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Primates of the Caribbean: Ancient DNA reveals history of mystery monkey | #Geology #GeologyPage

Analysis of ancient DNA of a mysterious extinct monkey named Xenothrix — which displays bizarre body characteristics very different to any living monkey — has revealed that it was in fact most closely related to South America’s titi monkeys (Callicebinae).

Read more : http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/primates-of-the-caribbean-ancient-dna-reveals-history-of-mystery-monkey.html
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A toast to the proteins in dinosaur bones | #Geology #GeologyPage

Burnt toast and dinosaur bones have a common trait, according to a new, Yale-led study. They both contain chemicals that, under the right conditions, transform original proteins into something new.

Read more : http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/a-toast-to-the-proteins-in-dinosaur-bones.html
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Most complete study on Europe’s greatest Hadrosaur site published | #Geology #GeologyPage

The Basturs Poble site is what is known in English as a bone bed, a geological stratum containing a great amount of fossils.

Read more : http://www.geologypage.com/2018/11/most-complete-study-on-europes-greatest-hadrosaur-site-published.html
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Eyeing echidnas: Study models echidna forelimbs to help shed new light on mammal evolution - These days, mammals can use their forelimbs to swim, jump, fly, climb, dig and just about everything in between, but the question of how all that diversity evolved has remained a vexing one for scientists.

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"The differences between the thorax of a Neanderthal and of a modern human are striking," said Daniel García-Martínez and Markus Bastir, researchers at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) and co-authors of the work. "The Neanderthal spine is located more inside the thorax with respect to the ribs, which provides more stability. The thorax is also wider in its lower part," added Mikel Arlegi (UPV/EHU).

"The wider lower thorax of Neanderthals and the more horizontal orientation of the ribs, as shown in its reconstruction, suggest that Neanderthals relied more on the diaphragm for breathing," said Ella Been of the Ono Academic College. "Modern humans rely on both the diaphragm and on the expansion of the rib cage. Here we can see how new technologies and methodologies in the study of fossil remains are providing new information to understand extinct species."
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/11/new-virtual-reconstruction-of.html#12xZ4MaKiAaZgBpT.99
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 "Islands have been vital laboratories for advancing evolutionary theory since the pioneering work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in the 19th century.

Now, a new paper appearing in PLOS ONE from an international team of investigators describes two new fossil relatives of marsupials that shed light on how a unique island ecosystem evolved some 43 million years ago during the Eocene.

"Evolution in many ways is easier to study in an island context than on a large continent like North America because it's a simpler ecosystem," said coauthor K. Christopher Beard, Distinguished Foundation Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas and senior curator with KU's Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum. "Evolutionary biologists have been focusing on islands ever since Darwin and Wallace independently formulated their ideas about evolution based on their observations of plants and animals living on the Galapagos and the Malay archipelago, which is modern Indonesia."

However, Beard said a poor fossil record for animals living on islands through "deep time," or across a multimillion-year time frame, has hampered our understanding of exactly how island ecosystems are assembled. The new paper describes two new fossil species, identified from their teeth, that inhabited the Pontide region of modern-day north-central Turkey.

During the Eocene the Pontide region was an island in a larger version of the modern Mediterranean Sea called Tethys. At that time, Africa and Eurasia were not connected as they are today in the Middle East, but Africa was drifting northward due to plate tectonics and would eventually collide with Eurasia millions of years later. The Pontide region was sandwiched between these converging continents. This geological setting makes the Pontide region similar to the island of Sulawesi in the Indonesian archipelago, which is similarly sandwiched between the converging continents of Asia and Australia".

(Posted by +rasha kamel )
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"A few hundred thousand years ago during Earth's most recent ice age, a beefy subspecies of spotted hyena that was more than double the weight of its modern relative roamed Eurasia's snow-glazed terrain. Until their extinction about 11,000 years ago, these animals, now known as cave hyenas, would drag their prey into dens and devour them with bone-crushing jaws.

An international team that includes researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has now unearthed what life might have been like for these hulking creatures. They found that despite their massive size, some cave hyenas experienced times of hardship that affected them to the bone, causing areas of arrested growth that appear as dark lines, like rings on a tree trunk.

The research, led by Children's Museum of Indianapolis paleontologist Jennifer Anné and published in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, is part of a larger effort that uses SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) to map low-concentration, or trace, elements within bone, teasing out biological information about long-extinct animals.

"This work, which offers new insight into the delicate chemical ballet within bone, could allow us to refine our understanding of environmental impact on vertebrates from the past and predict what will happen in the future," says Phil Manning, professor of natural history at the University of Manchester in the U.K. who is both co-author and head of the lab that undertook this research".

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