Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Fossils

Flightless birds more common globally before human-driven extinctions

(University College London) There would be at least four times as many flightless bird species on Earth today if it were not for human influences, finds a study led by UCL researchers, published in Science Advances.

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‘Introducing Palaeontology’ — how the fossil record informs today’s conservation decisions

(Trinity College Dublin) A new, expanded book — ‘Introducing Palaeontology: a guide to ancient life’ — provides a timely reminder of how the fossil record can inform critical conservation decisions of the future as Earth battles the sixth mass extinction of its time.

A new species of rare phylum Loricifera discovered in the deep-sea surrounding Japan

The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell – known as a lorica. Since it was first discovered in 1983, just under 40 species have been written about. Now, that number is one more thanks to a group of scientists who reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera.

From fins to limbs and water to land

(Harvard University) The study shows how and when the first groups of land explorers became better walkers than swimmers. The analysis spans the fin-to-limb transition and reconstructs the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods.

Water-to-land transition in early tetrapods

(Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology) The water-to-land transition is one of the most important major transitions in vertebrate evolution. However, there is still uncertainty about when the water-land transition took place and how terrestrial early tetrapods really were. A new paper in Nature addresses these questions and shows although these early tetrapods were still tied to water and had aquatic features, they also had adaptations that indicate some ability to move on land.

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Some Like It Hot: Global Warming Triggered the Evolution of Giant Dinosaurs – SciTechDaily

Live reconstruction of the early sauropod Bagualia alba. Credit: Jorge Gonzales Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs. An international team of paleontologists, including LMU Professor Oliver Rauhut, finds evidence of rapid climate change 180 million years ago as…

Some Like It Hot: Global Warming Triggered the Evolution of Giant Dinosaurs – SciTechDaily

Live reconstruction of the early sauropod Bagualia alba. Credit: Jorge Gonzales Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs. An international team of paleontologists, including LMU Professor Oliver Rauhut, finds evidence of rapid climate change 180 million years ago as…

T. rex had huge growth spurts, but other dinos grew slow and steady

By cutting into dinosaur bones and analyzing the growth lines, a team of researchers discovered that T. rex and its closest relatives got big thanks to a huge growth spurt in adolescence, while its more distant cousins kept on growing a little bit every year throughout their lives.