the consciousness of humans in Europe, the bear was depicted in prehistoric cave paintings.

There has been a scientific debate about whether a cooling climate doomed the bears by reducing vegetation central to their diet or whether it was human encroachment including hunting and taking over the caves where the bears hibernated and gave birth.

 


More:
https://in.reuters.c...r-idINKCN1V51EL


#44
Jessica

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Almost all life on Earth was wiped out 2 billion years ago, a new study says

By Scottie Andrew, CNN
Updated 0402 GMT (1202 HKT) September 5, 2019


(CNN) — The most catastrophic wipe-out on Earth didn't happen to the dinosaurs.

A new study found extreme changes in the atmosphere killed almost 100% of life on Earth about 2 billion years ago.

Researchers sampled barite, a mineral more than 2 billion years old, in subarctic Canada's Belcher Islands. Rocks that old "lock in chemical signatures," helpful clues for researchers to uncover what the atmosphere was like when the rocks first formed, co-lead author and Stanford University Ph.D. candidate Malcolm Hodgskiss told CNN.

There is such thing as too much oxygen

The study focused on a phenomenon called the "Great Oxidation Event." It goes like this: Billions of years ago, only micro-organisms survived on Earth. When they photosynthesized, they altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere, creating a glut of oxygen they ultimately could not sustain.

Micro-organisms exhausted the nutrients they needed to create oxygen, which knocked the Earth's atmosphere off-kilter. This led to an "enormous drop" in the biosphere -- the amount of life on Earth. Scientists weren't sure just how drastic the drop was until now.

-snip-

 


Read more: https://edition.cnn....trnd/index.html



#45
Jessica

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Half-a-billion-year-old tiny predator unveils the rise of scorpions and spiders

by Royal Ontario Museum

Two palaeontologists working on the world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species, called Mollisonia plenovenatrix, which is presented as the oldest chelicerate. This discovery places the origin of this vast group of animals—of over 115,000 species, including horseshoe crabs, scorpions and spiders—to a time more than 500 million years ago. The findings are published in the prestigious journal Nature on September 11, 2019.

 

Mollisonia plenovenatrix would have been a fierce predator—for its size. As big as a thumb, the creature boasted a pair of large egg-shaped eyes and a "multi-tool head" with long walking legs, as well as numerous pairs of limbs that could all-together sense, grasp, crush and chew. But, most importantly, the new species also had a pair of tiny "pincers" in front of its mouth, called chelicerae. These typical appendages give the name to the group of scorpions and spiders, the chelicerates, which use them to kill, hold, and sometimes cut, their prey.

 

https://phys.org/new...-scorpions.html



#46
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Giant ice age kangaroos had massive cheekbones for crushing bites

11 September 2019
By Ruby Prosser Scully



Extinct giant kangaroos had skulls built to deliver the powerful crunch needed to eat tough food, such as branches and stems. This may have allowed them to survive long stretches of time when other food was scarce.

Short-faced kangaroos lived in Australia during the last ice age and are known for their short snouts, large jaws and teeth, and heavily built skulls.

D. Rex Mitchell at the University of New England, Australia, created a digital model of the skull of one type of short-faced kangaroo, the 120-kilogram Simosthenurus occidentalis, and analysed the effects of different biting behaviour.

He found that the giant kangaroo had teeth so close to the jaw joints that, if its cheek muscles were proportionate to the tree-kangaroo, a living relative, then the chances of its jaw dislocating were high.

 

-snip-

Read more: https://www.newscien...crushing-bites/

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#47
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/\ The feet on that Kangaroo are intense!


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#48
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#49
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The Giant 'Egg Thief' - Gigantoraptor

 

Published on Sep 8, 2019

 

Oviraptorosaurs are an amazing group of dinosaurs, and there's one species, which grew to giant sizes, that has some particularly fascinating mysteries surrounding it.

 

https://youtu.be/H8tXN_3IE1g

 

 

n5mSPka.jpg


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